Hey Y'all! I recently returned from Nashville, Tennessee where I presented my2ndAct at the 5th annual SURVIVORville conference with Cancer Survivors from around the nation and exhibited my new collection of CRISSCROSS Intimates, post-surgical undergarments at NOU-Life-Expo. I found my sista-survivors and the people of NASH to be so warm-hearted that I know I'll be back soon with my Pink cowboy hat on!
Before I share my2ndAct with Y'all, I'd like to say thank you to a few special people who made this event a success - Karen Shayne, Founder of the Women's Survivor Alliance, Cindy Chafin, Editor of the New Focus Daily magazine and their entire WSA staff and team of volunteers. Our wonderful MC Scott Hamilton, Co-Hosts, Linda Ragsdale and "Positively Jessica" Meyer, and the Artifact production team. I know it takes a village to produce such an event and it went off without a hitch from my boot! Yeah, I've got that southern twang in me now. So here's what I had to say about my warm-hearted story to inspire other survivors.
Don’t Let Cancer Get the BREAST of You
Diagnosed in July 2007 with DCIS bi-lateral breast cancer, I didn’t believe it. Who does? I was watching Robin Roberts of ABC News inform the world of her diagnosis the day I received my call while on family vacation.
Yes, it’s so true. I was one of eight women that day to receive my diagnosis. What followed was 4 years of crazy complications from bilateral lumpectomy with radiation to bilateral mastectomy, implant replacements 4X within 18 months (unheard of!), MRSA, breast cellulitis 3X, fat graph and more. You name it, I had it.
I was told I was the “1 in a Million” bionic woman by my Top Docs and these complications “never” happen but they did and continued. Somehow, I persevered. My parents always taught me “to fight, to be strong, and to never take anything for granted”. My first husband reminded me “to live life to its fullest”. I tend to live by those words even when I first became a survivor or young widow at age 28. Now a 10-year Breast Cancer Survivor this week!!
But as I grew up, I got smarter and put my ‘metal to the pink pedal’. I started off in the corporate workplace (media and high-tech) for 25 years and exceled at that with 2 young kids at that time. Then juggled a brutal divorce, all of these breast cancer surgeries, and being laid off simultaneously, so what else do we do? We decide to do things for ourselves. I believe this was the start of My2ndAct! Then, I remodeled our home while recovering and then started my own media agency.
I became an Author of a trilogy series, a Columnist for top Intimate Apparel brands and dabbled in a costume jewelry biz for 7 years. It was all therapeutic to me. Then I went on to blog for various publications, invented a Mobile Device and designed a full collection of Post-Surgical Undergarments for Women and Men -- CRISSCROSS Intimates being sold here at our Nou-Life-Expo.
In October 2014 I had a soft launch at a New York Fashion Show of The Nina Bra -- the first post-surgical bra, named after my dear Aunt Nina who died of Stage 4 malignant BC. It received rave reviews and over next few years I collected feedback from Physicians and Survivors alike. I tweaked the patented designs and branded styles named after Survivors. I recently launched the collection on the Anniversary of Nina’s Birthday in April 2017 with over 150 SKUs including Bras, Panties, Pouch, Leggings, Men’s Vests, Accessories with more designs to follow!
I simply wanted to make Breast Cancer a better place for ALL Survivors. Comfortable, Chic, Colorful Garments that rock your world – because when we are down after losing your breasts, we need to Feel Confident, and Look Beautiful or Handsome!
Just remember, “don’t let Cancer get the BREAST of you! I haven’t!”
All the breast. Thank you.