After undergoing a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction, Micheala Strachan has admitted she found it hard to adjust to the changes her body had gone through. She explained that at first she found it “difficult to love” her breast reconstruction, as they were “hard as coconuts”.
Michaela told the panel, “I sobbed and I panicked and then you go into stoic mode … within a week, I had gone from not knowing I had breast cancer to looking at fake boobs.
“You actually laugh because this is so surreal. That was weird.”
Nadiya Sawalha asked if Michaela had decided to get nipple reconstruction, but she explained that it wasn’t the right choice for her.
Michaela said, “I actually didn’t go down the nipple route because I have a loving partner and after you have the reconstruction, they’re as hard as coconuts and I found it very difficult to love them.”
But Michaela’s friend came up with an unusual way to help her make light of the situation.
She explained, “So my friend said to me, ‘Why don’t you give them a name and then you might love them more.’ I said, ‘But they’re like coconuts.’ So she said, ‘Why don’t you call them pina and colada.'”
Michaela joked, “They don’t look the same, they’ve gone a bit wonky.” The panel and studio audience laughed along with her making light of the topic.
She said, “Isn’t it funny, I can hold my breasts on television because they’re not mine.”
The rest of the Loose Women panel also got involved in the ‘boob-grabbing’ action and Penny Lancaster made the important reminder that “we should all be feeling our breasts”. Checking your breasts is very important and could be the key to spotting cancer or other illnesses early on.
Michaela spoke about how relieved she was to have caught her cancer early because her husband, Nick Chevallier’s first wife had died of colon cancer. She explained how telling her husband her news was one of the hardest parts of the process.
She said, “His first wife died of colon cancer. I phoned him [after the mammogram] and I said: ‘I’ve had this test done.’ And he said: ‘Don’t panic, darling.’ I went privately because I live in South Africa so the next day they phoned me and said: ‘I’m very sorry to tell you that you have got breast cancer.
“The thought of having to tell my partner that I had cancer was awful because however supportive he wanted to be, in the back of his mind he was thinking he’d lost his first wife to cancer. And his three grown-up children also had to go through the whole thing again.”