We are very proud to announce that we have published Surviving Beautifully: Your Comprehensive Guide to to Aesthetic Issues during Cancer Treatment, now available on Amazon!
It has been seven years since I sat that autumn day in the radiologist’s office. The doctor had brought in a nurse and they both started to give me my diagnosis. It was so surreal, like in a movie. I remember their lips moving, but after “I am so sorry but you have breast cancer,” I could no longer hear what they were saying. All I remember is that the nurse said that she was a survivor and that I too will survive. I could not hear her. My ears just refused to listen and my head was so full of other sounds. I heard screaming “I am sick. I will never be normal. I will never be the same again. My parents will not survive this. I will be bald. I will lose all my hair and everyone will know that this terrible thing has happened to me.”
Since that day, I have been in the same seat as that nurse many times. I have looked into the eyes of a terrified woman and I have told her that I survived and that she would too.
Very early on, I realized that saying that I have survived just was not enough. This is how the idea for Surviving Beautifully was born. I wanted to tell these women that even though they may not be the same after their battle with cancer, they do not have to lose themselves, their confidence, their sexiness. I was completely terrified of being disfigured. I worried about my marriage and how my physical changes will affect it. I did not want to see pity in other people’s eyes. It was crucial for me to appear strong, brave, attractive, in control of my situation.
Until I was faced with it myself, I could not understand what early detection meant. Ever since Victoria Tillotson and I began working on the Surviving Beautifully project, we met so many women who said that they did not make the right decisions simply because they did not have sufficient information. For example, one woman told me that she lost all her teeth because she did not know how to properly care for the mouth sores that she got during chemo. Another woman was distressed about skin discoloration during radiation. Had she known about the effects of radiation, she may have chosen to have a mastectomy with reconstruction instead.
Our website and book Surviving Beautifully address the issues of beauty, body, reconstruction, scar, skin care, makeup and hair. These are the aesthetic issues that if addressed early enough can have a profound, even life altering effect. I hate when people say “Your scars are proof that you survived your battle.” I do not need additional scars! My ability to find joy; my desire to help others and a profound gratitude that I am here today is my proof that I survived that battle.
~~ Lana Koifman, founder
“I was terrified of being disfigured. I worried about my marriage and how my physical changes will affect it. It was crucial for me to appear strong, brave, attractive, in control of my situation.”