2010 ARTIST #1
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2010 ARTIST #1


POINSETTIA BRA
Essay by Felicia Turner, WISE Woman


Art created by the Amarillo WISE Women, Peggy Lawless, Denise Rayford and Sherry Rawlings
Sponsor: Texas Panhandle Family Planning and Health Centers

Poinsettia flowers, in the language of many, are known as Christmas Stars and Christmas Flowers. A Hispanic legend tells the story of a child, who, without any means for a grander gift, gathers humble weeds from the side of the road to place at a church altar on Christmas Eve. The whole congregation witnesses a Christmas miracle when the weeds turn into brilliant red and green flowers, the poinsettia.

When WISE Women gather together with community women, we have the same kind of gift to offer – humble information, delivered with our best efforts to our “congregation” of women who have a thirst for the knowledge we share with them about breast health. We enlighten and empower women to take charge of themselves and their health. As WISE Women, we are given the opportunity to see a light begin to shine in each woman, as she discovers there is power in one when it comes to taking care of herself.

Like the poinsettia, WISE Women keep blooming; we bloom by inspiring, serving, and educating more and more women in our communities about breast health. We help women make wise decisions about their health – performing monthly breast self exams, being checked yearly by a health professional and getting annual mammograms after the age of 40. We share knowledge about healthy lifestyle changes they can embrace to reduce their risk of breast cancer.

We are part of a spiritual journey that begins with women loving themselves enough to take care of themselves.




2010 ARTIST #2


WISE Woman Bra
Essay by Tifanie Talamante, WISE Woman


Art created by the Amarillo WISE Women, Peggy Lawless, Denise Rayford and Sherry Rawlings
Sponsor: Texas Breast Specialists

What is a WISE Woman? We are told we inspire, serve and educate…that’s what WISE Women do. Over the past year we have come to learn that we do more than that. We are normal everyday women. We are mothers, daughters, friends, sisters, aunts and all brought together for one common purpose – not to lose our mothers, daughters, friends, sisters, and aunts. The thing we fight together is breast cancer. Some have been lost physically and emotionally to this battle we fight.

We’ve been taught in the past that our curves define who we are. When we lose our curves, we feel less; we are not whole; we are weak. As WISE Women, in the past couple of months, we have come to realize that is not the case. A woman is more than that. We are the strength of all; we are the strength of one.

As we share our story we look back to the Race for the Cure in September… everyday people wanting much more for themselves and their loved ones around them, raising the banner together because we win the battle together. In this day of age, it is hard to be left unscarred by the vermin, breast cancer, which we fight. As a woman, you have either battled against breast cancer, lost one you loved, or fought alongside one you’ve loved dearly.

As we look at this bra, we see it as a crown, a crown we’ve placed on those who have gone to the battle field and won. We also see it as another crown, one placed on those who have lost the battle to breast cancer. It represents many words, but one word specifically comes to mind – SUPPORT. That’s what WISE Women do. We are there for support, to uplift when life’s gravity pulls down at our very beauty; we are there to love and hold.




2010 ARTIST #3


My Survivor's Road
Artist: Audrey Massingill


Sponsor: Goodcare Health Services

My mother had a mastectomy is 1974, and died in 1976 after the cancer spread throughout her body. In 2001, while my oldest step-daughter was in the hospital having a lumpectomy, I discovered a lump in my right breast. Tests revealed a lump in the left breast as well, and two weeks later I had a bi-lateral mastectomy.

Physically, I recovered rapidly and needed neither chemotherapy nor radiation. Meanwhile, my step-daughter underwent chemo and radiation, and in little over a year, she was dead from the disease. In the past eight years, I have lost several loved ones to breast and other cancers, but I, in spite of a myriad of other health problems, am still alive.

“When the treatment for cancer ends, there remains work

to be done to find true healing.” Kathy La Tour, Editor at large, CURE Magazine

When I discovered that little lump in my breast, my first thought was that I was going to die. And I realized I was ready. But I survived; changed in body and in spirit, but still alive. I didn’t know what to do. I could not return to my old life, to my old way of looking at things. I had so many questions. What did I need to do to heal physically, and what did I need to do to heal spiritually? What road was I to walk now?

“Without help, the aftermath of cancer treatment can be as devastating as the cancer itself.” Transitional Survivorship: Finding the New Normal.” Supplement to CURE Magazine, Fall 2009

During these past eight years, I have been blessed with many people who have helped me find a new road…a way to balance my physical life with work and play …a way to come to terms with why I lived through this disease and why my mother and my step-daughter and other loved ones did not. This bra is my tribute to the people and organizations who have contributed toward my healing and who have helped me find my way on my own Survivor’s Road




2010 ARTIST #4


Sisters
Artist: Cathy Zoller


Sponsor: Champions of Breast Health

This bra is a reminder that no one fights or wins this battle alone. Every woman is a daughter, sister, friend, spouse, etc. and her struggle and victory or loss affects each of us.




2010 ARTIST #5


Warriors

Artist: Cathy Zoller

Sponsors: Champions of Breast HealthPat and Mark Irwin, in memory of Janet Irwin

I love the Ford Cares Warrior in Pink project. All of the symbols are a reminder that breast cancer really is a war that we all must fight, whether for ourselves or for those who are unable to fight for themselves. With enough warriors, we may see the threat of breast cancer eliminated before our daughters and granddaughters are affected.




2010 ARTIST #6


Bubble Boob Bra
Artist: Anne Creswell
Sponsor: Nurses by Prescription

I wanted my bra to be colorful and joyful. My breast cancer was diagnosed four years ago at a very early stage. Following surgery and radiation therapy, my prognosis is very good. I am blessed with wonderful family, friends and medical care and my outlook following my diagnosis and treatment is great! I have much to be thankful and joyful about!

I am not very creative so I went up and down the aisles of the craft store and was starting to get frustrated because I didn’t see anything that jumped out at me and shouted, “Pick me, pick me!” That frustration disappeared when I arrived at the “pom pom” section of the store. “That is something that even I could do,” I thought. I saw every color and size pom pom imaginable.

After several days of gluing and painting, I completed my project. My next challenge was coming up with a name. I brought my bra to work with me and showed it to several of my co-workers. Immediately, ideas started flying and the common thread of the ideas…bubbles. That idea took flight and with the help of my friends, the bra had a title, “Bubble Boob Bra.”




2010 ARTIST #7


A Journey Worth Fighting For
Artist: Teri Grange
Sponsor: McCormick Company

There’s not a day goes by that when I see a pink I ribbon that I don’t think about the journey of surviving breast cancer. It all started with my own cautious instinct that led me to many doctor appointments with my mother by my side, with her selfless love and support.

BIOPSY…Hmmm, not something you want to hear. Just the word itself led to many sleepless nights for me and feeling uncertain as to what the future would hold for me and my family. After two mammograms, one ultrasound, one biopsy and one woman who knows when something is not quite right with her body, I faced the delivery of the one word that every one dreads to hear…CANCER. There is no amount of courage a person could muster up to sit before her three daughters and try to explain the challenges that God has placed before them. Knowing that God would not put more on a person than she could stand was always reassuring to me. With faith, anything is possible.

Having chosen a mastectomy as the option I felt comfortable with, words cannot describe the devastation of having part of me taken away and living the awkward sensation that everyone is looking at my chest. Even hugging people was hard as I wondered if they noticed. It was toughest during chemo, having to adjust from being a woman with brunette locks of silk and bounce to experiencing the tragedy of losing my hair and knowing no matter how gentle I was, the hair was coming out. For days, I debated what to do about this precious loss and to make light of the situation, my girls took me out to the porch and gave Mom a temporary “Mohawk.”

One of my biggest fears was, would my loving boyfriend of nine years still want me? I can’t help but think about how easy it could have been for him to run the other way when times got hard. He never left my side. After my chemo treatments were finished, he took me on a special shopping trip…a trip to find an engagement ring and we were married three months later! What a sweetheart!

I thank God every day for restoring my health and allowing me to belong to a special group known as “The Cancer Survivors.” This journey could not have been made without God, my family and friends, and my continuing passion for doing the things I love, such as gardening, sewing and all the other projects I start and sometimes do not finish. God is good. I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13




2010 ARTIST #8


Peace and Joy
Artist: Pat Hunter
Sponsor: Texas Oncology

My bra is for my friend, Lola. She is a bubbly, positive thinking redhead; a lady with a “can do” attitude and a child-like giggle; a little old-fashioned, hippie-like, although not into glitz and the spotlight.

In 2006 a lump was discovered in her breast and it had her family and friends in a worrisome state of mind. Lola, as usual, held all of us up with her positive attitude and on we went. She had a lumpectomy and many weeks of radiation. The doctor first told her that radiation should be the only thing that was needed, however, as time went on, he changed his mind and offered chemotherapy. Lola refused the chemo, but finished the radiation.

She smiled when we went to radiation and kept the girls in the radiation area in smiles, too, with her positive attitude and girlish giggles. Even though she was tired and totally out of energy, she worked as the night shift dispatcher at the police station in her little town in Nebraska and kept up with her family and their activities; she didn’t complain about how tough life was.

It’s been a gift from God to still have Lola in our lives and she lives her religion as a Christian every day, always there for anyone in need and a great friend. She is always positive and a ball of fire. I’m so glad she is a survivor and in my life.

This bra represents, to me, her happy, colorful life and her ability to bring peace and joy to those around her. Love you Lola




2010 ARTIST #9


Mema's Story
Essay – Jessica Studer
Artists – Jayme, Joann, Sherry and Heather (The Horne Girls)
Sponsor: Odyssey Health Care

“Mema” was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000. She was a very religious woman. The day she found out she had breast cancer she told her 4 daughters and 12 grandchildren and told us all not to worry, to pray and that she had much to live for. She would not go down without fighting.

Mema had always dreamed of going to Hawaii and her family surprised her with a Hawaiian cruise for her and a best friend. She swam with the dolphins, visited all the beaches and had a blast. It was a blessing for us to see her smile and tell us all about her trip.

When she was diagnosed in 2000, her doctors told her she had a year to live, but she made it to 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. That year, Latisha and I, high school seniors and the two oldest grandchildren, were the first to graduate. The day of our graduation she told me she had made a deal with God…”just let me live to watch my babies graduate.” He kept the promise. I remember walking to my seat at graduation, turning to look for my family, and seeing Mema, crying and smiling, because she had made it. Later that night, she told us about her new deal with God. She prayed to God to see her oldest grandson plan varsity football for the Tascosa Rebels. Nathan started as a junior and she was the loudest person at the football games, wearing her #57 t-shirt and black hat.

Mema had three loves in her life…God, her family and Elvis. In 2008, we took her to Graceland, a place she had dreamed of going forever. It was a trip I will never forget. As we drove through the gates of Graceland, we heard one of Elvis’ songs. And as we toured Graceland, Mema’s “song”, The American Trilogy came on and she sang along with Elvis, just as she had many times before. She said it was the best day of her life.

A couple of months later on Father’s Day, we lost our precious Mema. As we sat in hospice, listening to The American Trilogy over and over again, people came in and out to say their good-byes. We knew we were experiencing something very rare and special. She was not like anyone I have ever met. God gave us eight extra years with her and we are blessed. She is missed every day. Though it’s hard not seeing her beautiful face every day, I know she is happier than ever. We all have a special angel telling us to keep marching on and that she will see us again someday! I personally cannot wait for that day!




2010 ARTIST #10


Tons of Texture
Artist: Charity Gardner
Sponsor: Chicken Express, in memory of Wanda Lockridge

In 2009, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then, she has gone through a double mastectomy with reconstruction. This art bra was made with her mind.

There are many different textures and types of decorations in this bra. I imagine that all the different textures resemble all the different emotions she has felt during this time. I am not sure if Hobby Lobby could sell enough decorations for every emotion one could have with this type of crisis. Cancer affects everyone in the family, not only the survivor. Breast cancer will affect many people throughout a lifetime.

My prayer is for quick recoveries and strong hearts to everyone who will have to face cancer as a burden in their lifetimes.




2010 ARTIST #11


Tons of Texture
Artist: Charity Gardner
Sponsor: Chicken Express, in memory of Wanda Lockridge

In 2009, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then, she has gone through a double mastectomy with reconstruction. This art bra was made with her mind.

There are many different textures and types of decorations in this bra. I imagine that all the different textures resemble all the different emotions she has felt during this time. I am not sure if Hobby Lobby could sell enough decorations for every emotion one could have with this type of crisis. Cancer affects everyone in the family, not only the survivor. Breast cancer will affect many people throughout a lifetime.

My prayer is for quick recoveries and strong hearts to everyone who will have to face cancer as a burden in their lifetimes.




2010 ARTIST #12


Believe...the Bling is Back
Artist: Millie Bingham
Sponsor: Support Hose Plus

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February, 2009, the shock was almost unbearable. What I had to do to get through the surgery and treatment was to “Believe” I would be all right.

I chose Christmas as my theme because Christ said, “Believe in me and all things are possible.” Christmas is a magical time of the year and my favorite time of the year. I “Believe” every woman who has heard the news of having breast cancer should “Believe” it is possible to overcome breast cancer.

I thank Kristal, my daughter, for taking my Christmas theme and designing my beautiful bra. Kristal chose all the “bling” because she said “bling” describes me. There were times during this past year I felt the bling was gone, but I am happy to say, “THE BLING IS BACK”




2010 ARTIST #13


Reflections
Artist: Lynda Byrd
Sponsor: Mary Ann Piskun, MD

If there is one common experience which every person who faces cancer shares, it is change – emotional, mental and physical. The changes I experienced after my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment were ones I never expected.

They were changes for the better.

I became more compassionate. I volunteered in the oncology clinic where I was a patient, meeting many who faced far greater challenges than my own. I respected my body more. I joined a gym, not to look good in jeans, but to become healthier and stronger. I joined a group to learn to eat more nutritional foods.

Before my diagnosis, I needed to control everything and everyone. After my diagnosis, I accepted the fact that life is not controllable or predictable. I relaxed and became able to live in the moment.

When I look in the mirror, I see a new me. I have more confidence in my inner strengths. I appreciate the everyday experiences of my life more. I have heartfelt gratitude for my caretakers and the people I love, who supported me during this cancer journey.

The reflection in the mirror is a woman changed for the better by cancer.




2010 ARTIST #14


Mammogram, It's So Easy A Cavewoman Can Do It
Artist: Brenda Archer
Sponsor: J. Winston

A family bonding project…thank you isn’t big enough for the love, support, and hope that my husband, Bob, my three sons, their wives and my six beautiful grandchildren, friends, too many to count and of course, my God gave me. I am a 14 year survivor.




2010 ARTIST #15


It's All About Elizabeth
Artist: Leticia Goodrich
Sponsor: Champions of Breast Health

This art bra honors the memory of Elizabeth, a woman with twinkling eyes, a sparkling smile, a sunny disposition, a zest for living and a special way with people. Her three children called her “extraordinarily wonderful” and her five grandchildren found her gentle and adoring. Her husband and large extended family loved her dearly just as she loved them. To her friends she was gracious, generous, warm, kindly and a shining light in a troubled world. As a survivor of breast cancer, she inspired others by her show of strength, courage and hope. She was secure in her enduring faith in God.

To those around during many bouts with cancer, Elizabeth never despaired or complained, but always responded to their inquiries with, “I’m feeling better today,” right up to the end of her 14-year battle that came last fall. In poetry she wrote, “True champions are the ones who help survivors survive …who sprinkle kind deeds and work to bring happiness, wholeness, hope and fulfilled dreams… and keep the survivor ready to take on a full life as their claim.” Elizabeth put this conviction into action, and she was a champion!

No other colors could better portray Elizabeth’s disposition and personality than the sunny yellow and warm orange hues in this floral print. The sparkle and glitter remind one of Elizabeth’s most endearing qualities -- her bright smile and twinkling eyes. The rose bud depicts Elizabeth’s physical and spiritual beauty and the many loving, caring relationships she cherished with family and friends. Rich green leaves symbolize an abundant life lived to the fullest in both sickness and in health. The butterfly, a universal symbol of change and transformation, embodies everlasting life in its various stages - Birth (the caterpillar), Death (the chrysalis) and Resurrection (the butterfly).

I believe the lesson Elizabeth would have us learn from her journey with cancer and her response to it is this, “One must never give in to this insidious disease”. In all and through all, Elizabeth was in every way, victorious.




2010 ARTIST #16


You Lift Me Up
Artist: Helena Reed
Sponsor: The Women’s Imaging Center at Northwest Texas Healthcare System

The diagnosis of breast cancer, along with the chemo, surgery and radiation, gives one a very dark and dismal feeling. However, people around who held me up and got me through this were wonderful. I used this art bra as a way to honor them.

The rose petals represent my children, husband, family, the many friends, and caregivers that I came into contact with. Their words of encouragement support and prayers were much appreciated. The green trim is for the “Angels in Scrubs.” Yes, many wore bright colors, pretty prints or even white jackets. The feathers are the feathers from the wings of angels, both here and above. The crystal beads are the silent tears shed during this time. And the rose is the wonders God has provided in this beautiful world and the hope of life to come.




2010 ARTIST #17


Lucky
Artist: Johnnie Morrison
Sponsor: Panhandle Nurse Practitioners Association

One day I accidentally found a knot in my right breast. I didn’t want to worry my children, so I kept it to myself for several days. I finally told my daughter-in-law’s twin sister who is an RN. She thought it could be cancer. I asked her not to tell the kids, but she did anyway.

Then, the doctor appointments began. At first I had a mammogram, then a biopsy. It was confirmed that I had breast cancer. We consulted several different doctors and they all came to the same conclusion – remove the breast.

At 86 years old, a person tends to do a lot of thinking. I thought I would just not do anything. Then, I thought if I left it alone, the cancer would come back somewhere else and it would be worse. On December 29, 2009, I had a total mastectomy.

I have been given good reports from the doctor. I do not require chemotherapy or radiation. That is why I have chosen the shamrocks for my art bra. I truly feel lucky that all has been taken care of now.

My advice to ALL, no matter the age, is to do your monthly breast self exams and also have yearly mammograms after age 40. Most important, if you find a lump, TELL SOMEONE.




2010 ARTIST #18


Pink
Artist: Sunny Brush
Sponsor: Margaret and Jerry Hodge

I like Pink – I’ve always liked pink, but since I have had breast cancer, I have really liked pink ...pink t-shirts, pink cowboy hats, pink ribbons, pink bracelets and anything else you can imagine. Pink is the breast cancer color…and, oh yeah, pink scars.

When I was 18, I discovered a lump in my breast. I underwent a lumpectomy. It was benign. Over the next 45 years of my life, I would have four more lumpectomies. The fifth lumpectomy was breast cancer.

I had the fifth lumpectomy in August, 2002. After the lumpectomy, there needed to be more surgery for a clearer margin around the area where the cancer was. After much discussion with my doctors and prayers, we decided to do a bilateral mastectomy. Since there was no cancer in the lymph nodes, there were only 4 removed. There was no chemotherapy or radiation needed.

I had the bilateral mastectomy on September 26, 2002, the day before the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Since I was unable to walk that year my two daughters and my daughter-in-law walked in the race. Five days after surgery, my doctor contacted me and told me a cancer was found in the other breast. I knew we had done the right thing.

I am cancer free and have been for 7 ½ years…and have walked in every race since. I plan to walk in many more.




2010 ARTIST #19


In Honor of My Grandmother
Artist: Aime Neil
Sponsor: Amarillo Area Breast Health Coalition

This is about my grandmother, Deloris. My grandmother was a very active person. She always kept herself busy by cooking, cleaning, shopping, going on trips with the senior citizens to Bingo and taking care of her grandson. She had brothers and sisters and every kid was really special to her. Her favorite things were purple flowers and she loved painting and sewing. Whenever you needed something she would try her best to get if for you. She always loved talking on the phone to anyone. She was the best grandmother that I had and now she is gone.

I made this bra in honor of her and I am proud of it. The flowers represent the color she loved and the poker chips are what she loved doing.





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