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Gin Schaffer is a former higher education administrator and works part-time at MWHC's Regional Cancer Center as the Coordinator of Integrative Medicine. She lives in downtown Fredericksburg and enjoys walking and biking with her husband and 2 kids (especially if coffee is involved).

Pink Ribbon Journey

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Valentine's Day is a perfect time to show our ta-tas a little love and support.  Mine have been through hell over the last year, so I decided to go out and treat them to a new wardrobe.  I learned a lot on my bra shopping expedition, so I thought you and your girls would appreciate the information (and guys, why not consider a little giftcard giving?).  Visit my blog, dailygin.blogspot.com to read my reflections on the experience.

Some general suggestions:

  • Get your bra size measured whenever possible (our bodies are forever changing)
  • It's unlikely you have just 1 bra size (I came up with 4 depending on which store I was at)
  • ALWAYS try bras on
  • Prepare for a "trying to find that perfect pair of jeans" kind of experience
  • Hand-wash bras, have 6-8 well-fitted bras that you can rotate, and get rid of any bra 8 years or older
  • A red bra doesn't show under white - I'm pretty sure my 1980s, Madonna-esque wardrobe would disagree, but o.k.

I want to give a shout-out to Athleta (Market Street in Lynnfield, MA) for giving me 2 free (awesome) sports bras the week before I had my lumpectomy.  Those acts of kindness are the positive energy that help me through the tough times.  And, if you need a sports bra, I also have to mention the Ta-Ta Tamer at Lululemon - you'll want to work-out with this sucker on.

I visited Soma and was pleased to discover that I had been purchasing bras relatively close to the correct bra size.  Your band size may not be what you think it is because the band should sit at the small of your back, not as high as you think.  Also, your cup size may surprise you especially because breasts can be asymmetrical (mine certainly are now!)  I love that Soma has a front-closure bra offering and has wonderful, breathable sleepwear for those afflicted with hot flashes like me!

Spanx is definitely a loyal brand with many followers.  They now have their own stand-alone stores, so you can get direct sales assistance more readily.  I recommend their front-closure Bra-llelujah bra for an everyday, seamless bra (sadly, my size wasn't available).

Victoria's Secret should be happy to know that they got plenty of my money in the first quarter of my life, but sadly, there is no place (bra-wise) for me there now.  It would be so easy to swoop in there during their great sales and grab a bunch of bras, but my true size doesn't live there anymore.  And wearing a bra that doesn't truly fit isn't a good idea - I finally get that now.  I love their stuff, but we aren't a match.

Department stores are a great place for you to seek out a variety of brands that might work best for you (Wacoal was a top hit on my poll of friends).  Nordstrom would be my recommended store because of their commitment to customer service and their dediction to serving breast cancer survivors.

Last but certainly not least, I have to mention the premiere bra fit experts, Intimacy.  I made an appointment to go to this store and I'm really glad I did.  I liked the education I received, both about the bras and my breasts (these experts mean business, I mean, they talked about breast tissue).  It was an hour of therapy - helping me feel better about my body and getting back to the Gin I once knew.

Make sure you show your ta-tas some extra love this week!  You or someone else ;-) should examine your breasts, schedule an annual exam if you haven't done so already, and go out and have some fun (don't forget to wear your new bra)!

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Pouches' Community Corner

Adoptive parents in Fredericksburg now have a new partner on their journey to a healthy family. In 2016, Children’s Home Society was awarded a $125,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Social Services to extend their Richmond area post-adoptive services to the Fredericksburg area.

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Now CHS is looking to find adoptive families in the area who need support before they hit a crisis point. “It doesn’t matter which agency they adopted from, or when that happened,” said Buckheit. “We want to offer a lifetime of support to adoptive families in the Fredericksburg area, especially those who haven’t been aware of our services in the past.”

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