By Elizabeth Keys
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Don’t be afraid.”
Posted on a note by her bedside, the late Sarah Mussett found inspiration each morning with the handwritten message empowering her to face the challenges of breast cancer. Her daughter, Katie Roberts, director of Cimarron Medical Services, said inspirational words often helped her mother brave daily struggles as the cancer spread to her brain and lungs. Thirty percent of women with the illness face metastatic cancer and Roberts’ mother succumbed to the disease in January.
The “Inspiration Wall Fitting Event” in the Cimarron Medical Services mastectomy room from 10-4 p.m. Tuesday plans to perpetuate special words of wisdom to inspire others fighting the disease.
“We all have those things that help us get up in the morning,” Roberts said. “We are looking for empowering messages to post to the Inspiration Wall in our mastectomy room.”
She said her mother didn’t make up the phrases that inspired her and others may look to a Bible verse or a famous person’s quote for inspiration.
“Cimarron Medical Services is honoring breast cancer survivors with this event. Come be inspired and inspire others,” Roberts said. “We want to help survivors get back to feeling like themselves.”
Jan McVay, a certified mastectomy fitter, is coordinating the event “to help women feel beautiful.” As a department of Stillwater Medical Center, Cimarron Medical Services specializes in providing after breast surgery products. The mastectomy room provides services in a private setting at 723 Eastgate, behind John Deere, east of Stillwater off U.S. Highway 51.
“This inspirational event encourages survivors to gather, share their journeys and discover new products along the way,” McVay said. “We also encourage anyone interested in a fitting for after breast surgery wear to make an appointment to review what’s available in breast forms, bras, camisoles, swim suits and other accessories. Becky Welldon-Martin from American Breast Care will be our guest to help with questions and fittings, too.”
McVay does a lot more than fit prosthetics. Too many times, women challenged with breast cancer feel alone and need someone to talk to.
“Sometimes they just need someone to listen. Recovery is a process — they are afraid to discuss their innermost fears with their family,” she said. “I love being that someone.”
As the only certified mastectomy fitter in Payne County, McVay enjoys being an outlet for breast cancer survivors and has women coming from out-of-state to have her fit them with personal garments.
“She has mailed bras out of the country to patients,” Roberts said. “But if insurance guidelines restrict a patient’s service providers, Jan will refer them to quality services in their area.”
Roberts said some patients come to the mastectomy room before surgery to be better educated and review all the options for when they get ready for a bra or prosthetics so they don’t feel anxious about presenting themselves as a woman. After surgery, a non-silicone breast form can give comfort and balance during the post-surgical experience.
The event on Tuesday will bring breast cancer survivors together with an opportunity to enter their inspirational quotes in the 2014 Face of Inspiration contest. The winning submission last year was “faith is taking the first step when you don’t see the whole staircase” and is now inscribed on a unique set of silicone breast forms from the American Breast Care’s Inspiration Series Collection. McVay said more contest details will be available at the event. For more information or to schedule a fitting, call 405-377-9735.