‘I want to become who I am.’

In our latest magazine, we had the pleasure of chatting with Sanne Esther, our inspiring brand ambassador who shines alongside Mia, Jacobien, and Jelly Nienke. In this heartwarming conversation, we delved into her story and discovered the incredible person behind the confident, beautiful, young woman she is today. Join us as we uncover her secrets and the choices she made throughout her transformative journey.

Were you confident during your treatment?

My stubbornness and past experiences with healthcare made me want to have control over the treatment process. As a child, I was diagnosed with cancer, and I have clear memories of what I did and didn’t like back then. I always wanted to see and assess my scans and test results. And yet, everything turned out to be different when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. From the start of the process, I made a conscious decision to keep my breasts. But I ended up in a rollercoaster of operations and tissue expanders, where I just lost control. It lasted until the moment I had enough and finally stood my ground. It was clear to me I wanted to be flat chested and refused to let my body be hassled any longer.

The challenges I encountered made me realize the difficulties patients often face in obtaining the care they truly desire. Driven by my experiences, I took on the role of an AYA (Adolescent Young Adult) ambassador for the AYA Foundation. As “The Young Healthcare Improver,” I actively engage with pharmaceutical companies, insurance providers, and healthcare professionals, advocating for improved health care to future patients. But my efforts don’t stop there; you can also catch me in thought-provoking documentaries on NPO, Dutch television, raising awareness about the importance of personal choices in healthcare. Additionally, I had a leading role in the scientific theater show “Staging Cancer.” Sanne’s decision to embrace being unbosomed and not undergo breast reconstruction was met with surprise. She courageously challenges societal norms that dictate women’s appearance and beauty standards.

Your decision to refuse a reconstruction was unexpected?

Sanne replies: Yes, this option is simply not taken seriously. Rejecting the derogatory term “Going flat,” Sanne proudly defines her femininity, vulnerability, and strength on her own terms. Just the way it’s referred to: ‘Going flat.’ Isn’t that demeaning to women, she says. I choose to remain flat chested, feminine, vulnerable, but incredibly powerful. I am completely happy with who I am today, and want to radiate this to inspire other women. You know, the pressure women feel, to conform to the socially accepted image of women designed by the media and our society is huge. For example, a close friend refused to let her children see her without prosthetics. Just because she feels embarrassed about having no breasts. I talked to women who feel ashamed of their scars. Being flat, or being unbosomed is a taboo in the outside world, and everyone expected me to have (fake) breasts in no time. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be for me.

How did you accept your scars?

Accepting my scars hasn’t been an easy journey for me. Gazing into the mirror, I occasionally mourn what I have lost physically. Of course, it’s a difficult process, but it had to be this way. However, my journey has taught me resilience and strength. I oscillate between the pain of losing my breasts and the power I find in knowing other women have triumphed over similar challenges. My acceptance of my body as it is, is allowing me to fully focus on my inner self and personal growth.

“Beauty lies in the heart, and the power lies in the possibilities to move forward, despite everything you’ve experienced in your life.”

How do you decide to wear Qups or not?

Choosing to wear Qups, the soft and lightweight external breast prostheses, empowers me in social settings where I want to accentuate my hourglass figure. By maintaining unbosomed and using Qups frequently, I find comfort and confidence in my appearance. Additionally, I opt for the Bratelle, a bra designed by a fellow breast cancer survivor, to combat lymphedema. This choice has significantly reduced the need for lymphedema therapy.

Did you choose to become a different person after being diagnosed with breast cancer?

I feel like a phoenix rising from the ashes. My journey through two battles with cancer has transformed me into a stronger, more empowered version of myself. Rather than longing to be who I once was, I embrace the woman I am becoming – Strong, vulnerable, and with a positive outlook on the future and what’s important to me.

What is the secret of your strength?

My scars on the outside reflect what I feel inside. It’s important to me to show both the internal and external scars in a world that often demands constant positivity. It’s socially accepted that life must be good and positive, but it’s a fairy tale. Life can be challenging, especially when you combat breast cancer. And it’s okay to feel sad, anxious, or angry at times. My journey reminds me that personal growth and self-discovery are ongoing endeavors—the most significant work we undertake in our lifetime. Having a partner who provided me with strength along this journey felt amazing. His unwavering support and love have been instrumental in shaping the remarkable person I am today. He is my better half and brings out the best in me.

Sanne Esther’s story is a testament to the power of choice, self-acceptance, and resilience. By embracing being unbosomed and defining her own sense of beauty, she inspires us all to be unapologetically ourselves. In her pursuit of better healthcare for others, Sanne stands as a beacon of hope and empowerment, showing that life’s challenges can mold us into even stronger and more compassionate individuals. Let her journey serve as a reminder that our scars, both inside and out, are a testament to the battles we’ve fought and the triumphs we’ve achieved.