Like most breast cancer survivors, I was clueless when I was first diagnosed. There are so many things that I wish I had known then that I know now. One of those things is to be prepared with a small mastectomy pillow in your car at the time of biopsy and surgery to protect the tender area from your seat belt.
Free pillows are provided by Reach to Recovery volunteers at the American Cancer Society and from area medical offices. The pillows are made and donated by several organizations . One of the busiest of these groups is the “Pinheads”. These ladies meet weekly and are part of the Stitch & Chat program at the JFCS. Each year we make and distribute over 150 heart shaped pillows.
We like the heart shape for pillows for a number of reasons:
· It fits under the seatbelt or under the arm so it doesn’t move all over the place, like a rectangular pillow or rolled up towels.
· It takes off the pressure of the arm and or the breast on your sore and sensitive chest after a mastectomy or lumpectomy for breast cancer, or during radiation treatments.
· It can provide a cushion to protect a chemo port from rubbing against a seatbelt.
· It fills in the space left empty after a mastectomy, giving you a more comfortable rest when lying on your side
· And, finally the heart shape speaks of love as well as giving physical comfort and pain.
We depend on donations of cotton fabric, poly-fiber filling and thread to provide pillows to patients. If you would like to help us make pillows (or other projects to comfort cancer patients), join us at Stitch & Chat on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at the Center For Building Hope from 9:30 to 12:30.
There are also patterns and instructions for comfort pillows on many websites, a good one is: http://www.angelpillow.org/sewing-instructions.html