Behind the LGFB Breast Care Program


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Behind the LGFB Breast Care Program

March 22, 2019 | by Allie Wiebe

 

We surveyed women with cancer, like Yasmin, Eleanor and Julie, and found more than 60 percent weren't aware of the best options and fittings for post-surgery, treatment, and recovery. LGFB wants to change that. With the help of Anita Canada, LGFB has launched a new breast care component of the workshops, providing women with the information and support they need.

Learn more about the new breast care program here.




YASMIN

When Yasmin was diagnosed with breast cancer more than 15 years ago, treatment included both a lumpectomy and mastectomy. She chose not to undergo reconstruction – a choice she would still make today. 

Although confident in her decision to forego reconstruction, she felt at a loss with the information she was given about post-surgical prosthesis and bra options. After an uncomfortable and impersonal prosthesis fitting, Yasmin “struggled to feel normal.” She attended a Look Good Feel Better workshop which she says was, “very comforting and uplifting,” and helped her get back some of her confidence. However, it wasn’t until she was given the proper information and fitted for her first well-suited bra and prosthetic insert that Yasmin felt, “beautiful and whole again.”

Today, Yasmin does not hesitate to strut a pool deck without her prosthesis. She has strong self-confidence and feels wonderful about herself and her body. She says a big part of getting to this point has been the support she received early on.

“I am not the same young woman I was when I was first diagnosed – I am 100% confident in who I am. But back then, I needed the help. I am so happy that LGFB is expanding their resources to include breast care information – if I had this option when I attended my workshop, I really would have had the whole package.”

 

ELEANOR

“Being active has been the most beneficial thing for me, both in my physical and mental recovery after breast cancer. If I could share one piece of advice with women facing life after cancer, it would be to find something within your physical ability that you love to do, and make that a part of your social life and self-care.”

For Eleanor, that something was dragon boat racing. She started the first ‘Dragons Abreast’ team for breast cancer survivors in Toronto in 1997. When Eleanor began her treatment for breast cancer in 1989, there weren’t many widely-known bras and prosthesis options for women who had undergone double mastectomies. Eleanor remembers, “All you were given was a little beanbag to put in a brassiere – but let me tell you, things have changed!” 

After those initial experiences, Eleanor has been able to explore what is now available to women – including sports bras and swimsuits. “Once I had gotten past the first year or two, I began to feel like it was possible to feel complete again. It’s such an individual experience, but anything that helps you feel ‘normal’ is so valuable. Every woman should have the opportunity to feel like herself.” Today, she still enjoys summers on the lake with her Dragons Abreast teammates.

Eleanor believes that it’s not only the availability of options but also the way in which information is offered that can really make the difference. “Having the opportunity to have the information presented to you sensitively and intellectually helps so much when selecting bras post-surgery. Being treated like a woman – and a human – is so important to the whole experience,” she explains.

 

JULIE

When diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30, Julie decided to get involved in the cause as much as possible. Her desire to support other women through their own cancer experiences led her to leave her job to open her own shop, dedicated to women diagnosed with breast cancer and specializing in post-mastectomy products. "I wanted to share my personal story to help other women overcome their diagnosis," she says, "and it was also an opportunity for me to turn something negative into a positive adventure." 

Today, her mission both professionally and personally, is to inform, advise and inspire women affected by breast cancer. "It's a very beautiful and positive thing to do," she shares.

In 2013, while going through her second diagnosis of breast cancer, Julie attended a Look Good Feel Better workshop and experienced its positive impact. "It's so much more than makeup, tips, and products - the real bonus is connecting with other women living the same thing and not feeling alone anymore."

Julie felt the power of LGFB as a participant 6 years ago and still feels it today, as a workshop volunteer. She is thrilled that LGFB has introduced a new segment of the workshop devoted to breast care. As a breast cancer survivor, Julie knows that, "the information shared during the workshop, and more specifically during this segment, is absolutely essential for all women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It really was a missing piece."

 


Learn more about the new breast care program here.






Allie Wiebe

Look Good Feel Better Blog






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