breast cancer Fashion Lifestyle Uncategorized

Breast Cancer and Making Black Work For Me!

August 26, 2020

Breast Cancer Reconstruction and Three Black Outfits

I had a single mastectomy for breast cancer just over two years ago. I thought I’d have reconstruction, address my physical and emotional issues that I felt had led to the cancer – mainly huge amounts of stress from my profession, significant childhood trauma and a lifetime of challenging events – and that I would be able to get on with a pretty much normal life.

Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me, this was not to be the case, so over two years later I am currently recovering from my fourth reconstruction surgery… the first of which was badly botched.

Reconstruction – regardless of it being botched – is a complicated and multi-faceted process but I don’t think people are aware of it. It mainly affects women so maybe that’s why there really is so little known about the complexities and need for multiple surgeries to get things even close to right. It’s another female thing left unspoken about. For me, it’s taken patience to a whole new level.

I’ve gone very contemporary with these black cotton paper-bag pants which were perfect for a trip up the coast from Wollongong to Sydney for the follow-up to the surgery performed just over a week ago. I paired the black and white animal print top and my black cocoon coat with my striped heels for a neat and tidy, but sassy look.

Yes, I went in for a shorter haircut prior to the surgery and unfortunately it’s flopped here as these pics were taken in the afternoon … look below at pics I took earlier in the morning for a better idea of where I was heading with the hair!

I wouldn’t be surprised if I decide to go back to my longer hair and will enjoy using some extensions if that situation arises in the near future.

Trying out the black jeans look …

Between the dreaded C-19 and now the operation recovery period, a more casual aesthetic is really all I’ve been feeling like wearing.

I invested in dark black denim and dark blue denim skinny jeans and they’ve come in handy for some easy wearing outfits. I wore this out the weekend before last.

You’ve seen this cute black jacket before and I thought it worked well with the black jeans while the little top did double time and the shoes I’ve owned for years too.

I have worked hard to remove from my wardrobe the things that I no longer wear or that no longer serve me but there’s been quite a lot that I’ve kept and intend to use and if I don’t use it then out it will go.

My daughter and her wife have come to the rescue and they have offered to take the clothes and what they don’t want they will list for sale and of course they can keep the proceeds!

Last But Not Least!

Since I’d cut the hair I thought I’d try out the middle part thing which is a bit different from my usual left of centre (like my politics, although that hasn’t changed!) – not so sure it worked but a change is as good as a holiday!!

I always love a military coat and so this old black one needed to get some use as winter draws to a close here in Australia – this time I wore it with a cutout black jumper and dark denim skinny jeans (not really on trend but I’m always behind the times!)

I wore this just a few days after the surgery and I really wasn’t feeling too flash but I thought a trip out might be the thing for a bit of a boost.

I’ve found the process I’ve been on a fairly solitary and difficult one although I’m grateful for my courage, resilience and independence, along with my strong spiritual beliefs.

I understand that the view of me as vulnerable by those closest to me isn’t one which sits comfortably with them and I’m okay with that and happily accept any support that is offered. One thing I’ve learnt is that my love and support of myself is really the most important thing and I intend to celebrate that whenever I can!

What Else Is New?

Baked a chocolate hazelnut cake for a relative’s birthday, lots of lovely flowers together with kind thoughts and lovely cat cuddles from Odin and Loki.

Thank you for joining me in my little corner of the web and know that I’m chuffed that some of the most delightful people in the world come in here and make contact – I appreciate every one of you!!

Donna 🧚🏻‍♀️❤️🐝

  • Fashion Schlub
    August 26, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    Oh I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had a rough time with the breast reconstruction(s) – and cancer, of course. I wasn’t aware. Surgery is such a life-sucking thing and to have it repeatedly to fix someone else’s mistakes, well…that’s just awful 🙁

    You certainly wouldn’t know to look at you that you’ve struggled with such physical challenges – you look incredible!

    And yes, cancer is a hard way to learn the lesson that really…the only one we REALLY can rely on is ourselves.

    Hoping you feel as good as you look!

    xoxo Bettye

    • donnadoesdresses
      August 26, 2020 at 10:12 pm

      Aww!! That’s so nice of you to say, Bettye, I appreciate your kind words! The multiple operations were to fix the Dr’s mistake but also because it’s just not spoken of that reconstruction is not a straightforward process and multiple operations are frequently the way it goes. I may add this to my post. Yes the self reliance is nothing new to me! Lol

  • Fashion Schlub
    August 26, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    Damn! I left a comment and computer went NO! I CAN’T! Don’t you hate when you write something and you like it and then it’s gone and you try to recreate it and the second version is NEVER as good as the first? Anyway…

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve had to go through all that – the cancer, the multiple surgeries. Surgery is just so life-sucking, I can’t imagine having to do it over and over again, especially when THEY were at fault, ugh. But…I hope by now you feel as good as you look, cuz you LOOK fantastic!

    xoxo Bettye

    • donnadoesdresses
      August 26, 2020 at 10:14 pm

      Both comments came through – and I love your ‘Little Britain’ reference.

      • Fashion Schlub
        August 27, 2020 at 3:23 pm

        what’s the Little Britain reference ?

        • donnadoesdresses
          August 28, 2020 at 9:20 pm

          Oh sorry, Little Britain was a totally inappropriately hilarious British comedy duo that was extremely popular here in the 2000’s and they had a comedy skit where there was an individual who would respond with “computer says no!” … anyway you’d have to see it and it may not appeal to you but I just thought that was your subliminal reference lol

          Donna 🧚🏻‍♀️❤️🐝

  • BBYCGN, Tamara
    August 26, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    I am sorry for your struggles and you look beautiful as always. I adore your haircut, too. You are an inspiration!

    • donnadoesdresses
      August 26, 2020 at 11:45 pm

      Oh thank you Tamara – you don’t need to be sorry for me as I was just wanting people to know that these things aren’t sorted and resolved with the snap of your fingers. I’m ok and plenty of others have had it worse – but I certainly appreciate your kind support!!

  • Nancy
    August 27, 2020 at 6:04 am

    Oh I really hope this was the last surgery for you. Love your military coat and what a amazing cake you made! I had a few years of doubting of I wanted long or shorter hair. Now I am sore I want it long!

    • donnadoesdresses
      August 27, 2020 at 6:06 am

      I’m hoping it’s the last too .. but no guarantees!! Yes, I change up the length and colour of my hair all the time and I’m glad you’re enjoying yours!! Enjoy the rest of your week, Nancy!! 🧚‍♀️❤️🐝

  • Autumn Zenith
    August 27, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Black is appears as it does because it not a colour per se (in the sense that red, blue, green, etc is), but because it absorbs all of the other colours without reflecting any of them back out. In a way, I feel it is a very apt parallel to the medical struggles that some of us face, whatever they may be, throughout our lives and the ways in which we absorb, internalize and hold onto everything, often letting little out. We are stoic and determined, unwavering in our commitment to our health, and warriors who like the dark of night when black reigns, house strength and determination in great abundance.

    Many hugs to you, my dear friend,
    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    • donnadoesdresses
      August 27, 2020 at 10:41 pm

      I must say you are, as always dear Autumn, absolutely spot on!! And yet in the last few weeks I have released soo much – it’s been incredible really and this post is part of it I think!!
      Thank you for your hugs of support – things will get better!!

  • donnadoesdresses
    August 31, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Well good luck – went through the tissue expander and here I am after operation 4 not convinced it looks anything more than Frankenstein- and yes I get the god stuff but I wasn’t discussing that in this post, I’m ranting about aesthetics …
    thank you for your comment, dancer us everywhere and you’d luck with yours!


  • donnadoesdresses
    August 31, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    You have followed my old site which from over a year ago.

  • indianeskitchen
    September 2, 2020 at 9:52 am

    I hope you get to feeling better soon! Surgery is never fun but it sounds like its been awful for you, so sorry Donna! Now, as for the part in the middle, I think it makes you look younger! Your hair always looks good!

    • donnadoesdresses
      September 2, 2020 at 9:12 pm

      Well you’ve made my day, Diane!! Thank you for your good wishes and the lovely compliment!! Hope you’re having a good week!! 🧚‍♀️❤️🐝

  • Vanity And Me Style
    September 2, 2020 at 10:10 am

    I hope the reconstruction works out ok Donna. A blow after what you’ve already been through. I love the new hair length. Like a dark Marilyn Monroe. And your lucky to be able to wear black. I’m toying with having a final dabble this year. See if I can get that colour to be my friend! xx

    • donnadoesdresses
      September 2, 2020 at 9:14 pm

      That’s so kind of you to say, Laurie!! The new length is something different – I like changing things around. The colours you wear are perfect for your gorgeous fair complexion and you always look chic and elegant!! Enjoy the rest of your week! 🧚‍♀️❤️🐝

  • Lizzie
    September 4, 2020 at 8:24 pm

    I hope that everything goes well with the reconstruction!


    • donnadoesdresses
      September 6, 2020 at 10:07 pm

      Oh thank you – me too!!

      I’ve really had enough and I’ve told the universe I’m well and truly ready to bloody move on!!

      Hope your safe with all this Covid and now bushfires over there .. hard times, Lizzie!! Sending love!


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