Stage 2b, Australia

“I’m FLAT, FABULOUS, RADIANT, and just a little LOOPY!  My name is Lisa!  I’m 51 years old and I am riding the roller coaster called Stage 2b Grade 3 Metaplastic Breast Carcinoma (MpBC).”

I was diagnosed with this rare form of breast cancer in August 2019. Metaplastic accounts for fewer than 1% of all breast cancers. It is larger than normal, aggressive, and travels through the blood.

It starts off like any other breast cancer but changes in form to become completely different cells.  Mine were squamous cells, which the major organs of our body are lined with.  I was also diagnosed Triple Negative (TNBC) but Metaplastic has a worse prognosis and decreased survival compared to TNBC. To make matters even worse, there are currently no standardized treatment guidelines specifically for MpBC.

So, there I was with my family on 16 August 2019 being told that the future did not look bright, but my team would do everything and anything to ‘cure’ this cancer.  Here I am today, NED – no evidence of disease, after 16 months of the most intense chemotherapy regime, a bilateral mastectomy, and radiation.

Not once did I question the bilateral mastectomy, and I knew right from that first day that I wasn’t going to opt for a reconstruction.  An ‘aesthetic flat closure’ was my only option.  I love it!  I feel free!  I am proud of ME! I’m alive!  I’m living!  It has been a tough ride, and the roller coaster is still going round and round.  I know I’ll probably never get off but it’s okay.

Coco Chanel said that ‘beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself’.  My scars make me who I am today.  Not only did I choose to be flat, but I also chose to smile, to laugh, to be surrounded by friends and family, and to survive.

I really believe that we are what we choose to be!  I choose to be FLAT, FABULOUS, RADIANT, and just a little LOOPY! I choose to be ME!