Today was a banner day even if I am so beat out and red and rashy and the whole left side of it all hurts. As of tomorrow I have 8 more to go.
One of the techs where I am being treated rocks out loud as I am just that raw and sore and miserable that I asked if they had anything I could put on as soon as I was done radiation – and he got me a sample of Biafine that did the trick. Wish I had known Biafine could be sampled – at $100 a tube it is really pricey and insurance refuses to cover it and when you contact the manufacturer to ask them why they don’t do something to make it affordable (and oh yeah it is made by Ortho Dermatologics a division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals – so if you are from Philadelphia and know any McNeils think of this), they send you back some hooey that is pharmaceutical company double talk which is almost as annoying as insurance company double talk.
My escort today was continuing the theme of Gladwyne was one of my Karens…and we giggled our way through.
Pardon the lobster photo, but even the bunny earrings can’t make this crap feel good today.
Deep breath…almost there…I need a couple of days off from everything I think…and not just the weekend.
Now that I am almost finished I will tell you who my radiation oncologist is – she’s very cool and kind of famous for her charitable contributions to breast cancer. I have had the privilege of being treated by Dr. Marisa Weiss founder of www.BreastCancer.org
As this part of treatment draws to a close, I have to say once again I am humbled by the love of my friends, family, and sweet man – you helped me find my strength.
A thousand simple thank yous. I am blessed to have you in my life.
Another interesting thing to note – via twitter and a secret habit of watching Real Housewives of New York City, I noticed that one of the wifey types was developing a line of undergarments – Jill Zarin (Her website is www.jillzarin.com – WordPress is still wonky and I have been having issues for a couple of days entering hyperlinks – so much for preformatted HTML code, right?).
One of the things most lacking in this dealing with breast cancer process are TRULY comfortable and attractive as well as soft and supporting shaped camisoles (NO underwires)- which I now understand why they are important as red and raw as I am . If you go to a custom lingerie maker like Gie Gie in Paoli,PA you can get things, but the reality is they are incredibly expensive and out of touch with reality as far as what most women can afford as they pay for treatment.
I have hated feeling like a sagging old mountain woman ( sort of like Chloris Leachman’s character in “A Girl Named Sooner” circa 1975). And Gie Gie in Paoli is definitely out of my price range given the research friends did for me. I found one slightly shaped cami at WalMart but it has so much spandex in it that right now it hurts to get into it.
So I sent a tweet to Jill Zarin and followed up with an e-mail. I was impressed she replied to me personally (and was so nice!) — people like to mock reality stars but if they can help get breast cancer patients more comfortable and attractive and affordable undergarments, that is such a positive thing to do with celebrity. Breast cancer hits at the core of each woman’s femininity and I don’t need something with hooker lace and off the pole satin accents, I just want something soft and comfortable that looks and fits nicely….that is AFFORDABLE to all women.
Between that and the tweet from one of my favorite actresses Nia Vardalos, I am happy to see when people use their celebrity for good.
Dog tired and signing off. One of my gals is rescuing me later for a glamour session…I could use it…feel old today.
But tomorrow I am one day closer!!!!
Thank you for speaking out about comfortable, nice clothing. I have Fibromyalgia with a terrible skin sensitivity. I have found some things at JJill.com and also with LLBean. Since I am in germany I tend to wear the same clothes ( athough in different colors) everyday.
Hopefully there will be more options available for comfortble, cute clothing for women that don’t want to wear the old “housedress” of our mothers/grandmothers.
Keep fighting and winning – you are in my prayers
I also have severe Fibromyalgia with R.A. and skin sensitivity. My skin will not heal properly if scratched, burned or any other trauma, and keeps breaking open and getting inflammed quite a bit. I’m going to try Jill Zarin’s camisoles because of their soft fabric and they do not ride up or bunch. Jill is a sweet lady and I wish her well.
Both of you are in my prayers and always fight! Your family and friends love and need you and keep your great support groups when you find one.
As Jill will tell you herself, I have not yet tried anything from her shapewear line – it’ s not out yet to the best of my knowledge. I wrote to Jill because I am looking for something very specific that I feel there would be a market for yet no one is doing – she has things I am interested in because the right shapewear is a pain in the ass to find even when not going through breast cancer – her line will be available at some department stores I believe and I don’t know where else.
But Vicki – one thing this radiation experience thing has taught me is to really try things on. Here’s a video I found this morning about her shapewear http://youtu.be/YIg6qksP_kQ – I like that she says she will have a size range because with a lot of these lines have plenty of selections if you are teeny weeny but if you are average or larger, nothing.
And please note Jill’s tip for shapewear on the video – she held up a cami and reminded women you STEP into them – not drag them over your head. I did that once and had a fit of giggles in the dressing room because I got stuck.
What I want to see more of are camis and shaping camis with a sof cup NOT an underwire. As I am going thru radiation I can’t wear normal underwire bras. I have a chest and I not only hate feeling saggy, I hate the way clothes fit without a proper bra. So I saw some camis in Jill’s new line, but I also reached out to her to suggest to her something affordable and soft that wasn’t underwire – I was also interested in her fabric of the shapewear which she described as cool in summer because that is another thing I have had to deal with all summer – no antiperspirant for me any longer – only Tom’s 24 hr natural deoderant (paraben/aluminum free) and corn starch – the corn starch helps keep me dry – I don’t want moisture causing issues under my breasts – especially the one being treated for radiation. After radiation I will go back to using Tom’s combined with the Crystal —the mineral stick also no aluminum or parabens – and my friend Barb gave me this tip as she stopped using antiperspierants years ago – there are people that say antiperspirants have links to breast cancer – so after this experience I will sweat a little if I have to – the body is meant to do it anyway.
So anyway. long story and boring if you aren’t going thru breast cancer, but that’s how I got to Jill. And she was actually as a shapewear designed willing to talk to me. Comfortable shapewear is key anyway – so if I could find a source that was comfortable up top for women going through breast cancer treatment more the better. Because what I have discovered even the stuff that is sold thru medical supply websites is uncomfortable as well as butt ugly. I found a couple of bras that look like front hook sports bras but that was it.
Breast cancer hits at the core of femininity .
Anyway, I will be trying her stuff when it comes out too. I have now learned the hard way soft and comfortable is good…and her line looks like it will be – and I would try it for the sole reason that she took the time to respond to me and was just so nice – that personal touch made a difference to me.
My name is Maggie Reynolds and I am Jill Zarin’s Cyber Assistant. Jill wanted to thank you for the kind words you wrote on her blog and asked me to post your blog on her Skweez Couture Facebook page. I hope it brings you many followers! Best wishes to you and feel free to contact me.
Please tell Jill thank you – that is so sweet! I will make sure to like her Skweez page on Facebook – tell her I am sorry I have not hyperlinked in the post but WordPress has been giving me issues the past couple of days inserting hyperlinks (so much for pre-programmed HTML code)
This is so nice of her to do!