Summer used to be my favorite time of the year. Once the thermometer rose to a steady 65, like a snake, I’d shed my winter skin. Off came the parka, fleece cap, and waterproof gloves to reveal the T-shirt, shorts, and bathing-suit wearing girl that I really am.
In the winter of 2007, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. I decided not to have reconstructive surgery because I felt too pressured to make such a life impacting decision in the brief time I had until surgery.
Winter and spring were rough. And then my beloved summer came. Now if my life were a movie, in this next scene you would see me standing topless in front of the mirror to the soundtrack of a woman screaming. Oh right, a woman is screaming and it’s me.
For most women, cancer is a wrecking ball. Scars and disfigurement are just some of the life long appearance-related challenges they may face. In my case I became breast-less with revealing scars, which included an uneven chest surface from remaining skin. The thought of wearing a bathing suit made my blood run cold.
Over the years, I have tried a variety of mastectomy swimwear solutions but in the end, they never felt completely comfortable and I never felt quite right. I often ended up wearing a bathing suit without a breast form, hidden under a t-shirt.
But not this year! I am all about summer and my new bathing suit. Thanks to Dana Donofree, breast cancer survivor, fashion designer, and founder of AnaOno Intimates, I am semi-naked and unafraid.
Dana has put her design talent to the benefit of flat women like me. Her latest creations include one-piece bathing suits, bikini’s and bralettes for women who are as we like to say, “flat and fabulous.” Her unique swimwear line is the first to provide stylish options for women who prefer to be flat.
Dana founded AnaOno to make survivors feel beautiful, strong, and sexy. Her lingerie line includes comfortable yet stylish bras for radiation, reconstruction, and mastectomies, underwear, and loungewear. She is a fashion pioneer, who understands that the desire to look and feel good doesn’t end when cancer treatment begins.
This year, I own the beach. Thanks Dana!
For more summer style suggestions, visit our website, CancerBeGlammed.com.