Brave and Beautiful

A picture is worth a thousand words…..that’s how the saying goes.

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Sometimes the picture isn’t exactly what we imagine, or how we hoped.  My super sister Elle has had a big year and her journey hasn’t played out as she imagined, nor how she deserved.  You might remember from my earlier blog, Elle had her own prophylactic bilateral mastectomy earlier this year and she did it tough!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture says it all……

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OUCH!  Elle had trouble with one of her flaps, which despite all efforts, all prayers, all hopes, wishes and desires, didn’t recover and eventually the infection took over.  With multiple surgeries and skin grafts, Elle eventually lost half of her reconstructed breast.

Elle is brave and beautiful and when I asked her to share a photo of her breast today, she sent me this image….

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Elle shared this picture and I think it was actually the very first time she has taken a photo since it healed.  It made her teary, it evoked emotion and I am incredibly proud that Elle has allowed me to share it here today.  Elle has been recovering well, taking care of her body, getting back into the swing of life and showing incredible bravery along the way.

For the strangers who follow the page, the blog or stumble across it accidentally, I remind you that we share very openly and honestly here.  If the images are offensive or disturbing in any way, we don’t apologise, we don’t pretty them up, we don’t beautify reality and we share to support other women and men travelling along a similar path.  This is what Elle looks like today…..

Elle is brave and beautiful!  Most importantly, Elle has gone from being 85% likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, to probably never EVER needing to consider that diagnosis.  I remember my doctor sharing with me that I’m around 1% likely to be diagnosed since my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, which are stats that our family absolutely LOVE.

Tomorrow Elle goes back in hospital and is undergoing surgery to reconstruct her missing breast.  The medical team will insert an implant to round out Elle’s previously reconstructed breast, which was originally made using the fat and muscle from her abdomen.  I am writing this blog to remind Elle how truly awesome, brave and beautiful she is!!!

I borrowed this awesome quote from our gorgeous cousin Jodie who recently shared it.

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It’s another major surgery tomorrow for Elle and we are all sending love and hugs her way. Coincidentally, another friend of mine is undergoing her own reconstruction tomorrow too, having had both breasts removed earlier this year due to a cancer diagnosis.

Regardless of what their reconstructions look like, they are both brave and beautiful inside and out and I wish them a speedy recovery and can’t wait to hug them both again.

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