AnaOno Available in Springfield, Oregon, Remember the Moon
Ever feel like cancer has you looking for things you NEVER thought you would need? That's ok. Remember the Moon is here to help. A gorgeous store in Springfield, Oregon and incredible cancer-survivor boutique owner herself, Andrea, shares why it is so important to be there as a part of the support cancer patients need as they navigate treatment and beyond. An amazing partner to carry AnaOno in Oregon, for breast cancer patients, cancer patients, and another recovery that needs incredibly comfortable, and super soft bras to recover. An accredited mastectomy fitter, be sure to call ahead to check your insurance benefits for mastectomy bra coverage, breast forms, wigs, and other needed cancer products to ease the treatment cycle of breast cancer.
We sit down with Remember the Moon boutique owner, Andrea Wolf to hear more about mastectomy bra shopping, owning a speciality lingerie boutique, and why she loves supporting breast cancer patients.
Shop Mastectomy in Springfield, Oregon at Remember The Moon
Find Post-Mastectomy Bras for your Surgery Type
Remember the Moon offers a meaningful experience, an oasis, specializing in post mastectomy products, wigs, and compression garments. Dedicated to helping women heal inside and out, Remember the Moon also provides community cancer resources, retail gifts, clothing, and accessories. Remember the Moon is a haven to cultivate and love your beautiful.
How a Cancer Diagnosis Inspired Andrea to Help Others
How did I get started in the lingerie business you ask? Allow me to tell you a little doozy of a marvelous story. Diagnosed in 2013 with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, primary to my brain, 17 days following my 40th birthday, I had brain surgery followed by 8 rounds of inpatient chemotherapy, administered by Willamette Valley Cancer Institute (WVCI).
A couple of years following my treatment, I began work as a Patient Navigator at WVCI meeting with newly diagnosed cancer patients providing clinic and community resources throughout the duration of their treatment. I worked with patients of all cancer diagnosis. Meeting with breast cancer patients and women looking for head-wear for chemo driven hair loss, my go to local resource and brochure for patients was for Cynthia’s Fine Lingerie. I received mixed reviews from patients regarding Cynthia’s. Women over 50, maybe even 60, loved Cynthia’s. Younger women expressed, “It feels ‘old,’ I don’t like it. I’m going to Portland or I’ll order something online.” I made an appointment to visit Cynthia’s, meet her, get a feel for her business, and get to know this community resource firsthand. Cynthia operated her business out of a magical three story, historic, pastel pink house. We connected immediately. She shared her plans to retire and her hope to find someone to take care of her life's work of 33 years, continuing to provide post mastectomy products to women in our community. Cynthia and me, sitting in her fitting room, among all the beige bras and boxes of boobs/foobs, sharing our life stories. I am buying Cynthia’s! The stars aligned.
I trained with Cynthia beginning in March 2018, learning, and loving the amazing business she founded. So many ideas alive in my head. I will continue to serve the women she devoted her life to. I will give this business a little makeover creating a space women of all ages feel comfortable and inspired. I will continue to provide resources and a kind ear to cancer patients. I will add wigs and darling hats. And there has got to be bras of another color. Working to complete my certification as a Certified Mastectomy Fitter, acquiring an SBA loan, receiving my Medicare Accreditation, I officially purchased Cynthia's on October 5, 2018.
I moved the business from Eugene across the river to Springfield, re-branded, coming out on the other side, Remember the Moon. I continue a close relationship with Cynthia, she is doing well; healthy and enjoying retirement. I am forever grateful for all her hard work and dedication to all the women she served. I remain more than inspired working with clients, assessing their needs, working to offer more beautiful lingerie and more education; I desperately want a woman to know early in her breast cancer diagnosis, all her options for her body and her breasts after her initial mastectomy or lumpectomy. I want her to know she can love her beautiful wearing prosthesis, undergoing breast reconstruction or an aesthetic flat closure - AND she needs to know beautiful lingerie is out there, dancing on a hanger in a boutique nearby, just waiting for her in a dressing room.
You Can Count On This Mastectomy Boutique
Working in the lingerie and mastectomy business excites me and inspires me for so many reasons. At the heart of this careful work, Remember the Moon provides support for women in what can be for many (I would bet on, most), a very dark time, and for some women, Remember the Moon, the only semblance of a support system. But there is more. So much more. Women, in general, often struggle with a positive body image. Adding losing one breast, two breasts or part of your breast (maybe throw in a hysterectomy, for fun), deciding what to do, how to feel, how to “fix it” can be unbearable, or unimaginably overwhelming. As a young girl, I developed earlier than my peers. I was 5’5” at age 12 and looked like I was 17. Healthy and happy. Body issues ensued. Thankfully, and I am not sure how, something within me battled my body image and that something won out. Love your beautiful. Ever since my teenage realization, I am ultra-sensitive to the subtle yet debilitating words I hear a woman say about herself, to herself and about other women.
It is so important for a woman to establish a positive relationship with her body, in the cancer world or not. My most powerful tool to battle and conquer positive body image is confidence and courage. FASHION, STYLE, PRETTY THINGS & COMFORT are my magic wands for confidence and courage. So much more than “pretty things” are packed tight, often overflowing, into my dressing room during a mastectomy fitting - but a well-fitting beautiful and comfortable bra, lovingly holding her prosthesis, gracing her flat chest, or decorating her reconstruction - go a very, very, long way - it is powerful. It is serendipitous, I find myself working in the business of confidence, courage, and self-love, and I could not be more honored and prouder to be a part of such a critical piece of women’s’ overall mental health. An even larger piece to the mastectomy puzzle (no pun intended) and optimization of a positive mental outcome, is education. A woman needs (“needs” is not a strong enough word - it is imperative) to know all her post mastectomy options early in her diagnosis, to aid her decision-making process for what is to come and to help her heal physically and psychologically. I do feel and see positive changes happening in the mastectomy business and it excites me to be a part of the positive and powerful change.
When Andrea's Helping Hand Transformed a Customer's Experience
There are many stories I could share regarding loving helping a client, but the story I am choosing to share so perfectly captures the essence and importance of the services and products provided by a mastectomy boutique. I received a faxed prescription for a woman for bras and prosthesis at least a month ago. Usually, shortly after receiving a fax from the surgeon’s office the new client will reach out to Remember the Moon requesting to schedule an appointment for a fitting. I continued to see this particular fax in our inbox for about a week and for whatever reason I kept going back to the prescription and checking to see if she had made an appointment. My employee, Adria, calls all women we receive prescriptions for if they do not reach out to us, but we missed reaching out to this woman. I only include this detail because I needed to call this woman. I called and left a voicemail for her; I will call her Samantha.
Samantha returned my call about a week later. I let her know we received a prescription from her surgeon for mastectomy bras and prosthesis. She sounded nervous on the other end of the line and she expressed she had her bilateral mastectomy surgery 8 years ago, and then her end of the line went silent, and I knew she was crying. I let her know it was okay and she could take her time. She shared with me through tears, she has been wearing a bra that does not fit and some sort of foam forms she said ride up on her chest, for 8 years. She then remarked, “I know it’s been 8 years but I’m still very emotional.” My heart ached. I let her know it is absolutely understandable and normal continuing to carry these heavy emotions. I asked her if she had been fitted for a prosthesis and bras before and if she would like to make an appointment to come in and just look at our bras and different styles/types of prosthesis. She said she did, but she said she would call when she was ready. Sigh. I just wanted to hug her through the phone. She called back maybe two weeks later and scheduled an appointment. Yaaaayyy! Samantha came in yesterday and her appointment is why I do this work and why mastectomy boutiques can be such an important part of the healing process.
When Samantha arrived, she was very soft spoken. I could not see all her facial expressions behind the COVID mask, but I did not need to, I could see it in her eyes. Adria completed her intake, and I began to review necessary details with Samantha for her fitting. When she started to talk about her surgery, again she began to cry and could not finish what she was saying. I stepped in; I had all the information I needed. I measured her, brought out some bras and a few different prostheses. The first bra I showed her was deep purple and her eyes lit up. I held out the prosthesis to her and she touched it and squeezed it, lighting up even more. “Oh my goodness, it feels so real and the bra is so pretty!” I asked her to step into the dressing room explaining it is most beneficial if I can assist her and see her chest wall to ensure the best fit. She agreed and took off her shirt. Still emotional, explaining to me how much her scars and extra skin left under her arms after surgery bothered her and how the skin was “always pooching out” over the side of the bra, she became silent again, tearful. I continued to fit her in the amethyst bra, and prostheses, clasped the last hook and turned her around to face the mirror. She transformed into a happy giggly being right there in the dressing room. She laughed and looked at herself in the mirror, moved from side to side, felt under her arms and felt the fit of the band of the bra. She turned back to me, and now we were both crying. I fit Samantha in an AnaOno Monica bra next and she was beside herself with how soft the fabric felt and how it fit so well on her body. The relief she exhaled was palpable. I would have hugged her right then, pre-COVID. We stood in the dressing room together and rejoiced. Samantha was so happy. So thankful. So delighted. And hopefully, hopefully, on her way to healing.
We're Bringing Sexy Back
The number one question I hear from clients regarding mastectomy bras is “Why are all mastectomy bras like what I think grandma’s wear?”
Editor's Note: This is the exact reason AnaOno was founded - to create beautiful and comfortable bras that don't look matronly.
Advice on Getting Fitted For Your Perfect Bra
My advice for customers who are anxious or nervous about getting a fitting at a mastectomy boutique is first and foremost, it is more than understandable to feel anxious, nervous and a myriad of other emotions leading up to a mastectomy fitting appointment. With that in mind, take a deep breath. You are a rock star, my friend. Find beauty in this moment and remember it always. I recommend customers reach out to their local boutique (local-ish or nearby, and this is another great topic for conversation because very few cities actually have a mastectomy boutique) and ask to speak to one of the boutique’s fitters and ask them to explain the fitting process, what takes place during their fitting and what is the end goal. If you do not feel ready to make the fitting appointment initially, you can ask to schedule a time to come into the boutique and talk with the fitter and touch, see and feel the products. Making an appointment to see what is available to you often lessens the anxiety and relieves some pressure, enabling you to be more relaxed and maybe even have some fun (which you totally should), when you do come in for your fitting. I remember the moon, finding my beautiful in its calm. Love your beautiful. - whatever your beautiful may be.
When in Springfield, Oregon...
You can find Remember the Moon’s contact information, hours, appointment information and more, online: www.rememberthemoon.com/contact
Shop the online store : www.rememberthemoon.com