Who Was This Woman Looking At Me? Was She Even A Woman?

Tough Girl 2!Tiffany Mannino is back to share yet another of her diary entries penned to her unborn daughter Lola during her breast cancer journey. She has entitled the letters Beautifully Broken: Letters From a Girl/Woman/Human in Progress’ as she reflects on her five year journey with letting go of the past, facing fears, learning to love, finding happiness in the moment, and realizing that she is exactly where she is supposed to be in life.

Oh baby…I am so tired the computer screen is looking fuzzy, however, a few moments ago, I had this compulsion to write to you rather than crawl into bed. After nine months of being on sabbatical, I have finally gone back to work to start a new school year. I wish I could tell you the transition was easy, but the last few weeks have been grueling. I have been an emotional wreck having meltdowns on a daily basis. The best way that I can describe my state is that I feel like a beached horseshoe crab that has been flipped on its back and can’t seem to turn over. It squirms with the scorching sun beating down on its parched shell. The strangest part of this all is that as difficult as this change is for me, deep in my heart I know that I am going to come out of this a better soul. Like a molting horseshoe crab, I feel like I am shedding my old self and beginning a new. Continue reading

LBBC and Angela & Roi

A&RLogo2 Angela-Roi-handbag-2_mediumAs most of you know, we at LBBC have an initiative called “Beyond October”. We do this because over 300,000 individuals will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year and roughly 1 in 12 of these individuals are diagnosed during the month of October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Given this, the majority of individuals are diagnosed during the rest of the year, hence our “Beyond October” campaign. We have various partners who embrace this idea but today, classic vegan handbags for a cause makers Angela & Roi, are sharing why they’ve decided to partner with LBBC and why they believe in Beyond October…

Throughout our daily life, we often ask the question – is it possible to do what we love, and better the world while doing it?  At Angela & Roi, we believe this is not only possible but also the way that companies should be conducted.  We are founded on the belief that businesses should accept social responsibility for the products they put out, and utilize their resources to positively impact the greater community around them. We believe in using our passions for good. Continue reading

18 Months Post and Chemobrain

RondaWalker-27LBBC Breast Cancer Helpline volunteer, blogger and friend Ronda Walker Weaver is back today to discuss her experience with “chemobrain” and what she learned about the topic from a webinar LBBC hosted in September of 2014. 

Well, happy day here. Not that I was expecting anything different than what I received, but I tell you, the anniversary anxiety, which comes every 3 months for the first 2 years, is tough. I look at these doctors’ visits as markers of moving past and beyond breast cancer, but they are also reminders of where I was, and quite frankly, where I could be, if any indicators were there.

So – great blood pressure, great weight, mammogram was clear, and I’m just waiting to hear about blood tests – red and white blood cell counts. But I don’t expect anything other than “all is well.” Continue reading

“Cancer, Without You, I Wouldn’t Be The Woman I Am Today”

Dana-Donofree-BioDana Donofree is back on the LBBC blog for part 3 of her story about her breast cancer diagnosis and how it led her towards a completely different life and career direction than she had originally planned…

Cancer had officially taken my life on another path. Only this time, it was one I had always wanted: designing my own line and having my own business.  The concept for AnaOno Intimates came organically from within. After cancer and reconstructions, I’d walked into lingerie stores countless times, enthusiastic at first, but then leaving with nothing but self-loathing and tears because my body was forever altered. It was like I was back in my cancer treatment days, easily identifiable by my head scarf or lack of eyebrows and eyelashes. This time I was walking around with a giant, heavy stamp on my chest: NOT NORMAL. The sheer frustration  became absolutely maddening, but the pain of being “different” or “changed” or in some dark moments, “ruined” was unbearable. I made my mind up, I knew in that moment I never wanted another woman to EVER have to go through what I did; they should feel just as beautiful, confident and sexy as they did the days before reconstructive surgery. Cancer should not and WILL NOT take that away. Continue reading

5-hour ENERGY Goes Beyond October

HeadshotEven though Breast Cancer Awareness Month is over, 5-hour Energy is continuing to donate proceeds from the sale of their specially marked Pink Lemonade flavor to LBBC until December 31, 2014. As a partner of our Going Beyond October campaign, 5-hour ENERGY staff member Melissa Skabich is sharing with us why she’s proud to work for an organization who supports the breast cancer cause beyond October. 

I am the director of public relations for the makers of 5-hour ENERGY.  I’m also a wife, a mom to three boys under age 11, a sometimes runner, and a soon-to-be owner of a French bulldog puppy named Mack.   Before I was any of those things, I was a young college graduate who watched cancer kill my 43-year-old godmother in a matter of ten short weeks.  Kidney.

And way before that, I was an eight-year-old girl feeding  teaspoons of chocolate ice cream to my grandfather, who once seemed like the strongest man in the world but the cancer made him so weak he could barely lift his head.  A few weeks later I made my very first public speaking appearance when I read at his funeral.  It was my first real loss, and I missed him so much my chest would hurt.  Now, even 30 years later, I still feel a pang whenever I hear Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds” on the radio.  It was my grief anthem.  Lung. Continue reading

Now Life Is Forever Altered

1493LBBC shop to support partner and blogger, Dana Donofree, is back sharing the 2nd part of her breast cancer story with us. To read part 1 click here. Today she shares how her surgery lead to life and career changing ideas and how it has directed her path for the future.

The positive to my diagnosis, if ever there could be one, was that I was HER2+. This made me a candidate for Herceptin. Before 2006, Herceptin was only used in late-stage cancers, but by the time of my diagnosis, it was approved to treat HER2+, and it had a very favorable success rate in battling the disease.

I kept thinking about the women before me with the same diagnosis prior to 2006. There were many who died waiting for the approval. There were many who died because they weren’t the right candidate. And now, there were many like me benefiting from the research and dollars drummed up by pink ribbons, walks and the memories of those women who were lost. I was grateful beyond words. Who is to say one way or another, but I believe the access to Herceptin saved my life.

There is a wave of fear, anxiety and doubt that follows the flood of joy when your cancer doctor releases you from care with clear scans and positive words. It is almost even more overwhelming than the fear that greets us survivors upon diagnosis. Because now life is forever altered. Now there is nothing but a new set of what-ifs with no real solutions to challenge them. Now I had to go back to life without cancer, but a life very different than the one BEFORE cancer. People like to call it the “new normal.” And I woke every day to a different battle ahead of me; one that was about restoring myself to some semblance of the Dana I was before the disease. Continue reading

White House | Black Market Supports LBBC

Donna Headshot

Today on the LBBC blog, White House | Black Market president Donna Noce discusses the long-standing partnership between LBBC and White House | Black Market and why they continue to support LBBC, not only during Breast Cancer Awareness Month but also Beyond October…

“I feel very strongly that we use the power that we have as a brand and an organization to support something that’s really good.” Donna Noce, President, White House | Black Market

Living Beyond Breast Cancer connects people to trusted breast cancer information and a community of support. Donna Noce is president of White House | Black Market, an international fashion boutique. Since 2004, together with its sister brands, Chico’s, Soma, and Boston Proper, WHBM has donated more than $2.1 million in support of LBBC.

Over the years, WHBM has supported LBBC through the sale of limited-edition products, register donations, in-boutique events and a dedicated mailer in October. In 2010, when White House | Black Market celebrated its 25th anniversary, they also honored 25 women fighting the disease. That same year, WHBM received LBBC’s Corporate Leadership Award.

On Living Beyond Breast Cancer

When I was first learning about Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC), what struck me most was their commitment to creating a place where everyone touched by the disease could go for information and support. Through LBBC, I also learned about the complex challenges facing women after diagnosis, as well as during treatment, recovery and disease management. LBBC hears and respects women tremendously, regardless of age, stage of disease, background or identity. And it gives each person a voice.

On Breast Cancer Awareness Month

We believe that it’s important to recognize the role Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) has played in raising consciousness about the disease. However, one of the many reasons we’ve remained loyal to our partnership with LBBC is that they’re doing so much more. They educate and empower women by making incredibly complex information easy to understand, and creating a community of peers, patients, caregivers and medical professionals to offer thoughtful and compassionate guidance.

This year WHBM is supporting LBBC through the sale of limited-edition products, register donations, in-boutique events, and an exciting new social media initiative, through which followers of WHBM’s social channels are encouraged to add a pink filter to their profile pictures. WHBM will donate $1 for every profile pic, up to 25K.

Beyond October

The numbers prove that breast cancer doesn’t discriminate according to a month on the calendar:

  • 98% of breast cancer diagnoses occur in women
  • One woman in 8 women will be diagnosed with a form of the disease in her lifetime
  • Six to 10% of newly diagnosed women and 30% of women re-diagnosed after being treated for early-stage breast cancer will learn they have metastatic disease (meaning that the cancer has progressed from the breast to another organ in the body)

We are deeply aware of these sobering statistics, and are honored that our year-round support of LBBC served as the inspiration for the organization’s newly launched Beyond October initiative.

As a founding corporate partner of Beyond October, we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to those who depend on LBBC’s services by providing financial and promotional support of the organization’s programs and projects – not just in October but throughout the year.

We are committed to ensuring that each and every woman who shops at White House Black Market is aware that there is a safe and trusted place she can turn to for help, information, and support.

For more information about the items available from White House | Black Market supporting LBBC please click here.