Since my double mastectomy, at the beginning of January, it is safe to say I am getting use to my new self. These things on my chest have a name FOOBS, fake-boobs. Prior to my diagnosis, I had breast augmentation in 2007 and so, decided on reconstruction. During my mastectomy, expanders were put in. Expanders help, with stretching the breast skin and muscles and making it “look like” you have breasts. Your cosmetic surgeon injects a salt-water solution, over a period of time, to expand the devices, until you reach your desired size. Ultimately, a second surgery is scheduled to replace the expanders with silicone implants. Expanders feel NOTHING like breast implants, they are uncomfortable and hard and look funny. Because of the location of my tumor, my nipples were spared. My incsicion/scar site is under my Foobs, through the original incision, made during my 2007 breast augmentation. It is now a longer scar but I really don’t care. On top of not feeling like me, I have begun chemo treatment and my cosmetic surgeon and I decided to halt filling the expanders any further until after I was finished with chemo. This has left me will smaller Foobs, for now, and me just not feeling whole or pretty or normal. And while my Foobs do not define me, I am still a women, I still want to look and feel good, I still want to just be ME!
I am blessed to be a part of a tight knit and exclusive community called The Disney Parks Moms Panel and the 2012 class of Panelist gifted my a gift certificate to AnaOno. Dana Donofree, is a breast cancer survivor and fashionista, who decided to take a stylish stance and created and designed a lingerie and loungwear boutique specifically catering to the Pink warriors and surviors living with the beauty scars of Breast Cancer.
The naming of her line is pure genius, dANA dONOfree, very catchey and spot on. The AnaOno line speaks of beauty through its colors, comfort and thoughtfulness created in every design. It is clear to see, Dana has thought of every kind of women, at every stage and age of her breast cancer life. From the warrior to the survivor, the young and the mature, the double and single mastectomies, to the lumpectiomies and those who have decided on no reconstruction; care has been take in each piece to make US feel beautiful. Her collection is not limited to bras. Most bras comes with matching undies because we as women love a good matching bra and undie set. Her loungwear is truly desinged for those undergoing breast surgery recovery and their need to feel beautiful and functional and her apparel screams out her passion in fighting the good fight. Plus, AnaOno contributes 10% of its profits to Jill’s Wish, a non-profit which aides in financial assistance for those going through Breast Cancer.
For me, I was looking for a bra, which was of course beautiful but most importantly did not sit on my incisions, as they healed. My chest area had changed drastically, it was wider from swelling and from the desin of the expanders. Sports bras could be worn, but I am not working out. I could go without a bra, but what if I wear a thinner shirt? And dear LORD above, I can’t even fathom wearing an undwire bra, OUCH!!!! I deserved to wear something to make me feel like a women and feel comfortable in.
I was instantly drawn to the Pocketed Plunge Wirefree Bra, in the MAKEMERRY collection and ordered a size Medium, in black and blush. The bra came packaged in an ADORBS little bag. Unfortunaley, I sized wrong, needless to say, much has changed with my body. Amy and Dana, quickly and effortlessly made an exchange for a large to be sent. The material is a beautiful soft knit and the plunging neckline gives it a little sexy appeal. I, espcially, love the wide-band back closure. It is adjustable with four hook options and fits well below my incision/scar line. The convertible shoulder straps are adjustable and convenient, depending on what style shirt you are wearing. Another great design bonus is how low it sits under your underarms. I had 15 lymph nodes removed, on my right side, and I am still swollen and still have pain. This bra sits low enough to not irritate that area for me. For women using light breast forms or just wanting a little padding and more shape, this bra comes with pockets (pads were included). It is truly a bra designed for multiple fashion options and I highly recomennd it as a MUST-HAVE. Truthfully, I have worn it everyday and now want to try the Rachel Wirefree Bra, every girl loves a little lace.
Dana has brought beauty to a beast of a disease and I am excited to see her fashion creations heal so many women. Just recently her collection ROCKED the catwalk of New York Fashion Week with 16 brave real, everyday breast cancer warriors. I can’t lie when I say I WISH I was walking that stage, as Sia says in her song Stamina, “I’m free to be the GREASTEST, I’M ALIVE!” And with Dana’s vision and talent and designs, so many will gain the strenght to lift their heads a little higher and walk that walk.
“Our collections are made for women with one breast, two breasts, no breasts or new breasts.” ~Dana Donofree