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This Woman Made A Photo Series About Every Stage Of Her Mastectomy

"I wanted something to shake people up." NOTE: This post contains photos of nudity some may deem sensitive.

This is Aniela McGuinness, a 32-year-old actress living in Hollywood, Florida who was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2014 — just days before her appointment to schedule a preventative mastectomy.

She decided to document the experience — from before her mastectomy to after reconstruction surgery — with an unconventional photo series.

The first photo was taken a week before her surgery, as a way to memorialize her breasts.

The next photo was taken after her mastectomy (and a week after Halloween)

"This was my playful 'hey look, I'm bald!' shot," McGuinness said of the third photo, taken at the end of her chemo treatment.

The final shot was taken two months after her reconstruction surgery, after McGuinness found out she was cancer-free.

One goal of this project, McGuinness said, was to show the joy and the humor that can also exist in times as difficult as these.

"I have an odd sense of humor," said McGuinness. "I [know] these might be controversial, and I don't know how people are going to take them."

"I wanted to show something different. I wanted to make an art piece with joy behind it. There's color in this. There's joy in this. You can laugh at it. We don't have to be uncomfortable by it."

You can watch more of McGuinness' story on her YouTube channel, My Breast Choice.

View this video on YouTube


She's currently working on a one-woman show, I Don't Have Cancer, which you can learn more about on her blog.