"Guys and girls, just feel your boobs!" Andy tells PEOPLE."I just want people (men and women) to know how important it is. Maybe I'll help to save a life."

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March 08, 2017 01:13 PM

 

A few months ago, Andy Sealy was doing a breast self-exam when she felt a lump. Then she felt another one. So she scheduled a mammogram and an ultrasound for January.

Doctors ultimately biopsied three tumors they found in both breasts — then called to let her know two of the tumors in her left breast were malignant.

She decided to get both of her breasts removed.

“The doctor said the one tumor is on your aerola and the other takes up a quadrant of your breast so it basically takes up the whole thing,” Sealy, 37, of Philadelphia, tells PEOPLE. “I said, ‘Well you can have it. And while you’re at it, take the other.’ “

Catherine Harvey and Andy Sealy (right)

Of her decision, Sealy, a sales representative and part-time bartender, says: “I wanted symmetry. I have breast implants and I didn’t want to go around with one boob that has an implant and one that was removed.”

TOM GRALISH/Philadelphia Inquirer

She scheduled her double mastectomy for March 8 — then, after consultation with her closest friends, immediately began planning a pink-themed goodbye party for her breasts.

The name of the party? Ta-Ta to Andy’s Tatas.

Andy Sealy and friend Marshall Harris

“Tata is like goodbye,” she says. “It just made sense. So I used that for the invite. And my father made the sign for the party.”

She created a Facebook event and invited 200 of her closest friends to bop, a Philadelphia restaurant, on March 5, three days before her surgery.

The invite on Facebook.
Andy Sealy

The party was a whopping success. Nearly 200 people showed up.

The scene

“I got a bigger response than I expected,” says Sealy. “It was overwhelming. All my worlds were colliding. Everyone from different pieces of my life were in one room. It was amazing.”

People danced, laughed and drank — just what Sealy wanted. There was even a very special cake.

Andy's cake

“It was fun,” she says. “There was a really good vibe. No tears. It was happy, lighthearted.”

A mutual friend is a journalist so a reporter and photographer from the Philadelphia Inquirer showed up as well, resulting in an online story on Philly.com Tuesday and in the Inquirer and on the cover of the Philadelphia Daily News Wednesday.

(From left: Andy Sealy, Jessica Gallen, Lori Muto, Jamie Curro, Lexi Castelli, Desiree Ferrare, Catherine Harvey is center)

Friends and relatives came over to hang out with her Tuesday night, surprising her — “I thought I’d be sitting on my couch, party of one,” she says — before her surgery and she was still sending silly photos from her hospital room as she waited for her operation.

Andy Sealy
Andy Sealy

 

All kidding aside, Sealy says there is a message she wants to get out.

“Guys and girls, just feel your boobs!” she says.”Because you just don’t know. I just want people (men and women) to know how important it is. Maybe I’ll help to save a life.”

She also wanted to give a shout-out to her surgeons  — her surgical oncologist, Dr. Dalia Sataloff at Pennsylvania Hospital and her plastic surgeon, Dr. Suhail Kanchwala at Penn Medicine.

“They’re great,” she says.

Andy Sealy
Andy Sealy

After the surgery, she has to pick her oncologist, she says.

“It just depends on who has the best personality of all the doctors to be honest with you,” she says. “I can’t have any dry people around me because that’s not me.”

And she’s already planning her next party — after she gets her new set of implants.

“I think I’ll call it hashtag ‘Meet the Replacements,’ ” she laughs. “It’ll definitely be something fun. You gotta celebrate again. Keep it moving.”

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