Exchange Surgery and 4th Cancerversary 💗

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FLClover
FLClover Member Posts: 1,554
edited April 1 in General discussion
Hello to everyone and Happy Easter 🐣🐇🪺. 

I’ve been a bit quiet on here, just focusing on life after breast cancer I guess, going back to work, trying to get healthier etc. 
Today I’m posting again because it’s my 4th cancersary 🎉, and I’m also 2 weeks post my third surgery since this whole ride started. This was the surgery I was most excited about though, because it was my recon surgery, i.e. bilateral exchange of expanders to implants (I’ll be posting a picture story soon in the private recon group for those interested). I had my expanders in for a record time, just shy of 4 years 🤦🏻‍♀️😄 (surgery kept being postponed for various reasons) so I might be able to enter the Guinness Book of Records 😅. The thing is, I’m absolutely terrified of surgery and pretty traumatised too, due to what happened after my DMX. It took a change of surgical teams 4 years ago and lots of counselling to be able to get to this state of being ready for it again. Thanks to all my hard work and my BRILLIANT specialist team, I got there, and I can’t even express how happy I am with the results 😃. My breasts now look like my original ones, albeit perkier 😏😁. They were an absolute mess from the 4 years of expanders, but my surgeon fixed my pockets perfectly and used implants that look very natural. The whole experience, despite stress from my previous trauma, was very easy and smooth sailing. I am beyond thankful and grateful to my team (Dr Eva Nagy ♥️ and Fred 💙) because without them this wouldn’t have been possible 🙏🏻🙌🏻🍀. It might seem like something so simple, but it is so important to healing as anyone going through this (all of you) will know and understand, because it means getting my body back to what it was (or to a new normal for those not choosing recon). Actually, better than what it was because I was going to the gym for a year prior, to prepare myself physically for this, and so I am stronger than I’ve been in a long time. Silver linings everywhere 😁. 
So now, every year on this day, I do something special for myself, as a thank you to ME for everything I’ve endured. One thing this cancer taught me is that I need to prioritise myself, because I was putting myself last before all this. Well, not anymore. It’s a work in progress for sure, but I’m now putting myself at the top of my list more and more often. 
My message, especially to all the newbies, is that it does get better. It gets a whole lot better. There will be a day and time when you won’t be thinking about cancer all day, every day - believe me! There will even be a day when you’ll forget you ever had it. You do get reminded again because it’s a bit of a ‘gift that keeps giving’ situation, but you find the strength again and keep moving on. It might not always seem like it and I definitely encourage venting and getting all the anger out, and asking for help when ever you need it!! However, there are lots of beautiful days as well ☺️. 
One more piece of advice: choose your medical team very carefully, because they will either break you or make you (speaking from experience). You are responsible for your life and wellbeing, but with the right medical team, you will have the support you need to do wonders. So, don’t rush this decision. Do research before choosing, and always seek a second or even third opinion if it doesn’t feel right. 
*Pictured are myself, the day after my surgery so please don’t judge me for looking so terrible, and my beautiful magician of a surgeon on the right 🌸. 

Lots of love and fantastic health to all 🧿🪷♥️,

M Xxx
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Comments

  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,390
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    Congratulations. It’s always good to hear from people who are happy and positive after cancer. And it’s a good photograph, a perfect partnership. 
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,554
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    Thank you so much, @Afraser 🌷. I do like to share positive news becase God knows we need it 😊. I like the photo too because although I look very tired, I’m also hugely relieved and very happy, largely due to that lovely lady next to me 😁. 

    M Xx
  • jennyss
    jennyss Member Posts: 1,980
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    Thank you @FLClover for a wonderful post and positive message! Soon I will be coming up to my seventh year cancerversary.


  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,336
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    Congratulations. Wonderful you are doing so well. Best wishes to you ❤️ 
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,742
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    That's fantastic news, @FLClover and thank you for the update .... SO good to know that you are so happy with the surgery - and what a gorgeous pic of you & your surgeon xx.   

    Is she on the Central Coast or Sydney?

    I am now 6 years since the end of active treatment - and weaning myself off the AIs!  

    What special thing did you do on your anniversary day to 'treat yourself'?

    take care & all the best xx

  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,579
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    @FLClover
    Woo hoo! 
    It's been 4 years already!  That's a very long time for an expander but you're out the other side, looking relieved and glad for the outcome!
    You will certainly inspire others to realize that as hard as it is some days there's an outcome that puts all that angst behind!

    Take care and best wishes 
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,882
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    Fantastic news @FLClover, so pleased it is all done and you are happy with the outcome.  Not a bad photo at all given you were in hospital.  I do like the centre line drawing - wish my surgeon had made some marks as he was a lousy freehand tailor !  😁  Rest and relax and let your beautiful beach do its magic, too.  Hugs to you, my friend, and to your delightful daughter.  💖💖  Be in touch.
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,554
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    You’re very welcome @jennyss 🤗. I know when I first joined this forum, I was desperately looking for posts like this, so I’m happy to share 😁. 
    Your news is also fantastic as 7 years is a long time! 👏🏻🙌🏻🍀. And 7 is a lucky number ☺️. Be sure to treat yourself, you deserve it ♥️🌸. 
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,554
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    Thank you @Cath62! 🤗 It’s not without its hurdles, but it’s worth it ☺️. Hope you’re doing really well too 🙏🏻♥️. 
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,554
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    Thank you @arpie 🤗. I’m elated with my results! They’re way better than I ever thought possible 😀. My surgeon is in the new Health Hub as part of NSP, Sydney. She was also at Gosford for a while which was convenient for me, but now only in Sydney, although I’d travel across the country to see her cos she’s that good 🙌🏻😊. 

    Woohoo for you too for 6 years! 👏🏻🙌🏻. We really need to celebrate the positives 🎉. 
    And I too have weaned myself off the AIs. I had to, due to high blood pressure and other nasty side effects. It wasn’t an easy decision at all.  I’ll be seeing an integrative oncologist to see if she can suggest anything else, but I doubt I’ll go back on the ones I’ve already tried. I am making massive lifestyle changes though 🤞🤞. 

    I took my girl and myself out for dinner, and I’ll buy myself something once I’m back at work 🥰♥️😘. 
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,554
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    Thank you @iserbrown! 🌸. 

    I wouldn’t recommend 4 years with expanders to anyone 😄, so I am beyond relieved and happy that they’re finally out and the implants in 😃☺️. 
    You ladies gave me a lot of hope a few years ago, so I’m paying it forward to the newbies 😁. We need as much encouragement as possible in these ‘journeys’ of ours. And there’s definitely very favourable outcomes possible, we just need to believe and persevere ♥️. 

    I hope you’re doing really well 🥰🥰. 
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,554
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    Thank you @June1952! 🌹. 

    You have an eye for detail like me, since you noticed my line running down 😄😄. That line does not wash off easily either! 😅. But let me say, I am so happy I had my surgeon and not yours 😬🤭. 

    I am definitely relaxing, and will be going for some beach therapy as soon as I can drive again ☀️😀. 

    Big hugs to you too from both me and E 🤗♥️😘. 
  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,159
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    Hi @FLClover
    long time no hear!
    so glad to hear you are doing well and moving forward
    👏👏👏
    🎉🎉🎉
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,554
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    Hi @Julez1958! Thank you! 🤗

    Yes, I hadn’t logged on in a bit. Life outside breast cancer got a bit busy I guess. I still get tired more easily from all the treatments etc, but so happy to have this hurdle over and done with 🙌🏻😊. 

    Hope you’re doing well! 🌸

    M Xx
  • Tri
    Tri Member Posts: 68
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    Thank you @FLClover I always appreciate these posts about survivorship - it’s very generous of you and encouraging to those of us who are still in active treatment- all the very best to you 🌺🌻