Let me just say...I love the picture above. To me it says, Hey there girl (to myself)...Remember me??? You can still be sexy even through all of the scars and surgeries and I am going to prove that to you...just put me on...and look in the mirror...and smile at yourself. You deserve it!!!! One of the best things about this journey...has been the people it has lead me to. There are many reasons why I write in this blog. Some of those reasons are selfish as its therapeutic for me, however, the reason why I started this blog was to help other women. In that process, I have come in contact with some of the most incredible and inspiring women. I don't believe any of us ever intended to be on the path that we are currently on. While cancer certainly causes a world of anxiety and stress like no other...it also has the ability to send us on an unintended path.
One of those unintended paths came from a woman who reads my blog named Dana Donofree. I have been contacted by a few people who have asked if I would promote their website, or their products on my blog. I have kindly turned them all down because I don't want my blog to become a market place for various products. However, this was different. I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't share this with you...and I mean that. I received an email from Dana a few weeks ago. I wont go in to the details of the email but she found my blog through another site and we started to relate to each other on so many levels. Another "breast" friend who shares an experience with me, we have a lifetime of similarities ahead, and share a bond that only us breasties understand.
When Dana emailed me informing me of her bra line, at first I thought, I don't really need another bra. Then I visited her website and quickly realized, that yes, in fact, I do need another bra. Why? Because there aren't any products that are made for women who have had mastectomies that are cute, sexy, and comfortable. Sure, I have my new bra's from Victoria's Secret that I was thrilled to go out and buy because they make me feel good. Ask me what I have been sleeping in since my exchange surgery? Okay...here is my answer...my binder bra! That ugly, huge, ridiculously tight binder bra. I was sleeping in this because its all I had that made me feel like things were being held in place. Was it comfortable - no. Was it sexy? I am not even going to answer that question. It is quite possibly the most hideous piece of material ever sewn together and I am quite confident you all will agree. I even went to a store shortly after my last surgery in search of something I could wear at night that was even remotely attractive. Bless that woman's heart who was bringing me all of these bras. I am pretty sure she saw the look of disappointment and hurt in my eyes when she realized I was a 34 year old being fitted for a bra only my grandma should be seen in. I am not trying to offend anyone when I say that but it is the truth. I am 34, I want to feel good about what I am wearing. I don't want cancer to make me feel any older than I already feel with the bone pains and what I feel is the onset of arthritis from stupid medications. I may not feel 34 on the inside, but I want to feel like that on the outside. Regardless of your age, you deserve to feel comfortable and to feel GREAT about yourself - especially after everything you have been through.
So what does any of this have to do with MY NEW BRA!!!! So, I received my AnaOno bra in the mail last week. I chose "The Rachel" in black/champagne. I opened my package completely surprised and even more exciting for the ridiculously adorable packaging it came in. I don't know, something about that cute little box made me feel so special and happy inside. Its the little things, I cant help it!!! What was obviously more important than the packaging, was the comfort and appearance of the bra. At first glance, the bra was WAY cuter than I imagined it would be. I am an underwire girl. I have worn underwires my entire life so moving away from that was a huge step for this gal. I couldn't help but immediately put this bra on to see if it lived up to everything I read on her website. It absolutely did!!! Within 5 minutes, I forgot I even had a bra on. It is made of a very soft lace and mesh like material. The band has a really soft velvety touch to it that leaves you forgetting you even have a bra on. The fit was perfect, the comfort was perfect, and surprisingly...I felt sexy in it. For me, this is the perfect, everyday bra. I find my underwire bras get uncomfortable or start to feel too tight as the day goes on. I end up tugging on the band trying to stretch it out and adjusting the straps to find a permanent comfort with them. Though underwire push ups bras make my foobies look amazing...they are not ideal for everyday comfort. Since my surgery, I have tried several bras. By the end of the day I have indentations on my ribs. Not good. Also, I have a lot of scar tissue build up that forms around my left fold in to my ribs. If any of you know anything about scar tissue and how it feels, the last thing you want is something pushing on it. That is one of the things that I absolutely love about this bra. For example, I am wearing it right now and I am consciously trying to feel it on me, and I just don't. It's THAT comfortable.
The reason I felt so compelled to write an entire blog about...A BRA...is because it's that amazing. You deserve to treat yourself to something that is comfortable, that will make you feel pretty, and that makes you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror. If I find something worth sharing...I will...I am not going to keep this secret from you. I encourage you to visit Dana's website and read more about her story and why she chose to begin this line of bras. I know, for me, it makes my bra feel all the more special knowing it was designed by someone who completely understands what we have been through because they too have been there.
"Dana Donofree and Jill Conley both have a dream to help young survivors feel supported, either with beautiful, comfortable lingerie or various kinds of financial assistance during treatment. With every purchase you make, AnaOno will contribute 10% of the sale to Jill's Wish. You get to feel gorgeous while supporting another woman in her battle"
How amazing is that??? Here is a link to the website and a few pictures of the bras below.
Here I am looking at the day on this blog post...11/7. One year ago today I woke up knowing that I was going to walk in to that doctor's office, and knowing that I was going to be told I didn't have breast cancer. The hardest part of this for me, was that I had never been so confident about anything in my life. I had never been so sure. I am not sure if it was because I had this notion that there was just NO way I had cancer...NO WAY not me...or if I was trying to throw a blanket over a harsh reality to comfort me for the time being. This day last year is one of the most vivid moments through out my journey. I am not sad today. I thought I would be. I thought I would feel those feelings again, but right now I don't. I wanted to write this blog today to document how 1 year feels for me and next year when I turn 2 I'll do the same...and so on until I am old and gray in my rocking chair. Though there is a lot of time left in this day and my feelings may alter as the day goes on...in this very moment...the present moment...I choose to feel blessed that I have today. I choose to feel blessed that I have been given another year to survive.