Protecting yourself from the harsh rays of the sun is even more challenging if you have skin made ultra-sun sensitive from radiation or chemotherapy. I finished my chemotherapy just as summer was heating up. Determined to head outdoors, I discovered Coolibar, a fantastic company whose clothing and products have sun protection (and style!) built right -in. Coolibar clothing and accessories are a staple of my wardrobe in Pittsburgh and as you can read in my guest blog for them, as far away as the African plains.
Lisa Lurie has a renewed passion for life. After her treatment for Breast Cancer, she co-founded Cancer Be Glammed to provide women with a single resource that provides easy, online access to fashionable yet practical recovery products and style solutions.”In a very short period of time I became bald, breast-less, and bloated from surgery and chemotherapy,” said Lisa. “It was soul destroying.” Now, with no evidence of disease, on top of helping other women find comfort in the face of cancer, Lisa’s making family travel a priority.
I have never been a fan of the term, “bucket list.” When I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, I came to like it even less. As I recovered, I decided that I would start a “Here & Now” list instead. A list that would be a celebration of all the things I wanted to do with my family while I was feeling good, in the here and now.
#3 on my list was to travel to South Africa with my husband Brian and our two daughters, Michelle (18) and Gillian (14). Brian grew up in S.A. and we dreamed of visiting his family in Johannesburg, traveling to Cape Town for some seaside fun, and going into the bush on a safari. To celebrate my five year survival anniversary, we decided to leave Pittsburgh behind us and head into the African sunshine to cross item #3 off my list.
I have always loved the sun, yet I’ve appreciated the need to protect my skin from its harmful rays. Cancer treatment required that I become even more cautious. Radiation and chemotherapy makes skin ultra-sun sensitive. And now due to my lymph node surgery and resulting lymphedema, it is critical that I don’t burn my right arm. With my husband grumbling about bag weight, (my two teenage girls remember?!) I slipped in my favorite sun protective clothes and hats from Coolibar. As a Co-founder of Cancer Be Glammed, a company that helps women “recover in style,” Coolibar products do what we like best, combine fashion with function.
So now for a little name-dropping. Into my bag went two hats, a Marina Sun Hat and an Adventure Hat. Both hats pack and travel very well. Next I tossed in my Long Sleeve Swim Shirt, a must-have for me. I love having the full coverage without having to worry about slathering on sunscreen constantly. Then finally, I neatly folded my Belted Sun Wrap and put it on top. I live in this–it’s lightweight and stylish, and you can add accessories, such as a scarf, to dress up your look. With my Coolibar wardrobe safely packed, I put on my Travel Shirt, (Coolibar–of course!) and the Lurie family headed to the airport for the twenty- four hour flight to South Africa. Twenty-four hours and twelve amazing days later we returned home. We had a spectacular time and so many amazing experiences that we will be talking our friend’s and families’ ears off for years to come. Together, my family and I contentedly scratched item #3 off the list–our South African trip of a lifetime, and started discussing item #4.