“I look in the mirror and I see a beautiful woman now”
These are the words from 47 year old breast cancer survivor, Lori Cain.
Lori has beautiful curly hair, big eyes and a wide smile. Sitting across from me she is beautiful, but her beauty comes from inside and reflects in her face.
Asking Lori what she meant about seeing a beautiful woman in the mirror here is how she explained it.
“Women are so caught up in their appearance: hair, weight, make-up, boobs but that isn’t what makes a woman beautiful. None of that matters. We are all beautiful; God made us so how can each and every one of us not be beautiful? I wish every woman could see herself the way I do.”
Back track 2 years ago when Lori was 45 and her husband felt a lump in her breast. She had just had a physical 3 months prior and her doctor didn’t feel a lump. Being an MRI tech she knew the odds were this was cancer.
2 weeks later Cain was scheduled for a mastectomy on one breast. She wanted the other one taken as well but the doctors didn’t want to risk infection. She couldn’t have reconstructive surgery right away so she had prosthesis for a few years.
When I asked her how her husband handled the news she said with a smile that he is a jokester and said “It’s ok, I didn’t like that one anyway.”
She teared up and paused a moment before she could tell me his next sentence to her.
She told him he was her rock and he replied “You are my rock”.
These two “rock”
On her second round of chemo Lori’s hair started falling out so she invited some friends over and had a cake, wine and a shaving party. Lori said she rocked being bald and wanted me to share a picture of her without hair. Look how beautiful she is:
I asked Lori what message she wanted me to deliver to women through this interview. She told me there were 3 things she wanted women to know.
- Don’t be afraid – Find people to help with the fear. There are organizations, groups and other women who have survived that can help. Talk to someone and share your fears.
2. Try and keep life “normal” – Lori has 2 kids and she did her best to have life go on as normal for everyone. She had an exchange student stay with the family during this time and she encouraged her husband to follow his passion and play golf. Lori was out of work for 10 months and spent the time being a Mom, strengthening friendships and going to the gym. Lori said her husband and kids were ok during her cancer and much of that was to do normalcy.
3. Cancer can be financially debilitating – Although Lori has a good job and makes good money the cancer has put her in thousands of dollars in debt.
There is an organization called Breast Intentions located in Clinton, Ma that can help.
Here is a link to their web-site and how they can help women with breast cancer financially. http://breastintentions.org/site/ma/
“In 2010 a group of girls from Clinton Ma joined forces with an organization in New Jersey to help women with breast cancer and their families. Through donations and local fund raising, our goal is to assist with the financial hardships that women face while fighting breast cancer. During their treatments women are sometimes not able to continue with their jobs and the everyday bills start to pile up. We, TEAM 01510, will step in and help these women pay such bills as their rents, mortgages, utility bills, car payments etc. We also provide grocery cards and gas cards to families struggling to put food on their tables or gas in their vehicles. in doing this we know we are not going to change lives, treatments or prognosis, but if we can make one person’s day, week or month a little easier and let someone rest a little easier knowing that a bill is taken care of, then we have succeeded.”
As so many other people I have heard say Lori says the cancer is the best thing that ever happened to her. It has made her a stronger person, she has strengthened relationships with family, friends and God and she believes it brought her a whole new passion to help people.
As well as doing her job as an MRI tech Lori has discovered Body Contouring Wraps that she does on the side.
What are Body Wraps?
“Ultimate Body Applicator, a one-of-a-kind body contouring treatment that can tighten, tone, and firm any place on the body in as little as 45 minutes. No disrobing required and all treatments are done privately.”
Visit the web-site for more infomation – www.luscrazywraps.com
Lori believes that finding this new passion was a gift from God, that if she never got cancer she never would have found this calling.
This past July Lori had her breast reconstructed using her stomach to make a “breast” and the doctors made a nipple. Lori had no qualms showing it to me and laughed and said she still thinks of it as her stomach and not her breast.
I asked Lori if she would be brave enough to share a picture of her reconstructed breast and she said “hell, yeah. I am not ashamed”. She selflessly shared this intimate, raw, vulnerable picture of herself so that she could help other women. I could only hope to be half as brave and giving as she is.
Here is what Lori’s new breast looks like after it was reconstructed
On May 18th and 19th she is walking in her 4th Avon walk for cancer. She walked it for the first time 3 months before she was diagnosed.
If you would like to donate any amount helps. Even if you just have a spare $2.00 it can make a difference.
Avonwalk.org/Boston – Just search for Lori Cain
Lori was getting ready for the Miss Pink Pageant the day before I sat down and spoke with her. She was nominated to be Miss Pink but she can’t understand why anyone thinks she’s anything special.
Lori is more than special. She is an inspiring, positive, beautiful, caring and kind woman that can teach any woman who has cancer or not how to live life in the moment and look in the mirror and say “I am beautiful.”