affirming LIFE! - McLean, VA

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I am a triple positive breast cancer survivor who...

I am a triple positive breast cancer survivor who just finished one year of treatment. Between a substantial weight loss (before diagnosis) and cancer treatment itself, I feel like I aged ten years. I have chosen to get a breast symmetry procedure (breast lift/reduction), SMAS facelift with platysmal tightening, upper & lower eyelift, and fat grafting to my mid face. A couple of months later I plan to have liposuction just of my saddle bag areas as there is no exercise regime that will remove that fat and I have had it all my life even when I weighed 120 (I am 5'7"). In addition to surgery, I have started using tretinoin & doing a short course of hydroquinone. I am relearning how to use makeup -- or actually how to use it correctly since I always wore too much. And I have had 1 of 2 Picosure treatments on my face, arms, & hands. My only question is if there are any breast cancer survivors who chose to have major cosmetic work done after cancer treatment. All together this is quite expensive and I know that no one can promise me that I won't get cancer again but I am just looking for some support and validation that I am not completely out of my mind because I could have a cancer recurrence. I mean it would be silly to spend all this money and then die in a year. I just thought I would dedicate this year to complete renewal & rejuvenation in every area of my life. My appearance is just one area. Overall health, business, spirituality, relationships, home, etc. are also on this rejuvenation plan. I just want to take care of myself, honor myself, be kind to myself, value myself because life is short & I have let myself go for too long (almost 30 years) & I want to rediscover passion for living & enjoy every single moment I have. Appearance is sort of an easy thing to fix compared to the other areas of my life that I want to renew so I thought I would tackle that first. Thoughts? The other question I have is how can people possibly say that I don't need a facelift? The pics I am posting after chemo/radiation are particularly unflattering but I'm looking for validation that I'm a good candidate. I interviewed 4 plastic surgeons and 2 of them said I didn't need a facelift!?!? I don't get it!

Booked for major overhaul to celebrate cancer survivorship

I have had one Picosure treatment so far on my face, hands, & arms and it worked miracles! It basically got 90% rid of everything I wanted it to. I have one more session after partial recovery from surgery. I started using tretinoin & did a 2 week course of hydroquinone and that was a major success. I had oncoplasty along with removal from my breast tumor (last year) and it was fantastic. I am now booked for SMAS/platysma facelift/necklift, fat grafting to face, breast reduction for symmetry, removal of mediport (chemo port), and upper & lower eyelift surgery on June 30. I am considering hand rejuvenation (via Voluma) and starting Botox treatments for my forehead. Other than this, I am continuing to diet and exercise and do all that I can to take care of myself & no longer take my life for granted. My justification for all this is that I want to keep working another 10-12 years and I think this will help keep age discrimination in check at least a little bit. I know that I have to keep recreating myself career-wise as I am an IT "consultant" and my field changes constantly. At least I would rather be rejected because of my skills or knowledge than my appearance. Skills are something that I will never be finished developing. Of course, one is never done with taking care of themselves either but to a certain degree I believe its easier to rejuvenate one's appearance than one's technical competence. Of course, I could just say to heck with it all and retire and move into a trailer in the woods of West Virginia but I like my life here in the suburbs of Washington DC.

Just some random pics for inspiration

One week today until surgery! Yay! I know I won't be saying yay in a week from now, lol

Tomorrow morning!!!

I have done all my research, etc., etc., etc. Now all I can do is get a good night's sleep and put trust in my Higher Power and in my surgeon and my entire medical team!!!

day 1

ouch. anesthesia was rogh. look longer than expected? Are they done?

2 weeks out

trying to upload some photos….. computer giving me a hard time…. I will be back to update this section….

more pics (still 2 weeks out)

I have already written one review but I wanted one...

I have already written one review but I wanted one to show up on Dr. Mesbahi's page. Dr. Mesbahi did an excellent job last year with my oncoplasty (I think that's the word for it) & I trusted him again with my face & other breast. I trusted him completely when it came to breast work but I wasn't sure how well he performed cosmetic facial work. I just want to say to anyone considering hiring Dr. Mesbahi for cosmetic work that he has a fantastic eye and great technical skill. He did a full face/neck/brow lift, upper/lower eye lift, reconstructive work on both breasts, fat transfer, and he removed my chemo port. It was a lot of work to do all at once but he handled it and got my insurance to approve of 2 night stay in hospital due to medical work he performed in addition to cosmetic. The $15000 quote I provided was the bulk of the cost for my face/neck lift (including his fee, Farirfax Hospital's fee, and the anesthesiologist fee). I had additional procedures which cost additional money but actually he is VERY competitive. I found cheaper plastic surgeons but I like the idea of having surgery in the hospital in case something goes wrong. A lot of surgeons don't want to deal with hospitals. I also liked that he was able to do everything at once instead of having me do the medical separate from the cosmetic. The truth is, I have to work and if he couldn't have done it all at once then I would have just skipped the elective work. I don't have time to take off for 2 separate surgeries but I did have time to give myself a full 2 weeks without any stress/responsibilities. I paid approx. $22000 for all elective procedures but as I have said I had a lot of procedures done. I don't intend to have this kind of work performed again other than perhaps some occasional filler, Botox, and skin care.

1 picture 15 days after surgery…

I will post some other pics later… like of my scars, etc., but I wanted to post one as of today, exactly 15 days after my surgery…. I am feeling ok…. In 3 weeks I am going back to the gym!!! Still taking it a little easy until then….

A month after surgery

I am so pleased with my results!

6 months post

I will share some pics that were taken about 6 months out... I am very happy with the results...
McLean Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Mesbahi did an excellent job last year with my oncoplasty (I think that's the word for it) & I trusted him again with my face! To be honest, I never EVER thought I would consider plastic surgery but when you have breast cancer you find yourself in all kinds of new situations, meeting all kinds of doctors you never thought you would have to deal with, and cancer changes you! For me, it was like I realized how much I love my life and how much I want to continue living life to the fullest! And I affirm to myself that I am worth investing in! As far as his work, I think the highest compliment was when I went for my first mammogram post treatment. The tech said "I thought you had surgery?" I said "I did" and I showed her one breast was smaller than the other. She said that was the best surgery she had ever seen. I don't think she said this just to be nice. Update: I am very pleased with his cosmetic work. I would highly recommend him to anyone for either reconstructive or cosmetic work or combination thereof. He answered all of my questions and did a fantastic job. I was concerned because he is young but he is willing to listen & doesn't speak condescendingly to you, hiding behind 40 years of experience. He has technical skill and intuitive understanding of aesthetics. He cares about his patients & his staff is responsive. There are a few appointment cancellations but he is a popular surgeon & so you have to be flexible with his schedule.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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