I went to Hearthplace today to register as a member. You see, you need to be a member to access the resources and in order for me to join the 'recently diagnosed with breast cancer support group' I needed to be a member.
I brought my registration form in and they brought me in to see the peer counsellor. These are not trained counsellors they are simply other cancer survivors - but they facilitate the programs.
Anyhow, we talked for a bit about what I was hoping to get from the group (connecting with people in similar situations) and she told me about the different programs available (I'm also going to go to the Live Better Feel Better (or something like that) workshop that helps you deal with the physical issues during treatment; skin care, scalp care, etc) for me, Sean and the kids. She was amazed that I was already out and about even though I'd only just had surgery on Friday. I explained about my inability to sit around for long and for me, it's more therapeutic to live life than it is to sit around and complain or stress about aches and pains.
After this conversation she mentioned that they have a wig boutique and asked if I'd like to see it. I said sure. I remarked that I'd probably just wear the bandanna type things as I thought a wig might be too hot. She brought me into this room full of Styrofoam heads and wigs. She pulled off this one cute wig and asked me if I'd like to try it on. So I used a stocking to put my hair up and tried it on and while it was a very different style than I wear my hair, it was cute. She said "Well then you'll want to take this home now. If you don't, it might be gone when you do want it" So she packed it up in a bag for me to take home. She said, even if you only want to wear the head dresses most of the time you might want to get dressed up one day and want to wear a wig. Made sense, with Christmas coming and all.
Then....she started talking about prosthetics and I was explaining that I was going to take Emily for her birthday shopping trip to the Eaton Centre but it would be delayed until I got my prosthetic and she goes out of the room and comes back in with a prosthetic. For me to keep!! And then she said, now after you've healed if you think this one is not quite right (it's the right cup size but it's a generic shape) just come in again, we've got all kinds of different ones.
Can you freakin' believe it??!!
I was on cloud 9 when I left. I mean, I seriously didn't think they'd offer that kind of support. I was thrilled just to be able to get into the support group but now I've got a wig if I want one and a prosthetic for when my swelling is down and tubes are out and it will tide me over until I can get my own ordered. And she said, if you need a bra, we have those too.
Wow. I really felt great after visiting there. I can't wait for the swelling to go down so I can try on my new boob!!