Mastectomy swimwear designer Clover Lewis reflects on reaching her seven-year anniversary from her diagnosis of a rare form of breast cancer...
''Today I am celebrating my eight-year Clear-versary!"
I have reached my seven-year milestone being clear of aggressive triple-negative breast cancer.
Breast cancer is my worst personal tragedy. It has also inspired experiences which fuelled my drive, creativity and will to live!
Today I am reflecting on all of this, including the excitement of seeing my designs come to life and raise the confidence of women with cancer-related breast surgeries, and winning awards for designing mastectomy swimwear.
Though I couldn’t say this for several years, I can now say I couldn't have started my dream career without my cancer diagnosis (a strange, terrifying and paradoxical gift).
My mastectomy swimwear brand now connects me with women from all over the world who share my experience, and desire to beautiful and confident in swimwear after mastectomy and reconstruction.
My perspective did not change overnight, though - in fact, it is ongoing work.
My Buddhist practice helps me to allow the pain and fear of dying to surface, and enables me to sit with difficult emotions, instead of fighting them or trying to push it away.
I am sustained by the love of the best man in the world, my family, the most amazing friends, the beautiful and wonderfully diverse women in my global breast cancer community, who give me hope.
It is a real privilege to know I am supported- at all times.
In the years after hearing the words that no one ever wants to hear, I am still working out how to live after cancer. And this takes time.
I’m grateful I have the time to discover self-love for my post-cancer body, to embrace the strength of vulnerability and make my living creatively.
So each day I can laugh, hug my loved ones, behold beauty, and create an impact on other women's lives with my post surgery swimwear, is a testimony of how precious life is.
I'm excited to continue to embrace every opportunity that comes my way. I hope that this encourages you to do the same?
And while I have your attention - Please check your breasts - and live your own beautiful life!''
Clover, Creator of Clover Lewis Swimwear
Clover started designing mastectomy swimsuits and bikinis after struggling to find a stylish, beautiful post-surgery bikini to wear on her first holiday after a breast cancer diagnosis. The holiday? A trip to Bali to overcome her fears by learning how to scuba-dive.
She made her first mastectomy bikini, got her PADI diving certificate wearing it, at that moment personally realised the connections between body image, clothing confidence for women with breast cancer.
So despite the expectation to carry on with “life as normal” after cancer, this experience had a profound effect on Clover. It became the fuel for her mission creating beautiful swimwear for women to feel good about their bodies so they can swim again.
Through Clover Lewis Swimwear, Clover helps women feel body confident… and feel like they belong on a beach.