28 Jun, 2020 @ 09:00
1 min read

Lisa Burgess goes under the knife for reconstructive breast surgery after battling cancer

Lisa A
MATES: Lisa and her late friend Alli (left)

I WAS apprehensive attending La Cala medical clinic for vital blood tests and arrived in full PPE, imagining I would be entering a scene from Contagion. I need not have worried, everything was smooth and orderly.

The tests came back with no trace of the ‘Big C’ but I do need injections for my lazy bone marrow and weak immune system. I am used to being a human pin cushion but this large needle the pharmacist produced was better suited for skewering chicken. Joffrey expertly jabbed me in the stomach as I held back the tears.

Talking about tummies, after the stabbing by consent, I proceeded to Materno Hospital in Malaga to meet the Chief of Surgery. I still need a mammogram and ultrasound this month at Costa del Sol Marbella Hospital before I get the all-clear.

My oncologist told me they would take fat from my stomach and put it into my right boob. I was looking forward to a washboard stomach but Chief said the fat would be taken from my upper back explaining it was ‘better fat’. It’s a shorter operation with fewer complications. I just have to decide whether I want a vertical or horizontal scar. 

Lisa A
MATES: Lisa and her late friend Alli (left)

I will have this first reconstructive operation in November on my right boob and if all goes well then I will have four more operations including lifting and shaping the left one in April 2021. No bras for me next summer, I will be bouncing around La Cala beach like Pamela Anderson.

I have needed much patience and a bulldog attitude since being diagnosed nearly two years ago. This was sorely compounded by the profoundly sad loss of my best friend and former Irish top model, Alli MacDonnell, last year.

Alli, aged 37, was a devoted mother of four and I met her through my television work in Ireland decades ago. We shared many great escapades on the Dublin scene, some of which would make your toes curl. I miss her every single day. 

Since cancer invaded my life there have been a few mad yet fleeting moments when I wanted to throw in the towel, not unlike Shakespeare’s Prince Hamlet who considered suicide to escape his troubles. He uttered those immortal words: “To be or not to be: that is the question.”

For me, that is OUT of the question as I look ahead to a possible cancer-free future and frankly, one hell of a party.

Staff Reporter

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