When I sat down in the phlebotomist’s chair at The Cancer Factory for my blood draw on Friday morning, I unzipped my cardigan (very cute, gift from fab sister) and leaned back. The nurse was impressed that I had thought to wear a cardi and a scoop-neck (“Have you had a port before?” he asked – an odd time to feel smug), which allowed him to access my port (feels really odd) without my having to strip down, put on a johnny, etc. He said that some patients forget, in colder weather, and show up for treatment in turtlenecks.
Which got me thinking about an article that a friend of mine wrote in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She was profiling a company, Healing Threads, that was started by three sisters, all of whom were cancer patients, that makes clothing for people who are in the hospital, either for inpatient or outpatient treatments. The jackets and pants, made of stain-resistant microfiber, have easy-access panels with velcro closures that allow nurses, doctors, and physical therapists to examine or treat one area of the body while leaving the rest of the body covered.
The fashionista in me likes that, while they’re not exactly cutting-edge design, they do have an ageless Asian flair, with Mandarin collar and frog closures, that will never go out of style. The patient in me likes that someone thought about more than just accessing our ports, all the way to modesty, dignity, and staying warm. As I mentioned in the article, giving the patient a way to take control of even the tiiiiiiniest bit of their treatment, in what is essentially an uncontrollable disease process, can be immensely empowering and comforting. And, let’s admit it, we’re all control freaks to some extent. Who wouldn’t want more control, and to look cute at the same time? Flashing people is so 2008.
I wonder if they’ll ever make one in cashmere?