Grab your favorite drink and cozy up, because it’s time to celebrate another Lulalu Lady of the Month!
Each month, we share stories of bold women in our community to showcase their drive and perseverance with whatever life throws their way. We can’t wait for you to meet Stacey, and hope you feel as inspired by her story as we do.
Remember to share your own story with us (or a story of a woman you love), for a chance to be our next Lulalu Lady of the month.
This is Stacey’s story.
Tell us about yourself. What makes you, you?
I just turned 50 this year. I take pride in the fact that I live a very healthy lifestyle. I eat very clean, keep my drinking to a minimum, and I am a workout fanatic. I enjoy time with my friends, and live by and love the beach and ocean.
But first and foremost I am a wife and a mom. My twins are turning 21 this year. It’s hard for me to understand where the time goes. As a woman who comes from a family of women affected by breast cancer I feel so lucky to be healthy and alive and getting the most out of life.
Is there an important challenge you've faced and conquered?
My maternal grandmother and her sister both had breast cancer and had their lives cut very short due to the disease. My two aunts both battled breast cancer. One twice, the other eventually lost her battle at an early age. My own mother got breast cancer in her early 40s. She is a warrior and survived and is healthy and strong at 73.
I always figured I would get breast cancer. When my twins were born I was 100% sure there was no way I was going to let breast cancer into my life and affect my family if there was any way I could prevent that. I had genetic testing done and was not surprised at all to find out I was carrying the BRCA gene mutation.
As soon as I felt the time was right to handle my twins while having surgery, I jumped on the chance to have a double prophylactic mastectomy. I was 35 years old and it was 2006. Most of my friends, although supportive, did not understand what I was doing.
I had big beautiful breasts for my whole life. Now, at 35, I had no nipples and oddly shaped implants. The truth is, they served me well. They were in for 10 years before things started to go wrong. I felt as if I was battling an autoimmune disease every day. The implants started feeling weird and looking weirder.
My chest was tight, and I couldn’t take a deep breath. I then found out that the textured implants I had put in were on a voluntary recall due to the fact that they were actually causing a type of cancer called BIA-ALCL, or anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
How do you tell someone who has done everything to prevent cancer not to worry about something that may cause cancer in your body? I also found out around the same time about breast implant illness. These implants are made of silicone, with toxic chemicals that can leak into your body. It was the only explanation as to why I felt awful for so many years yet no doctor could tell me why.
During the next five years I saw many different doctors. Blood tests would come up with nothing that showed I was unhealthy. Every doctor told me not to worry, that the incidents of cancer due to the textured implants are extremely low, but that did nothing to ease my anxiety.
They also told me that I would regret taking the implants out and going flat, saying I would be unhappy with my appearance. It was hard to find any support from the medical field for what I was going through. I had to be my own health advocate. I did my research and was amazed to find so many other women going through the same thing.
My research led me to Dr. David Rankin in Jupiter, Florida. This amazing plastic surgeon solely takes OUT implants and the capsule surrounding them in order to make sure all of the affected tissue is out of your body. I had my explant surgery and thankfully, my tissue samples came back from the lab and I do not have cancer.
I am flat. Completely flat. It’s a big change for me, yet I have not been happier than I am right now. I’m owning and loving my new look. And although I’m still recovering from the surgery, I feel better than I have in a long time and the future is looking bright. I hope and pray for my children that through research and technology this is something they won’t have to deal with.
How has shopping with Lulalu positively impacted your life? Which bra is your favorite and why?
I came upon Lulalu when looking for options for very small and flat-chested women. The bras are beautiful. I have read reviews from women who are flat like me and they feel wonderful in Lulalu bras. I want to feel sexy in my new shape and the Lulalu bra helps me feel that way. The Callie wireless lace bra is my favorite. It’s beautiful, sexy, and has padded cups to give me the outline of a breast.
What is your favorite thing about the brand as a whole?
There’s not much out there for petite women and even less for petite women with flat chests. I love that Lulalu caters to this.
Any tips or words of wisdom to help other Lulalu Ladies feel inspired or empowered?
Bad things happen to everyone. There is nobody that can escape difficult situations in life. The best thing you can do for yourself is to keep a positive attitude and be happy for the things you do have. Although I have been through many surgeries it has all been preventative and I have my health. I feel so lucky for that, and look more at the bright side of everything.
Is there a social media channel, blog post or website you have that you’d like us to share with others on the email?
@Stacey__golden (that’s a double underscore) on Instagram.
Thank you for sharing your story, Stacey. We’re so glad you’re a part of our community.