Miranda McKeon, 20, Reflects on Losing Her 'Body to Science' During Breast Cancer Treatment

miranda mckeon breast cancer treatment
miranda mckeon breast cancer treatment

miranda mckeon/ instagram Miranda McKeon

After eight rounds of chemotherapy, three surgeries and 25 radiation sessions, Miranda McKeon is reflecting on how breast cancer treatment changed her relationship to her body.

The 20-year-old Anne with an E actress was diagnosed in June 2021 after she found a lump in her breast, which immediately kicked off eight months of intensive treatments. As of February 25, McKeon is now in remission, and on Monday she shared one of her journal entries from the process on Instagram.

"Too many days I lost my body to science," she wrote. "For months my body did not belong to me. I yieldingly shared it with something greater. I outstretched my limbs and watched as my forearms turned to pin cushions — surfaces of flesh ripe for needle sticks."

McKeon wrote that she had her possible "vein placements memorized," from a spot in her hand to the "crease of my wrist."

"I hold still so the blood can flow."

The sophomore at the University of Southern California said that she struggles to appreciate an inch of new hair growth on her head and instead sees "the ten of loss."

During treatment, McKeon wrote, "I saw my body as something that needed to be cured. An unsettling composition of veins and vessels and complex systems working against me. A ticking time bomb if not surrendered to science."

Now that she's in remission, McKeon is trying to appreciate her body again.

"I'm slowly reclaiming my body for all of the safe, functioning, goodness that it is," she said. "Because my body belongs to me and only me, and that is a shiny golden gift — a privilege that I am so lucky to have."

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"Now that it's mine again, I work to treat it with respect and kindness," McKeon wrote. "This also means taking care of the spirit housed within it — the one who lives each day with a champagne glass in hand. Now I top off the bubbly without regard for the days of the week or how fast the world seems to be turning."

In the weeks since her last day of radiation, McKeon has been able to get back to USC for classes and enjoy a much-needed spring break vacation to Mexico. In her post announcing that she was done with treatment, McKeon said that she's going to focus on enjoying life going forward.

"I will be devoting a lot of energy in the coming months/ years/ lifetime (?) to healing some parts of my heart that got a little hurt in this process and doing a lot of fun stuff that makes me feel happy," she said. "Like traveling & dancing & writing & drinking lemonade & going on runs & writing cards & loving my people well & expressing gratitude."