For Breast Cancer Patients … a Little Joy

Strawberry Bra

Meaghan, age 27, loves her family member who has breast cancer. Meaghan has been thinking of doing something beautiful and feminine for post-surgery women.  She is motivated by love and service. I want to share her story with you ….

“I used to work for a popular lingerie store for a little over seven years and would work a lot with breast cancer patients.  It saddened me that typically we would not be able to find what the customer would want and they would leave empty-handed.  It was not so much that they left without purchasing that hit me, but more so that they came in hoping to gain their femininity back and we had nothing that would work with them.  It would really stick with me.  I would talk to close friends and tell them how I wished I could open a boutique specifically catered to women fighting breast cancer.  I pictured it being filled with glamorous items that would help bring back what they feel they lost.  I spoke of this all throughout college (working at the lingerie store during so).  Well, it got a little personal about three weeks ago when my loved one was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She is very tough and was being strong for my family, but once they would go to bed for the evening, she would call me and tell me what she was afraid of most:  Losing her breast and not feeling like a woman anymore.  
Going backwards a little, when she had her biopsy, she was in a great deal of pain and refused to take off her bra.  I sincerely blame the under-wire (working with bras for so long, I felt this was a safe assumption), because it hit her exactly where she had her biopsy.  I offered to go and get her wireless bras and she said, “Absolutely not!  They are hideous!”  This was something I heard a lot from the women that would come into the lingerie store too.  But watching her in pain, seeing her bruised for much longer than she should be and knowing how, in her heart, she was feeling like she was about to lose the one ‘object’ that defined who she is as a woman, I wanted to help her.  I wanted her to be comfortable and to feel like the most beautiful woman in the world.  
I bought her two wireless bras (two at first to see if I could do this).  And I went EVERYWHERE to find items I knew she would love.  The entire time, I did keep in mind what could be seen under tops and what would interfere with her incision and the healing process.  Not to be a broken record, but since I worked at the lingerie store for so long, they pay their employees in bras.  And boy — do I have bras!  So I studied them and looked at them to see what would be easiest for her to wash, what would not get in the way, etc.  I even went to San Francisco and went to bead store after bead store with specific items in mind.
I then got to work, making one strawberry specific and the other one very girly…  
A lot of lace and rhinestones; anything that would sparkle.  The added touch was that I sewed on the birthstones of all her loving family members to symbolize that we are all there for her during her surgery and her recovery.
She wore that one on her day of surgery and it was a hit among the nurses.  To be honest, when I saw her in the hospital bed, it brought instant tears to my eyes.  This is a woman who has never been sick since I was born … and to see her in a hospital bed brought to my mind the realization of what was happening.  My mind was brought back to smiles and strength when speaking to her nurses and gaining feedback from them about her bra.  I never realized they would be such a hit!  And it was just something I always wanted to do for those who were going through this. 
I am planning on a few other items during her recovery.  She ended up needing a partial mastectomy and is opting not to have cosmetic surgery.  Once her swelling goes down, I want to take her to find her something that will fill the void of what is missing.  I really want her to realize that breasts don’t define being a woman. I understand and, trust me, I completely understand what she is feeling.  She is always going to be the strongest woman I know in my eyes.  I have plans to make other undergarments and bras to help her get that feeling back.
This entire process has opened my eyes to other items you would never think of.  She is not allowed to lift her arms or hold things for two weeks.  How do you get dressed?  I went to many stores finding her cute button-down or zip-up options.  And, in typical Murphy’s Law fashion, it’s never easy to find what you are looking for when you need it, right?
I would love to make personalized bras for other women. To be honest, I obviously would not want to charge too much, especially considering what families deal with. I was thinking about covering the cost of the bra (unless you wish to send me one to personalize) and enough for the supplies/time to sew.  I am thinking around $100 plus shipping and handling.”
If you are interested or love someone who may find this helpful to her healing, contact Meaghan ….


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