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A diagnosis of cancer can be the most stressful of experiences for both patient and family. It can often cause emotional, spiritual, financial, occupational, relational and appearance changes and challenges, in addition to the physical rigors that accompany treatment. However, given enough support, most patients and families can adjust to a cancer crisis, learning to cope with and manage these stressors to achieve a better quality of life. Common threads seem to bind together patients and families who do learn to "manage" the stress of the cancer experience. This capacity to adjust is related less to a certain diagnosis, prognosis or treatment plan, than to coping skills that can be learned by most people.
Adjustment is a key word as cancer brings many changes into peoples' lives and adjustment does not happen immediately. Be patient with yourself and your family, and remember that no two people cope with crisis in the exact same way. Respect differences in coping and adjusting in yourself and the people around you.
Flexibility can be an invaluable trait as you experience cancer-related changes. It will help you with frustrations such as waits in physicians' offices, as well as possible appearance changes and disability issues. Try to control what you can, while accepting changes that you cannot.
Seek Information from the many available resources on medical care; emotional and spiritual support; financial, occupational and disability assistance; and help with appearance changes. Information helps to enhance your sense of control as well as making you a more informed decision-maker. From today's cancer patient publications to websites, to social service and cancer organizations, there is an invaluable amount of information and support available at no charge on local, state and federal levels. One door to all of the resources available locally is the American Cancer Society's support and education program, I Can Cope. Call 1-800-ACS-2345 or log on to www.cancer.org. Your local cancer center may also have a cancer resource line you can access.
Learn to Communicate with healthcare providers. Cancer treatment is a different world with a whole new language that you will need to learn. Get organized and keep a notebook with an ongoing log of questions for your doctor. Bring the list with you as well as another person, ideally the same person every time, who can be your second set of ears. Also, get to know the nurse working with your doctor. She can answer many of your questions when the doctor is not available. For a free set of audio tapes to help you communicate with your healthcare providers and your family, order the Cancer Survival Toolbox by calling 1-877-622-7937 or log on to www.canceradvocacy.org.
Problem Solving is a necessary skill for handling the stress of the cancer experience. It can be less overwhelming than you may think. The Cancer Survival Toolbox also offers helpful information on problem solving.
Reach out for Help. Although everyone has differing needs for support, a person rarely survives a cancer experience completely alone. It may be your family or friend to whom you turn for most of your support. In addition, you may enjoy talking with other cancer survivors, individually or in a group setting. You may also find it helpful to talk with a specially trained counselor, such as an oncology social worker, most of whom are licensed counselors, or a clinical nurse specialist. These professionals are usually available through your local cancer center. Counselors trained in cancer adjustment issues are also available at no charge through Cancer Care, Inc. Call 1-800-813-HOPE (4673) or log on to www.cancercare.org.
Help Others. Your role as a support person to family and friends can still continue. This supporting role will enhance your own self-esteem and feelings of usefulness, help maintain some sense of normalcy within your family or network of friends and offer an important diversion for you.
Care for your Emotions. The care your mind receives is just as essential to your cancer treatment plan as the care your body receives - after all, the two are connected. Cancer can cause many changes in a person's life and therefore it is expected that you may feel depression, anxiety or grief. You may feel helpless, hopeless or sad, out of control, lose the ability to concentrate, lose interest in usual activities, change eating and/or sleeping habits, withdraw from family and friends, worry excessively and/or have feelings of doom, just to name a few. If these feelings become severe, interrupt daily activities, or are prolonged beyond two weeks, or if you have thoughts of harming yourself, talk with your doctor. You and your physician can create your treatment plan. It may consist of a referral to an oncology health professional who can help you learn stress management skills such as relaxation, imagery and keeping a journal and offer individual and family support and counseling. Your doctor may also suggest temporary medication. All of these can be invaluable tools for coping with the emotional distress caused by a cancer diagnosis.
Maintain Hope. Your hope will be relative to your specific situation, but nevertheless essential to coping with the stress of your cancer experience. To find out more, call the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship at 1-888-650-9127 for the booklet You Have the Right to be Hopeful.
There is no one right way to cope with the stress of a cancer experience. You are the best person to decide what is helpful and what is not. How you adjust to stress now will depend on how you have coped with past crises, what coping skills you already have, and your openness to learning new ones. To begin to manage the stress of your cancer experience, make a list of your stressors. Then set out on the path that can lead to all the support available to you.
tender loving care
How to Measure for a proper Fit
Did you know that a woman's bra size can fluctuate from year to year and sometimes even month to month? On average, you should measure yourself at least once a year but more frequently if you go up or down a size in your regular clothing. That's why it's important to know how to property measure yourself, so you can choose a comfortable bra with confidence; a bra that will look great an feel good!
Choosing a bra that gives you the comfort you need will be a breeze when you fllow these few simple steps, so let's get started!
There are two aspects to finding your correct bra size and they are band size and cups size. The band size is the size of the bra brand around the torso. The cup size is the circumference measured around the bust over the fullest part of the breast.
First you'll need a standard tape measure. You should be able to find one at your local sewing store or even at your local drug store. It's inexpensive and handy to have around. Second, you'll need to put a comfortable, well-fitting, non-padded bra.
Step 1 - Measure Your Band Size (Under Breast)
With your bra and starting at zero on the tape measure place it directly undermeath the breast where the bra band sits. Make sure that the measuring tap runs horizintally around the upper body and is at the same height in the front and the back. The measuring tap should provides 90% of your support. If it's not tight enough your bra band will be loose and will not be supportive enough. (You may want to enlist the help of a close friend to help, if you need help.)
Measure underearth the bust line from the center breastbone in the front all the way around.
Write down the nmber of inches. If that number is a fration, round it up to the next whole number.
Step 2 - Measure Your Cup Size (Over Breast)
Mext! You're going to measure your half-chest circumference. Make sure that the measuring tape runs horizontally around the upper body and is at the same height in the front and the back of the body. Starting at zero on the tape measure, position the tape measure at the center the spine in the back then loosely wrap the tape measure over the fullest part of your breast directly above the nipple.
Write down the munber of inches, then double that number. If that number is a fraction, round it up to the next whole number.
Step 3 - Calculate Your Cup Size
Numw, Subtract your brand size measurement from your cup size measurement and that will give you your cup size.
Cup size for a double mastectomy would be the same at that wom prior to surgery. If you want to go larger or smaller, select one size above or below your previous size.
Step 4 - Determine Your Bra Size
Finally, all you need to do is combine the cup size with your brand measure to determine your bra size. For example, 38B means you have a 38-inch band and a B cup.
How to know when Your Bra is a Good Fit
Now that you know how to determine your bra size here are a few helpful hints on how to know when your bra is a good fit:
Tip: Because cup size can fluctuate base on weight change, hormonal changes, bloting, or further surgery try to check your bra size from time to time. Also, try to measure on a day when your breast feels relatively normal. Many women buy a bra style that they love in two sizes - one size for regular days and a size up for days when they feel a little fuller, that way they can avoid the discomfort of having to squeeze themselves into a bra that's temporarily too small.
Now that we've got the technical stuff out of the way, let's move on to chooseing a wonderful new bra!
Our mastectomy bras restore your natural shape and will hold your breast form(s) securely in place. Helping you feel confident and always looking great!
Our Everyday Bras. The “tlc” Everyday Collection combines all the style and comfort you would expect from beautiful lingerie with smart design features that ensure all day comfort. Our most popular bras are the:
Amoena® Mara T-Shirt Bra
Lace Accent Pocketed Bra
Mastectomy Camisole Bra
Our Leisure Bras.Made of soft, breathable materials for all day comfort, and easy fastening for putting on and taking off. This style is ideal for wearing to bed or relaxing at home. Our Amoena® Collection has many styles of seamless, lightweight, and comfortable bras. Two of our customer favorites are the:
Amoena® Becky Bra
Amoena® Frances Bra
Our Customized Bras. Our Especially for You Bras are custom made just for you! Available in 7 of our best-selling styles. Just tell us which side(s) to fill! We use tiny lightweight beads that will mold naturally to your body so there’s no need for a breast form. With an Especially for You Bra, you can just put it on and go! Here is a list of 7 that we can tailor just for you:
Especially for You Bra
Especially for You Bra
Especially for You Bra
Buy enough to last. Depending on how often it’s worn and washed, the average bra can last between 6 months to a year before needing to be replaced. Consider investing in two or three styles, so you’ll have lots of choice throughout the year.
We offer an amazing collection of stylish, beautiful and affordable post mastectomy bras. With so many styles to choose from, it’ll be easy to find your new favorite bra in no time!