Being Breast Cancer awareness month, with all the halls decked in pink, I thought it timely to revisit the above phrase I googled on November 8th 2006, the day after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, out of the blue, at age 41.
I got the call on a Friday, and was booked into hospital 7am Monday, there was NO TIME!
And so having been given a list of all the things I would need over the next 7 or so months, one of which were non-wired bras in natural fibres to wear after surgery and during radiotherapy, I did what every girl who only had 48 hours to find them would do, I turned to Mr Google.
Would you believe, there were about 45 articles on whether or not wired bras cause breast cancer, and absolutely no practical advice on what to wear?!
The cancer foundations, including the NBCF and BCNA were no more help.
It was a mystery how the poor folk with cancer got to find anything they needed within a tight timeframe.
I was astounded, and so jumped in the car and headed to the old bricks and mortar of Westfield Bondi Junction.
In our favourite department store, looking for a 34DD, I found sports bras (ugly), cross your heart bras my grandmother may have worn in her day (even uglier) until eventually I found what I wanted – beautiful, non-wired, sexy bras going up to a GG cup, and with cotton lining to boot.
I was in luck! Until I noticed the two women standing next to me, both pregnant and laughing as they selected their maternity bras.
I had just been told I would never have children after chemotherapy.
It was one of the most confronting moments of my cancer journey. I felt that as both a woman, and a female consumer, I had ceased to exist. I grabbed a few sports bras and ran crying from the shop. I went on to 7 months of gruelling treatment, during much of which I had no eyebrows, eyelashes or hair, wearing really ugly bras.
Five years on, when trying to buy softer bras in a Sydney summer, same thing again. I find myself in front of beautiful maternity bras, and when I explained my predicament to the shop assistant, she said:
‘There is nothing for people like you’ – aaaagggghhhh!
If one in eight of us will be diagnosed with breast cancer IN HER LIFETIME in this country, why do we not cater to this group of women?
There are over 450,000 women alive in this country that have received a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, and believe me, they would like to wear a beautiful, non-wired bra in a natural fibre on occasion!
And so I had to do it myself (click here to see the range). It took 2 years to design the wretched things, turns out they are more complex than cars!
Of course as a headhunter in financial markets, I was never the best person to do it, but it felt like no one else was going to bother.
And do you know, the idea of beautiful bras for women going through breast cancer proved so REVOLUTIONARY that LIVESTRONG in Texas selected Bras Without Wires as a final 20 in its global Big C Competition, out of 780 ideas from 31 countries.
It was literally chosen as one of the top 20 ideas in the world right now, for improving the lives of people going through cancer.
And so ladies, we all know someone, spread the word, pass it on, life for BC patients just got less orthopedic! visit us here or at our October guest spot in Fivemore at 396 Oxford Street, Paddington 2021.