About a week ago, a friend contacted me who I haven’t heard from in a while. I was stunned to learn that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer months ago and was finishing up chemotherapy. Her road was not over–she was due for a mastectomy and weeks of radiation.
Whenever someone says CANCER to me, I freeze up a little bit. I lost my sister to brain cancer in 2006 and it was the most devastating experience of my life.
Of course my first reaction is to DO something. I don’t live near this person, so I cannot go visit her, bring her tea, magazines, sewing projects, etc. Sure I can send her a care package, but what to put in it? Most cancer patients don’t want a bunch of food around that they cannot stomach. They’ve read every magazine on the newsstand. They really need hugs, love and support. So how do I do that from so far away? I turn to my sewing machine of course.
Several years ago, we published a story in Sew News about Deon Maas, who created a pattern called the Anti-Ouch Pouch for breast cancer patients undergoing mastectomies. So I thought I’d make one for my friend. Hopefully she likes it! I chose a beautiful Valori Wells printed fabric by Free Spirit Fabrics.
The idea of the pouch is that it looks like a purse, yet it is really a big pocket that’s full of fiberfill to hold against your breast and shield it from your arm or other objects after undergoing surgery and radiation. There’s an outer pocket to easily access the contents so you can adjust the amount of fiberfill or even insert an ice pack. The beauty is that no one will know it’s not a purse when/if you’re out and about.
I hope she likes it and knows that I put a lot of thought into what might comfort her. I thought of a number of things I could sew for her, and this seemed like the best choice. Plus I was able to make it in 20 minutes and get it off in the mail so she could have it as soon as possible.
If you or a friend are going through a similar experience, consider making this project. The full instructions are here. You only need 15″ of 45″-wide fabric, some fiberfill, velcro and thread.
Here’s to recovery! Cheers!