CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — A Midstate business owner and other advocates are trying to give breast cancer survivors the tools they need to look and feel their best. They say it is a resource many women do not know about.
Breast cancer surgery can often attract unwanted attention, and two Midstate women said they want to put survivors back in control of their stories.
In 2006, Diana Klunk noticed a lump in her breast. Her doctor said it was probably a harmless cyst, something she had dealt with before.
“It was much easier to just think, ‘Oh it’s just the cyst filling up,’ but I always had an uneasy feeling about it,” Klunk said.
After her mammogram, she got a diagnosis: Stage 3 breast cancer.
“Any time you hear the words, ‘You have cancer,’ I don’t care what kind of cancer it is, it just runs like a ticker tape at the bottom of your life,” she said.
Klunk decided to have a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction.
“It’s a very life-changing event. And I’m thrilled to be here,” she said.
There were some surprises, the biggest well after Klunk’s surgery. She discovered post-surgical bras and camisoles exist to help with recovery.
“The most important thing is it has a Velcro drain pouch on it,” Klunk said.
After surgery, most patients have a drain pouch to help fluid drain. Klunk said she had to tape it and pin it to her clothes. With a post-surgical garment, she said, “It would have been a huge lifesaver for me.”
Klunk said she was angry.
“I should have been educated about these things,” she said.
Business owner Terry Scott has heard many stories like Klunk’s, and she has spent the last seven years helping.
“I just feel very blessed that I can have women that come in with their shoulders bent over, and leave with their shoulders held up high,” she said.
Scott, a certified mastectomy fitter, owns Perfect Match Boutique in Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County. Her store supplies prosthetics, bras, camisoles and other products all designed for breast cancer surgery patients.
“We have so many prosthetics here that we can choose from,” she said.
Scott said many of these products are covered by insurance because there are health benefits to balancing the weight after a mastectomy. For her, it is also about empowering women.
“We can’t give you back what you lost. But we can make it so that the world doesn’t know your story unless you choose to tell them,” she said.
Klunk added, “It’s helping you feel whole again, helping you feel like a woman again.”
Scott said boutiques like hers exist all over the country, and she encourages breast cancer patients to reach out to them. She said insurance companies may be able to help find the closest store. Scott said she just wants more women to know that these resources exist.