express yourself

Have I told you about my mission? Don’t worry, it doesn’t involve pink feather boas or making booby inspired cupcakes. I’ve told you many stories on this blog of what helped me get through my #sexybreastcancer diagnosis and ongoing treatments, well the thing is – there is one I haven’t mentioned yet. It’s about a bra. Let me explain, before I went into surgery for my double mastectomy, lymph node removal, and first stages of reconstructive surgery, I went to a breast surgery information session at the Women’s Breast Health Centre (yes, I wanted to break free!). I was to learn in this class two important things, the first one would make me scared, and the second would provide me with immense comfort;

1) I would have two DRAINS, one attached to each breast post-surgery. These drains would have to emptied out 3 times a day, and to be monitor for infectious looking liquid (oh, ok, serenity NOW!). A home nurse (God bless them) would come over to remove them usually within a week or two. Hallelujah.

*my stomach was in knots, felt queasy but ‘ok’ I can handle that whateves…not! I had no idea this was part of the surgery/recovery

2) The most vital piece of information that I learned was that I could purchase a post-op bra to wear home from the hospital. It is made with special cotton that contains no dye, and has two removable Velcro pockets on the inside for the left and the right drains (love that word). If you didn’t have this bra you’d have to pin the drains to your newly purchased oversized sports bra or whatever you had in mind. And that would be awful.

I didn’t realize it at the time because, how could I? I was just in the beginning stages of my diagnoses and processing all the new important information and learning new crap daily, sometimes it was hourly. information overload.

Which brings me to my mission. If you would like to honour myself, my family, and the women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in our community, I encourage you to donate to my favourite charity called The Kelly Project. The Kelly Project is a phenomenal collaboration between Breast Cancer Action and Kelly’s Boutique. The goal of this project is to ensure that every woman in the Ottawa, Ontario region having a mastectomy is presented with a certificate so she can procure a post-op bra/camisol that will be at no cost to her. The Kelly project was born from a women who lost her beloved sister-in-law to breast cancer, this prompted her to want to help other women going through this life changing event by supplying them with a free post mastectomy bra. Luckily mine was covered by my health insurance. The bra costs between $60-80.

*To donate $50 and to read further information please click on this link and select the button under ‘product name’ – ‘$50 (The cost to provide one camisole through Kelly’s Project) : http://bcaott.ca/donate_online

Here’s the thing, did you know that over a 1000 women in Ottawa are diagnosed with breast cancer EACH year?!? It sucks… I know! We all know someone or have heard of someone who has been affected by this hideous disease. As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, zia, niece, cousin, friend, taxi driver, cleaner, cook, server, dreamer, stalker of Madonna’s apartment in NYC (yes, that happened over this past weekend – it’s on the block of 83rd Street – between Lexington Ave. and 2nd Ave….no biggie – there is a duplex for sale across the street for $8.3 million if you want to be her neighbour!!! I’ll post a pic at the bottom of this entry)… and the list goes on…. Among my plethora of titles I’m also the wife of a 8 year cancer survivor which I wrote about in my entry ‘sleeping sickness’ and I can say in all honesty that adding the title breast cancer patient, survivor, fighter, warrior, whatever… wasn’t even on my radar. As a person who is currently undergoing treatments, I am fortunate enough to have financial support along with a strong support system from family, friends, colleagues, parents at school/hockey/soccer, and neighbours. I chose this charity to help as many women as possible in our community. Are you with me? Come on it’s an easy one. And the amount of comfort it will bring them cannot be measured. Being fitted for the bra at Kelly’s Boutique is a comforting experience in itself,  and the firsts steps towards healing.

be Madonna's neighbour

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