2015 was always going to be a big year for me. My wedding was planned for August and my 40th birthday was coming up in September. It ended up being bigger than I could have ever imagined when in January, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. A long year of treatment followed, starting with five and a half months of sixteen chemotherapy sessions, finishing just three weeks before our wedding, followed by two surgeries and several weeks of radiotherapy.
Being diagnosed with cancer is a terrifying time. The mental anguish can never be truly articulated and the treatment is physically brutal. Women can lose so much: breasts, fertility, hair, self-esteem and overall sense of femininity. You are led through a whirlwind of doctor's and hospital appointments, waiting rooms and surgeries. It is all so medical, sterile and frightening and the person underneath, who they were, who they are now and who they will become afterwards, tends to become invisible. This is precisely the time when you need to feel pampered, indulged, feminine, sexy and beautiful. Why can't we have these things? Cancer happened to us but it sure as hell doesn't define us!
I had a mastectomy with an immediate reconstruction. Once the surgical recovery was complete, I was able to continue wearing the lingerie in my drawers. However, I found that wearing underwire bras was extremely uncomfortable on my reconstructed breast. So I started searching for comfortable solutions and found there was very little available. The majority were functional, unattractive sports style bras. Losing the choice of beautiful lingerie seemed so unfair! This got me thinking. Why aren't there more choices available to help women through this harrowing time? Not just with lingerie, but with all needs.
So I founded Simply Zoë, providing women with beautiful, elegant, comfortable yet functional items, to help them through their treatment and recovery. Giving women back choice, confidence and control. It also provides family and friends with a great opportunity to treat their loved ones.
Simply Zoë aims to stock items where the designer has a personal connection with cancer and will continue to add more products to the Simply Zoë collection over time. Join us on this journey!