Hello. My name is Maria Lucas. I am a Breast Cancer Survivor. I have never done a Blog before, so I hope my story is something that can inspire other women out there like me who are either facing, going through, or have survived Breast Cancer.
On December 30, 2010 I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer. The day started out like any other day, I had my annual mammogram appointment scheduled in the morning, prior to going into work. As the Nurse practitioner was giving me an exam, she felt something, felt it again, looked into my eyes and asked if I had felt this before?
By that afternoon, I was sitting in a Surgeon’s office, hearing the four words that no woman ever wants to her, “You have Breast Cancer”. My world started to spin; I was convinced she had read the wrong chart, that she really should have been talking to someone else, not me. This just wasn’t possible. But it was. Decisions had to be made, Mastectomy, Lumpectomy? Surgery was in my future, and at that moment, I realized I had a long road ahead.
I was no stranger to Breast Cancer; I grew up all around it. My mother was first diagnosed at age 39 and in the 1970’s the treatment was to remove the breast, no choices, no discussion. Even with this done, she had four recurrences on the side of the mastectomy, cancer in the other breast and lymph nodes over the course of the next 25 years. But I drew my strength from her, because she never let the disease win; her attitude and determination and fight kept her going, and she is alive and well today at age 78.
I chose Lumpectomy over Mastectomy, and after two surgeries my margins were clear. I was not a candidate for chemotherapy, but a six week course of radiation therapy was in my future.
The Cancer Center in Napa, CA that I went to was beautiful. Private parking spaces, fresh baked cookies, lending library, wide screen television, and a staff that was just wonderful. Every day I would walk in and my mood would rise as I was warmly greeted by the smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and a smiling staff. But then I would walk into the changing area, and reach into the cupboard to put on my gown. Putting on that hospital gown was the one part of the entire process that made me feel sick, because at that moment, I looked sick. My personality was taken away, I was uncomfortable, cold and embarrassed. For weeks I wore those gowns, and kept thinking that there had to be a better alternative.
So one weekend I took a few gowns home, cut them up and designed an alternative gown for Breast Cancer Radiation treatments and called it the Radiant Wrap. The garment met all of the requirements for treatment, but at the same time made me look pretty. It’s flattering, stylish, and unique. Before I knew it, everyone was asking me about it, so I thought that this could be my opportunity to share; to give a bit of hope and radiance to all of the women in the world who have to go through this experience.
I’ll always believe that out of something bad something good is born and that every dark cloud has a silver lining. My son and I have since started our business and we have sold 295 Radiant Wraps on our website and to Cancer Centers and Hospitals who are providing the Wraps to their patients as gifts in their welcome bag. We hope to grow and grow and to be able to share this beautiful addition for treatment to all women who are fighting the fight, one day at a time.
I hope you enjoy my first blog and share with me what you think about my idea. I would also like to hear your stories of how you overcame Breast cancer and how it changed your life.