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Angelinas Angel

November 17, 2014

Angelina JolieWhat an unusual meeting!

I was, as quite often these days, painting an angel.

I started with the hair and wings,

when he told me that he was a guardian angel, Angelinas Angel.

I didn’t understand.

I don’t know any Angelina, except that there is an actress with that name.

Then this angel takes her face – except the eyes.

He basically asks me to pray for her.

And the reason is that I know her situation, her physical condition.

I have been there.

I was small, I got a mastectomy because of breast cancer,

and the first solution as a reconstruction

was to operate “a beautiful breast implant” behind the breast muscle…

and it turned out to be a hell.

If you have trained, you have tight tissues and almost no fat in your body,

a big implant can be painful and even debilitate you.

I wish, that is not how she has it.


I want to have just my own material and tissues inside my body.

I decided to go through a latissimus dorsi flap – reconstruction.

It is a big operation, where a flap of skin, fat, muscle, and blood vessels

from upper back is used to reconstruct the breast (in my case 18cm x 8cm).

This flap was moved under my skin around to front of my chest.

Usually it’s combined with a smaller silicon implant,

but I asked for to use my own fat instead (I gained weight just for that).

Removing fat as a method, has been successfully used in Finland during several years,

and I like natural ways to rebuild my body.

I haven’t done that operation yet (it’s on the 5th of December),

but compared to my physical condition with implant, I already feel more than good.


A healthy breast with a silicon implant is completely different from

 a reconstructed breast without any breast tissue and just with an implant,

– totally different.

As I see it, you can’t get soft and natural breast without fat and natural tissue,

building only with silicon implants,

that has to be placed under a tight muscle (to keep them in a right place).


I’m not an expert in this,

I only have my experiences and I’ve been reading a lot about different methods.

I’m not even ready with my operations.

But I can warmly recommend a latissimus dorsi flap – reconstruction.

Nonetheless, I have scars.

If you are afraid to loose your “outside beauty”

and don’t want to have marks after operations,

then it’s not an option.

After the operation, my nurse commented my scars:

– OMG, what a scar. It’s all over your back!

You are basically opened from chest to back!

…OMG, what a stupid commend.

I see these scars as a marks of survival.

I’m still here.

I’m humble.

I haven’t been in cancer control yet,

but I’m still here.



there is a reason for this painting,

even though it’s not totally clear for me.

I´ll remember Angelina in my prayers,

however she feels, where ever she is.

I hope, you could do that too.

She is a mother and wife,

she is in a public eye,

she needs to be strong.

I wish her well.



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Heather Kopp

Words fail, but sometimes I try

Steve McCurry's Blog

Steve's body of work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element.

70 Degrees West

an environmental and humanitarian photo-documentary project from pole to pole along 70º west longitude

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