SHOP RIGHT SATURDAYS
The Drains, the Stitches and the Store That Had My Mastectomy Covered
by Allison W. Gryphon
“I’m sorry. We were all pulling for you.” Those were the words that began the phone call I received on April 13, 2011. I had breast cancer. Although the news was delivered with great care, I felt an immediate rush of emotion, a need to control and a horrifying understanding of how little control I actually had. I lost it. I cried for half an hour and then I was done. I was done on a profound level. I wiped away my tears and went into go-mode. I wanted to tackle what I did have control over, preparing for what I was about to go through. I decided that I was going to go into my cancer battle with the knowledge and the tools I needed to keep the side effects and emotional challenges to a minimum. In an instant I was a relentless cancer-fighting machine.
To take on cancer, one of the things I needed to identify was what I would need going into battle. That was when I remembered my time at Nordstrom. I’d worked in the lingerie department for a short time after graduating from college and aside from enjoying the job, something about the experience really touched me. Nordstrom supported breast cancer fighters, not just in spirit, but practically as well. The store carried post-op garments and prosthetics. They took insurance and had a certain number of women in each store that had been trained to fit women and handle their emotional state gently. It was strange to think back on being that young sales girl, who never considered she might one day be a customer of the store’s special service, but the relief it might still be in place was beyond comforting. I picked up the phone, called my local store and sure enough it was. I had a lovely woman named Nadine on the phone. She would help me.
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