“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will do the something that I can do.”
― Edmund Everett Hale
There was a small sign with a paraphrased quote on it that I saw & then shared recently on Facebook, thinking that it inspired me. When a friend saw it, she said she immediately knew it was from me because she knows that’s what I believe and what I try to do. Before then, I’d never actually thought about what I do, but yeah, I guess so. What happened to me is this: I had breast cancer. I had bilateral mastectomy. I survived the breast cancer, only to find that surviving mastectomy was more of a problem than I’d expected, and I needed solutions.
Not being able to find the answers elsewhere, I worked on solving the problems for myself. Because the solutions weren’t easily found, it occurred to me that they should be shared with others who had the same questions I’d had, then they wouldn’t each have to ‘re-invent the wheel’, as people say. Everyone should have an archive of solutions to go to after mastectomy, then they can discover even more answers to fine tune the basics as time goes on. Thus was born, www.MastectomySolutions.com, and the end of ‘free time’ as I knew it. But you know what? I’d not change a thing. :^)
I’m not wealthy so I couldn’t donate for breast cancer research. I’m not politically active because I don’t like debating so I wouldn’t feel comfortable lobbying. I’m just one woman… with a little extra time, who knew how to sew, who can generally find ways to improve things, and who solved a few basic everyday problems common to many of us who had mastectomy.
Over the years, other women liked the idea, and it grew. And grew. More photos and free patterns (along with detailed instructions) were posted. Eventually, I even started making microbead breast forms for people who couldn’t sew or didn’t have the time available, for about what it’d have cost them to gather the supplies if they could sew, because it seemed to me that no one should have to be in pain from heavy silicone forms just because they couldn’t sew… nor should they have to do without because they couldn’t afford commercial forms.
What I’d like to do here: pass along more frequent tips and ‘finds’ (as they come along) in addition to (but in an easier, faster way than) my website… answer questions along the way…and also ask a few myself. Living comfortably with mastectomy is not a destination, it’s a lifetime journey, with one solution at a time. It’s easier when women work together, so let’s get started!