NUTLEY, N.J. — Women who have survived cancer have a new resource to help them reclaim their physical confidence and emotional well-being. In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Roche is sponsoring the launch of Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, How Do I Feel Underneath it All?(TM), an initiative that combines a specialized fashion program with self-empowerment strategies to help cancer survivors rediscover their beauty from the inside out.
Mirror, Mirror is a cooperative effort between Roche and seminar co-creators Beverly Kirkhart, a cancer survivor and author of My Healing Companion and co-author of Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul, and Lisa Cole, a nationally-recognized lingerie fit expert who presents fashion seminars across the country.
Designed as an interactive seminar and fashion workshop, the program — launching this month in Las Vegas — will also feature oncology nurse practitioner Jody Pelusi, PhD, FNP, AOCN, Arizona Oncology Associates, Sedona, AZ, who will provide strategies to help maintain overall well-being while undergoing cancer treatment.
Mirror, Mirror will be accessible to women across the country through an archived Webcast of the event and a written guide based on the seminar content. Future seminars are being planned for cities across the nation.
“Cancer survivors experience physical and emotional trauma that can have a profound impact on their lives, from their body image to overall self-worth,” said Cole.
“We designed this program to help women rebuild their self- confidence, whether it’s by choosing the right lingerie, keeping a journal of their experiences or working with their health care team to lessen the burden of treatment,” added Kirkhart.
Many cancer survivors feel they will never be the same. They cope daily with emotions like fear and anger, as well as body changes such as loss of a breast, change in skin color due to radiation, treatment-related hair loss and weight change. Maintaining the activities of their daily life, including continuing to work, fulfilling parenting obligations and taking pride in their appearance can provide cancer survivors with an essential sense of normalcy and self-worth.
Mirror, Mirror seminars begin with a presentation by Kirkhart, during which she chronicles her personal story and inspires women to see inner beauty through journaling and other survival techniques.
Cole leads an interactive fashion workshop where she demonstrates how a survivor can wear the appropriate lingerie, including mastectomy prostheses, to boost her confidence in wearing the latest fashion trends.
Pelusi addresses the importance of an integrated treatment approach focusing on both body and soul. Mirror, Mirror seminars conclude with an open question and answer forum and personal lingerie fittings.
“My patients are often devastated by how they look and feel as a result of their cancer and its treatment, and I often counsel them on how to maintain a positive outlook and body image,” said Pelusi. “For some of my patients, different treatment approaches, like oral chemotherapy, also can have a positive impact by offering greater convenience.”