In and Out of the Water: Alicia's Story

April 06, 2017 2 Comments

In and Out of the Water: Alicia's Story

We really mean it when we say that you ladies inspire us every single day. When you tell us about designs you'd like or share pieces of your stories with us, we listen. It’s because of you telling us about your issues with finding ideal underwear, swimwear, whatever it is, that we came to create so many of our designs. So whenever we get the chance, we love to shine a spotlight on some people in the AO Community who inspire us. We'd now like to make an introduction.

Our friend, inspiration, and AnaOno Muse: Alicia Morrison-Fagbemi.

Alicia's story starts here...

"I was diagnosed at 42. One year after the birth of my third daughter. I had DCIS overlapping layers in both breasts. My surgeon said that we did not have a lot of options since the amount of DCIS was close to my lymph. I wanted the cancer gone so taking both my breasts was an easy decision." 

"My final diagnosis was progesterone and estrogen with evasive HER+. Although I did not need chemo because I did not stage, I did, however, receive radiation. Radiation therapy was the darkest time of the process."

"I cried when I tried on the Cortez. Grabbed Dana and thanked her for making me beautiful again. Giving me a home and giving the water back to my life."

About going flat...

We know it's difficult to come to terms with the fact that your body has to and will change after diagnosis and treatment. Alicia had to face this after her double mastectomy but came out accepting these differences, feeling "strong, powerful, and whole ― flat."

On her relationship with the water...

Having a bra was one thing, but discovering she could make her return to the water was a welcome surprise to say the least. Alicia was thrilled to find the ocean again and feel like herself. She always saw the water as being therapeutic. It was a low impact form of exercise that also helped to ease the burns of radiation therapy. At the same time, swimming provided her with some much needed comfort and peace of mind. The water was her “sanctum” and was a calming, easy way to let her mind relax and float away. 

"I swim because I always found a sanctum in the water. The tides always bring you back, always. Swimming helps my range of motion with low impact on my body. Plus there is nothing like being below the water - freedom."

Cancer doesn’t have to take everything from you. You can still enjoy yourself and hold on to the things you love. We’re just glad to play even a small part in that joy.


"The water has healed me tremendously through this journey and AnaOno has helped me get back to "me." With no boobs I am still whole."


2 Responses


November 27, 2018

Thank you ladies for the inspiration . I was just diagnosed 3 weeks again. Swimming is my escape from my 25 year old daughters diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. It’s been a year of hell. Now we are all faced with my cancer. I am scared but determined to kick its ass. I need to be strong. I am a survivor!


July 08, 2018

Alicia’s story has touched me ,brought me to tears( of relief and acceptance) and how I can relate. The water and the Ocean are my therapy as well. My journey is long and powerful. Being diagnosed with a rare and unusual gene in 2015, called STK11, put me at high risk for developing not only breast cancer, but multiple cancers. Since my Mother had breast cancer in the 1950’s before it was commonplace, she bravely underwent a bilateral mastectomy, having me years later.
Fast forward to 2016, I , along with my oncologist, decided upon a preventative bilateral mastectomy. I did choose to opt for reconstruction, but almost immediately I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, beneath my right eye, and needed skin grafting and something called Mohs surgery. I’m now left with another scar, this one on my face. So after this healing process, I decided reconstruction could take place.
After meeting with a breast surgeon with all plans excitedly in place, I received a call from my Dr. Tests showed I was diagnosed with a trifecta syndrome of three very rare blood cancers. LGL leukemia, Multiple Myeloma and an exceptionally rare blood cancer called Amyloidosis.
I am now undergoing chemotherapy for all three.
I have my dark moments, but I have more of the light, because I’m surrounded by such love and support from my beloved husband, my two amazing children, and many loving friends.I won’t lie, there are times I won’t leave the house without a flowy decorative scarf to avert the gaze from my flat chest, but I’m becoming more brave each day, and accepting myself fully as a woman despite so many curve balls. And the water, oh the water, my happy place. Just like Alicia. Where I find peace, I feel whole and safe, like I’m being held in the arms of the Goddess, and I too feel like a Goddess. There is nothing more real and beautiful than swimming among sea life, life in general, and feeling the primal callings that surround me when I’m in my natural place of being.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite mantras that is helping me get through all of these adventures……I have many lines and scars, they tattoo my body and face, and my soul as well. I shall wear them with pride, as they map the journey of my life. Thank you Alicia, and thank you Ana Ono.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in In the Dressing Room

Light At-Home Exercises
Light At-Home Exercises

July 29, 2020

Are you stuck at home recovering from surgery or an illness? Do you need quick, easy workouts you can do without having access to a gym? This guide has you covered with light at-home exercises. For those who are recovering from breast surgeries or cancer treatments, it’s important to prioritize your health without putting extra strain on your body. These low-impact exercises you can do at home offer the perfect balance of fitness and movement for your recovery. Before beginning any exercise regimen, talk to your doctor.

View full article →

Ask us Anything! Honest Talk About Sexual Health and Intimacy After Breast Surgery
Ask us Anything! Honest Talk About Sexual Health and Intimacy After Breast Surgery

July 28, 2020 1 Comment

What doctor do I talk to about sex stuff?  AnaOno and PennMedicine’s Basser Center for BRCA recently held a lively discussion about sex and intimacy at AnaOno's  Philadelphia headquarters. In-person guests plus a Facebook Live audience learned about these hot topics courtesy of a panel of experts, moderated by AnaOno Founder and CEO, Dana Donofree.

View full article →

The Best Post-Operation Clothing	- Post-Op Clothes
The Best Post-Operation Clothing - Post-Op Clothes

July 27, 2020

Recovering from breast surgery can be challenging. Whether you’ve had a mastectomy, reconstruction, lumpectomy or augmentation, there’s bound to be some soreness and limited range of motion during this time. By prioritizing your comfort, however, you can make the process a little bit easier as you feel better each day. One of the best ways to make sure you’re comfortable during recovery is by choosing post-surgery clothing designed specifically for breast procedures. This will allow you to feel better as you heal and adjust to the changes to your body.

Our mission at AnaOno is to make sure patients, survivors and thrivers feel their best during recovery and beyond. Learn more about what makes for the best post-operation clothing and find out where to order some pieces for your own recovery or that of a loved one.

View full article →