Breast Cancer Info - My Favorite Online Resources and Products
After my breast cancer diagnosis on June 25, 2008, I immediately took to the internet to research. It was overwhelming, but I learned a lot in those first few hours. It's been over a year now and in wanting to continue to help others, this is a compilation of my favorite websites related to breast cancer. You can read my story here, and through the links at the bottom.
www.cancer.org This is the link for the American Cancer Society. It contains a plethora of information on cancers of all kinds, as well as resources and links.
www.plasticsurgery.org This is the link for the Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. Here you can find informational brochures and public education about plastic surgery. This site includes news on the latest advances of specific surgical procedures, including how to prepare for surgery, the types of anesthesia used and how long recovery takes. You can also look for answers to the most frequently asked questions about plastic surgery.
www.gildasclub.org Gilda's Club mission is to create welcoming communities of free support for everyone living with cancer - men, women, teens and children - along with their families and friends. Their program is an essential complement to medical care, providing networking and support groups, workshops, education and social activities. When I first started my treatment I was not happy with my doctor, the treatment, the commute, my whole situation - my local Gilda's Club helped me find my current oncologist and treatment center and it changed my life - this part of my life, anyway. They even made the calls for me to the doctor's office to get the ball rolling and get me in right away - and this was all over the phone with Gilda's Club!
Breast Cancer Websites
www.pink-link.org Pink Link is an online breast cancer support network. When you join you can be linked to a network of fellow survivors, family members, medical pros and others who are there for each other. You can share experiences, get information, ask questions and help each other. It's free to join, by the way. I have gotten a lot of support on this site and its member forum.
www.komen.org This is a wonderful site for those afflicted with breast cancer and those who want to be involved in finding the cure. You can learn everything from early detection to treatment options and what questions to ask your doctors. You can even purchase products that help support the cause. You can also engage in therapeutic social networking.
http://www.breastcancer.org/ Here you can educate your self even more, with guides to understanding your pathology reports to treatment and side effects and help dealing with day-to-day matters.
www.networkofstrength.org was formally known as Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization. Network of Strength keeps you informed. They don’t give medical advice - they explain in plain language the information you’re likely to encounter. No matter what the breast cancer topic is, Network of Strength provides information you can trust with a survivor’s touch. They also offer 24/7 support with YourShoes Peer Counselors.
- Breast Impressions
Breast Impressions, Inc. offers breast casting kits free of charge to women who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and would like to make a "memory" of their own prior to breast surgery.
- Womans Personal Health
A supplier of mastectomy bras, mastectomy swimsuits, breast prosthesis, breast forms, mastectomy exercise wear, pajamas for night sweats, natural skin care, non-mastectomy bras, full figure bras as well as scarves and turbans.
- Softee USA
After breast surgery camisoles and active wear products for recovery and beyond.
- The Pinc Box
"the pinc box" is a beautiful gift box filled with thoughtful items you can send to a friend or loved one who has been diagnosed with or is being treated for breast cancer. I would have enjoyed receiving this. You can order extra bracelets, too.
- Oriental Trading
Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelets. Raise awareness of with these rubber bracelets imprinted with SURVIVOR, HOPE, FAITH and STRENGTH. Hand these bracelets out to family and friends to show support for an ailing loved one. $5.99 for 24 pieces!
- Century Novelty
These pink ribbon flip flops are perfect for a gift or as a great inspirational giveaway at an event or fundraiser. Assorted styles and sayings available.
- Russ Berrie Gilda's Club Pets
Sparkle was Gilda Radner's beloved Yorkshire Terrier - these stuffed animals are adorable and make a comforting gift. My mom still has the one I bought for her 7 years ago when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer.
Hair Loss Solutions
www.4women.com BeauBeau™ head scarves are designed specifically for hair loss due to chemotherapy, alopecia or other medical conditions. They're unique, fashionable and versatile! These ended up being my favorite as the fit is great and they are very comfortable and can be worn in a few different ways - check out the Styling Options page on their website for great how-to instructions and photos.
www.hatswithhair.com Hip Hats With Hair were invented by a fashion designer. They are made to be more comfortable than a full wig and to look natural and feel good. As we all know, feeling good about your appearance is proven to boost self-esteem. You can also cut and save your own hair before chemo and they will use your hair to make a Hip Hat With Hair - cool idea!
www.headcovers.com carries hats, turbans, wigs, and scarves as well as breast cancer awareness gifts. They also have a good selection of helpful cosmetics.
Brows & Lashes
Losing my hair was tough, but for some strange reason losing my eyebrows and lashes was worse. I've never been much of a makeup wearer, but what I always did wear was mascara - I felt I looked so much better even if that's all I had on. After losing the hair on my head, I still had my eyelashes and brows all through chemo, and I recall saying on more than one occasion "at least I still have my eyelashes and eyebrows". I started losing them a few weeks after chemo ended (strange?) and i was distraught - as soon as I lost a few hairs I was searching for prosthetics! I did not lose every last strand, but I may as well have, because it looked even more weird with just a few stray lashes and brow hairs there! Ultimately, here's what I found:
Brow Products I Like
Anastasia Brow Pen is like a fine felt tip marker. It looks natural and allows you to create fine individual lines. Now that my brows have grown back, I still use this because I like it so much! I purchased mine at Sephora.
Revitalash - apply a small amount once a day to achieve your very own long, beautiful, healthy looking lashes - no matter how brittle, short, fragile, thin or sparse your eyelashes are. Lots of people told me first-hand that this product really works!
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