October is a month of ‘giving’ for Linea Intima. We have our Get a Lift, Give a Lift promotion plus we donate a dollar for every bra sold during the month, to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. A recent Toronto Sun article states “Research shows on average, 62 Canadian women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day.”
Those of you who know me, know the battle against breast cancer is a cause that is very close to me in more ways than one. First it was my private fight against the disease with my mother when she was diagnosed. Together we faced the lumpectomy on her left breast and all the treatments which followed. I am happy to say it’s been twenty-two years and she’s done well.
A second experience, through my friendship with a very dear customer at our Richview store, strengthened my resolve for the cause and prompted me to start doing mastectomy fittings at Linea Intima. Because she trusted us so much with her bra-fittings, she asked me to accompany her for a prosthetic fitting on her left breast. Living that experience with her – the cold, medical atmosphere of the prosthesis store launched my journey to get our stores certified and set up to provide a kinder, gentler, more comfortable mastectomy fitting service for women. It was a very long road but so worthwhile. I learned a lot from our customers along the way, much of it humbling – patience, understanding, compassion and pain are all part of the process.
My good friend from Richview went on to have her second breast removed and many years later lost her battle. There are many stories like hers, but thankfully many more which have happy endings, where life goes back to normal. That’s when I get to hear stories like, "I ran to catch the bus and forgot I was even wearing a prosthesis".
I know this blog might be hard for some of you to read, so I’d like to share my newest success story.
Last week we were helping a customer at our Bayview store and she confided that she credits our expert bra-fitting service with saving her life. The new bra was bothering her under her breast and when she touched the spot she discovered a hard area. Her doctor had it checked and it was indeed a cancer growth, which she had removed. She is going through treatments now but is convinced that without that proper fitting bra she would have not discovered the cancer.
Please remember to check your breasts every month. When you are familiar with your body you can instantly feel any abnormality. We take for granted that our family and friends all know this simple fact, but it is better to remind them, as I hope I’ve reminded you.
This wasn’t an easy blog to write. But then life isn’t easy and breast cancer isn’t easy. The best we can do is be there for one another – to listen, share information, laugh and cry together and provide comfort when it’s needed.
I think sharing our stories can give each of us more strength. I look forward to reading about yours.