During that time I found myself on tissue paper-covered waiting tables, cold slabs, and sitting in waiting rooms with scores of other scared women.... each of us wearing ill-fitting "Johnnies", trying to keep our privates private. There we sat, all in fetal-like positions, trying to hold on to what little dignity we had. You know that pose, right? The one where your legs are crossed and your arms are pulling at the inside ties to help cover your nether regions? Something always falls out, no matter how hard you try. It's so humiliating!
I thought the Johnnies were the worst thing in town, until I had my 6 month oncology appointment last year. I was sent into "the room" by the sweet, 20 year old medical assistant.
She told me to undress.
"Put this on".
(Who on God's pink earth thought this one up?)
In case you are thinking your eyes are deceiving you, look again. This is not just a pink, paper Johnny, but an actual MIDRIFF pink, paper Johnny. I bet you didn't know they made them this fancy!
Now, let's back up a second. Once my journey was over, I had gained a full 40 lbs (wow, just like each of my pregnancies!) I could picture my side boobs and my jelly belly just spilling out of the sides of this. You would think with my big mouth that now matched my big body, it would have been a good time to speak up and revolt, but I honestly was in too much shock to protest. So, if my memory serves, I left my undies and pants on and put this on top. I still felt utterly ridiculous. And pink....really? I'm so over you!
Even with the modifications I managed to make before my doc came in, I still felt so stupid and uncomfortable in a pink, paper midriff Johnny. But did I have a choice? No. Did I feel powerful in this situation? NO. This is the way it is and it will never change.
So I thought.
Then, through the power of social media, a woman named Sharon Linder contacted me on LinkedIn. She must have noticed my then bald head and my numerous references to breast cancer awareness. She introduced herself as the CEO of GetJanes. (Ps. I love the name of her company!) She generously sent me one of her genius inventions. It's more like the "Anti-Johnny" and covers you in all the right places, while also being soft and comfy. It even comes in its own soft carrying case so you can bring it to your appointments and no longer bear the wrath of the pink, paper Johnny!
Please check out her website and watch this video! As it turns out, GetJanes were born out of personal necessity. Sharon, her sisters and mother all fought their own cancer battles and I'm sure they saw more than their share of paper Johnnies.
Do you have a friend or family member who is going through a tough illness, requiring multiple tests or treatments? Do you think that flowers are a great idea? Well, they do brighten one's day, however they DIE! For the cost of a floral arrangement you can GetJanes and give them something they can wear with dignity at each appointment. And ps. they also make a great every day robe too. Mine hangs on my bathroom door hook so I have something light to wear when I get out of the shower.
Quotes from the little men in my house:
"Mommy, that looks so soft and comfortable!"
"It looks like something you could wear to the beach!"
They are so smart!
I can't WAIT to go to my follow up appointments with my oncologist and my breast surgeon over the next few months. I plan on bringing my Jane with me. No more paper Johnnies for this girl. When I said I would be bringing back my power in 2015 that includes not being that scared, cowering girl sitting on a cold slab, with my side boobs hanging out.
I'll be wearing my Janes proudly!
p.s. I received no monetary compensation for writing this blog, but I did GetJanes which is way more valuable. Thank you, Sharon Linder! So happy our paths crossed. xoxo