Woman Documents Her Double Mastectomy With A Brave And Joyful Photo Series

"I made it out of love for other women going through this."
Aniela McGuinness/Bust 'Em Photograph

In 2014, Aniela McGuinness was in the process of scheduling her preventative bilateral mastectomy because she had a genetic mutation that made her more likely to get breast cancer. It was around that time that the 32-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer.

When she searched for before and after photos of women who had undergone mastectomies she was scared. "It’s a heartbreaking array of faceless women’s maimed breasts under florescent lighting," McGuinness wrote on her blog.

So she decided to add her own photos to the mix to bring some happiness and humor to any other woman facing breast cancer. McGuinness created her own photo series chronicling her mastectomy, chemotherapy and reconstruction surgery.

The series called "My Breast Choice" includes four images of McGuinness throughout her journey to illustrate how she was feeling at that specific time during her battle with cancer.

Below is a video McGuinness created alongside the photo series to explain her journey and each image.

Some images below may be considered NSFW to some readers.

"My goal for these photos was to create a mastectomy series that gives people permission to look at mastectomies without shame, or sorrow but with joy and humor," McGuinness told The Huffington Post. "The spoon full of sugar method."

Towards the end of the above video McGuinness says she hopes her video and photos give a little hope to other women battling breast cancer. "I made it out of love for other women going through this," she says. "I hope that it gives you strength and courage and a little bit of joy as you go through something that is very tough, but is going to make you -- if you let it -- into a beautiful new person."

Scroll below to see McGuinness' brave and heartwarming photo series.

Aniela McGuinness/Blast 'Em Photography
“Our first shot was the Rosie the Riveter iconic powerful women ‘We Can Do It!’ photo to memorialize my breasts before they were gone," McGuinness explains in her video.
Aniela McGuinness/Blast 'Em Photography
“I really wanted to capture what it felt like to lose your breasts, to have these scars. You feel cut up, you feel pieced together," she says in the video. "I had these expanders under there that were weird and hard and kind of oddly shaped. I wanted women to see the beauty and the pain and what that moment felt like.”
Aniela McGuinness/Blast 'Em Photography
“This photo was taken right at the end of chemo… I have no hair. And my breasts were fully expanded at that point with the expanders and they were these hard, plastic things. And it just felt like I was a mannequin," McGuinness explains in her video.
Aniela McGuinness/Blast 'Em Photography
“The final image in this series of four is my done with chemo, done with cancer shot," she says in her video. "The reconstruction has been finished. They are jelly-silicone, tear-dropped shaped. I wanted you to be able to see the after in those.”

Head over to McGuinness' website or Instagram to read more about her brave battle.

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