Ducts Are for Milk Not Cancer

Saturn Returns by Katariina Fagering

It’s a crazy thing to become one of the 10 percent that actually get breast cancer. The one friend in ten who is diagnosed. When I got the call from the radiology office to come back in for further pictures of my right breast, I didn’t give it a lot of energy or thought.

Whale Story by Katariina Fagering

Today three weeks later after three biopsies all testing positive for cancer, I am pondering what life will be like without my breasts. Of course, there will be new ones where mine once were and it will be my skin but they won’t be mine. They won’t have the feel of natural tissue; there will be scars and my nipples won’t respond to different temperatures or sensations. My nipples will be stuck in whatever permanent position I decide to reconstruct them into. That’s hard for me to wrap my head around.

Creature Within  by Katariina Fagering

Loosing my breasts sounds so extreme but I’m actually getting off pretty easy as far as cancer goes. Mine is noninvasive and I caught it early enough that it’s treatable without chemo or radiation. It’s called Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS). There are these tiny calcifications within my milk ducts that haven’t found their way out. I could hold off and see what the calcifications do; but once the cancer finds its way to my lymph nodes then it’s not so simple as just removing my breasts.

breast cancer by Katariina Fagering

Some days I wake up enlivened with lists of actions I can take to get healthier, stay grounded and find healing. Other days I feel the pull to dive deeper by asking the questions, “What is wanting to be loved? What is wanting to be heard? What is wanting to be seen?” These queries take me below the surface into a place that cracks me open to parts of myself I haven’t visited or explored ever!!

Emerging from the Womb  by Katariina Fagering


My creativity has opened up in a way I can’t explain. I am not sure where these paintings came from, I’m just listening and asking over and over again, “What wants to be heard? What wants to be seen?”

Woman within offering by Katariina FageringThese paintings and who shows up within them comforts me. I truly know that this diagnosis and this journey is an opportunity to widen and awaken my awareness of who I am and to ground my entire being into truly seeing my authentic purpose for showing up for this life.

Discovering I have cancer has proven to be a wild ride and I wonder why it is that it takes death to bring us closer to truly living our life?


19 thoughts on “Ducts Are for Milk Not Cancer

  1. I have a hard time accepting the truth that most of what happens to us in this life simply is. Not positive or negative, simply neutral. With a purpose from every action that propels us toward our next learning, our next healing, our next gift to the world. It’s more fun to believe in and feel the ups and ride out the downs. As usual, you oh wise sister, are Once again at the epicenter of this truth and this awareness. Your life and your lessons are for us all.

  2. I love you are feeling our way through this; it’s a great example of finding joy, awareness and love in the middle of something that appears tragic. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul!

  3. Hi Katariina… As tragic as cancer can be it can also open you up to become a stronger person…I went through the same thing back in Dec of 2006 with a diagnosis of rectal cancer…I was stage 3 so I had radical surgery chemo & radiation…it was a two year journey of confronting my mortality while taking inventory of my life…it changed me…both physically & mentally for the better…The physical parts that were taken leaving me with a colostomy bag for the rest of my life really became my best friend…”she” 🙂 along with some amazing doctors.saved my life because now I am enjoying my baby granddaughter…….your decision not to wait was a good one.. You will find amazing strength along the way to do things differently in life….You have a really good attitude…that is 90% of the battle as my Drs told me & they were right…Your loss will be your gain…that insight will come in time…I wish you much peace & blessings on this journey… Please write me if you like … Linda XO

  4. I have been thinking about you since I read this. I’ve always admired you….The way you delve into life in all it’s aspects, so fully. Your thoughtful words and deep questions, your beautiful paintings and other visual/ poetic explorations touch me. Your simultaneously holding forth courage and vulnerability is an inspiration. That you “walk in beauty” is without question. Calling forth from my heart vibrations of radiance and support…May they join with all the other positive and loving vibrations that circle round and through you as this journey unfolds.

  5. hello Lady. Your paintings are amazing! I love them. I would wish you courage, but you have it already. I am sorry to hear that you have to undergo surgery, sending love and light in that respect. and keep painting. or whatever you need to do. and writing and being creative. Its all beautiful

    • Moyra, you will forever be that smiling face in the crowd supporting and encouraging and loving me on. I can still see you there in the dark at Croydon Hall with your gorgeous smile making my talk so much easier and making me feel right at home. If I get scared I will think of your smile and I’ll know I am not alone.

      Big Love, Katariina

  6. DCIS is not cancer only 20 percent of DCIS EVER BECOMES A TUMOR …..why are you taking off your breasts don’t do it ….. Get a lumpectomy ….. If you do nothing you are probably not going to get cancer…. You do not have cancer

    • Laura, I have DCIS in more than 3 parts of my right breast and I have the BRCA1 gene mutation. Thank you for your concern, I can feel your love and concern for me in your response, however, I have a knowing deeper than my diagnosis that this is right path for me. Thank you for showing up at the 9th inning to make me more clear about my inner knowing that this is the right route for ME! I truly appreciate your voice and concern!!

      Big Love,

  7. Pingback: 25 Things to do Before 26 revisited | A Global Walk

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