Sexy Survivor Lingerie Part 2

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By JEAN CRISS

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This is a continuation of the December 6th, 2015 article about Sexy Survivor Lingerie for the Holidays.  Back in November I traveled to New England and visited a few business colleagues, now breast cancer survivors.  I interviewed three survivors with unique situations having endured breast cancer treatments and inquired about their therapies and recovery.  Most importantly, what they wore during recovery and would have preferred to have worn – these stories will highlight their needs and intimate apparel desires.

The first survivor story is from Kerry.  Her story is so remarkable it gives you hope.  Within a 6 month window, she endured a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery (invasive ductal carcinoma, stage 1, in her right breast) and also recovered from advanced hip replacement surgery  over long weekends.  That’s what many working women do – they pull themselves up off the mat and don’t look back, they just move forward.  I am so proud of this gal and this is why.  Her positive attitude is like a shining star – ever so bright beyond belief.  She is an inspiration and joy to many and draws you in with hope, love and encouragement.

Kerry was diagnosed with breast cancer on only one breast but chose to have both removed and replaced with gummy bear implants.  Balance on both sides, so they would match and to pre-empt any future reoccurrence or complication, as many women do these days.  Brave and bold.  After her quick recovery with that, she also needed hip replacement surgery,   a direct anterior approach hip surgery where they only cut 4 – 6” post exterior with a 12” incision.  She was up and around within less than 24 hours and did not require any pain meds – just remarkable.  She was walking within a day and back to traveling within weeks.  You may think a guardian angel was watching over Kerry but it was her positive attitude and strength that pushed her through this ordeal.

When she thought her body was falling apart at the young age of 51 years old, she proclaims it’s amazing how you get the strength to get through the stress of it all, and while your body breaks down and you begin recovery, your mind, body and soul begins to heal.  It’s mind over matter, as she stated so eloquently.  She is unstoppable!

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This woman is  a former Media Director at a top ad agency, where we once shared mutual clientele, and now she travels the U.S. for another top publishing company and works from home.  Getting back to work and wearing comfortable undergarments was important to her well-being.  Before being diagnosed, Kerry loved to wear bras by Victoria Secrets.  Fun colors, patterns and styles were always a must!  She gave away her inventory of appr. 20+ authentic bras before surgery so that she would not be tempted to wear one of her fav wired bras, post-surgery.  Her “Top Doc” from Mass General in Boston insisted she could not wear them anymore.  So she bought a few from GAP Body and VS brands and styles.  She described the selections as limited, all solids, with no variety or lace as she would have preferred.  For panties though, she always found a sexy VS matching set!

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Several months later, she read an article while traveling to NYC and learned about the CRISSCROSS™ post-surgical brand.  Social media is great for that!  Once I learned about her diagnosis, within a week she received  a sample bra.  She was truly getting prepared, as most professional women do, for her post-op procedure and   began to plan out her business week and inform family and friends of her personal needs.  She was interested in wearing something stylish yet comfortable. Her Doc suggested she wear a traditional medical garment and then transition into garments of her choice post-op.  That’s what she did. She was amazed at the limitations in product and design for breast cancer patient undergarments.  Both her Breast Cancer and Plastic Surgeon did not “recommend specific brands” post-op or 30+ days so the decisions were left to her to shop “cancer undergarments” to meet her needs.  That seemed to be the norm many survivors see in today’s market.  Although what seems to be changing is even the big retailers have limited mastectomy products on the store shelves.  Patients’ need to find specialty boutiques or search an array of online stores for the proper undergarments – this is a long tedious process for many survivors.

So with days to spare, and an important deadline approaching, she received her CRISSCROSS bra, and set it aside.  She wore an “ugly pink surgical bra” with loops hanging down given to her by her physician.  She told me these rings had no flexibility and  felt confining.  She had a very hard time hiding the drains under her clothing as well.  Once the drains were removed she transitioned into her preferred brand and loved the comfort and ease-of-use.    She bought a few other brands afterwards including a Yummie bra by Heather Thomson and a Hanky Panky bra when she didn’t need as much support or compression.  She realized the post-60-120 day marketplace was easier to find transitional products such as sports-bras or camis as long as they did not have underwires.  Yet compression was limited.

Kerry stated; “forspecial occasions, I’d also love to find a wireless bra that provides push-up for some cleavage with certain outfits.  Since my implant surgery, I have nice perky round breasts but no cleavage – love to get that back! And lastly, I’m on Tamoxifen which gives me hot flashes, especially at night, so a fun nightgown that stays with you with you turn while sleeping with thin straps to expose as much of my arms and shoulders would be nice too. 

My dream is a black lace bra with a surprise of either a pop of color of some kind, or a sparkle would be fun!  The sexier the better! Nobody needs to know what it looks like but me and that’s what matters! After having a bilateral mastectomy, I am comfortable with myself and very happy with the results but I am still super sensitive and I want to feel as normal as possible”.  She is blessed and ready for a healthy 2016!

 

All The Breast

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