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2017 BRA TALK GALLERY

2017 Artist #1


LaDonna Jolly by Breast Cancer Survivor My Mum fought breast cancer twice – losing the battle in June of 2014 to metastatic breast cancer. My Pops was diagnosed with aggressive melanoma in July of 2015 – he lost his battle with cancer in December 2016. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2016. My father and I fought cancer together and we both fought and supported Mum during her two rounds with cancer. The large pink heart and the large green heart represent these two much-loved fighters. In remembering their battles with this horrible disease – other family members and friends whose lives have been touched by cancer were in my mind and heart. This bra is dedicated to the memory and in honor of those who fought and who are still fighting. I have prayed for and supported a total of 66 courageous souls that have battled cancer: 23 family members and 43 friends and their family members. The light pink and dark pink hearts represent the women in my life who fought breast cancer. The remaining colors represent all the other cancers – ovarian, prostate, colon, lung, rectal, stomach, melanoma, leukemia, bone, esophageal, brain, thyroid and pancreatic. The art medium I used – crochet. Over the course of my lifetime I have crocheted many caps, lap afghans, sweaters, shawls and many other items which have been given out by my Mum and myself to cancer patients in need. The crocheted bands at the top of each cup represent windows of pink roses – the promise of beauty to come. The pink pears and bling in the center are a reminder that even as cancer make us feel ugly – we aren’t. We are the pearls and the diamonds. The pink ribbon pin is in memory of my Mum and the butterfly pin is in memory of my Pops - he was an avid pilot and loved to fly.




2017 Artist #2


OF "CORSET" MATTER by Sharon Felts TTUHSC Breast Center of Excellence, Breast Cancer Survivor How Wise Are You about Your Personal Risk for Breast Cancer? Did you know, there are risk factors we can’t control, such as -Being female; we account for 99% of diagnosed breast cancers -Growing older; as we age, our risk increases to an overall lifetime risk of 1 in 8 -Overall lifetime exposure to estrogen, such as an early menarche (ages 7-11) and late menopause and using hormone replacement therapy longer than 5 years -Having a mother, sister or daughter diagnosed with breast cancer Here’s the good news... there’s a lot that’s within our control, such as -Getting annual mammograms starting at age 40 to increase early detection -Eating healthy; that means more fruits and vegetables and less red meats and fats -Exercising at least 3 hours a week -Drinking no more than one adult beverage a day (1 1/2 oz. liquor or 12 oz. beer or 5 oz. glass of wine -Not smoking -Practicing breast self-awareness; know what’s “normal for your breasts” by regularly looking and feeling for anything that’s new and different




2017 Artist #3


FEATHERS AND ANGELS by Bonnie Altman PBH Board Member, Breast Cancer Survivor Cancer has always been a very scary word to me because I had heard it too many times in the past in reference to my family. When I heard in July 2015 that I possibly had breast cancer, I didn’t tell anyone for several days because I had to process it in my mind before I talked about it. After I thought about it and prayed, I felt a peace come over me and a presence letting me know that everything was going to be OK. From that point on, I have not been worried or scared. I was named after both of my grandmothers. My maternal
grandmother passed away from kidney cancer on my 18th birthday.
My paternal grandmother had breast cancer, but by the time she
told anyone and went to the doctor, the tumor was too large to do
much to save her life. The next time I heard that awful “C” word was
when my daddy was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was removed
but was found in 10 of his lymph nodes. He refused to believe the
diagnosis when he was told he would be lucky to live 6 months. His
stubbornness and determination allowed him to live another 7 years.
Next, my husband was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor. This kind of tumor has an average life expectancy of 18 months, and that is about exactly how long he lived. My mamma passed away 8 years ago from a rare endocrine stomach cancer. Despite all this, there have been many blessings through these challenges. I never want another member of my family to hear that terrible, awful, horrible “C” word. I do what I can to make this happen and the support of Panhandle Breast Health is a way that I can help. Why I chose Feathers as My Medium to Decorate My Bra “When feathers appear, angels are near”
I have many angels in heaven who communicate with me through feathers. I find ordinary feathers at extraordinary times and places when I need encouragement, verification of a decision I am struggling with, having a bad day, having a wonderful day, and other personal reasons. I was playing bunco one evening with friends when blue feathers came floating down and landed on my score sheet. Another time I found a feather in a brand new book that I had just bought at Barnes & Noble. Those are just 2 examples, but I think it explains why feathers are special to me. I chose to use mostly beautiful blue peacock feathers because life is beautiful despite our difficulties. I used the brown turkey feathers on the right lower side of the bra to represent where my cancer used to be. That was a “little bump in the road” and then the beautiful feathers are back. Three generations of my family had breast cancer, 3 generations helped to make this bra. I would like to thank my daughters, Brandy Ellison and Allison Altman, and my granddaughters, Adrian Ellison and Emery Adams, for their help with this project and their love, help and support throughout my journey.




2017 Artist #4


THE CHRISTMAS BRA by Carrie Schmidjell & Gail Russell Beta Sigma Phi – Preceptor Omicron Zeta Chapter We chose a Christmas theme because 3 years ago, at Christmas, my daughter thought she might have breast cancer. It took 2 mammograms and a biopsy to be declared cancer-free. We all were relieved and very thankful!




2017 Artist #5


RENEWAL OF LIFE by Loy Haley & Janet Janzen Beta Sigma Phi – Preceptor Omicron Zeta Chapter A breast cancer survivor is like a butterfly: Both are a renewal of life!




2017 Artist #6


A MILLION TEARS by Leah Talbot It was a routine mammogram, just like all those ones that I had done before – another
year, another mammogram. And then the letter came, there was an abnormality. I wasn’t
concerned, I’d had many benign cysts in the past and I thought “Here’s another one.”
But they wanted to do a biopsy. So in I went, out came the cyst. A few days later, my
daughter and I were shopping and the surgeon called, we were expecting that call, but
not what he said, “It’s cancer. You have breast cancer.” Just like that, very matter-of-
fact, no sugar coating, no easy delivery. We were shocked! We stood in the middle of
the store and hugged and cried. And that was the beginning of the tears I shed on my
journey. You see, I had aunts “back in the day” that were diagnosed with breast cancer
and both of them died because back then, cancer was a death sentence – there wasn’t
the treatments we have available today. Although the doctor removed the entire tumor
and some surrounding tissue during the biopsy, there were still the lymph nodes, and yes there was cancer in the lymph nodes. That made it Stage II breast cancer. I cried more when that diagnosis came. I consider myself blessed because I didn’t have to endure chemotherapy, only radiation therapy, but it was still a struggle. I lived alone at the time and I know I cried a million tears – always when I was alone, never around anyone else. Not knowing what the future would bring, not knowing if I would be able to see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, not sure if they would have the chance to know me. But God is good! I have been cancer-free for 7 years now and now I cry tears of joy because my darkest fears did not come true – I have been able to enjoy my family and I don’t worry about them not knowing their “Granny.”




2017 Artist #7


HAVING FAITH by Toni Talbot Co-Survivor My mother found her breast cancer through a routine mammogram – luckily it was found early. My mom was with my sister shopping at Walmart when she received the call that confirmed that the lump that had been removed for biopsy was cancer. After that call, mom and my sister hugged each other and cried right in the middle of Walmart. Once the initial shock was over, they looked at each other and promised that she was going to make it through this. Through all of this, I didn’t know what was going on so when I got
a call from mom to go to lunch, I didn’t think anything about it. Once we were all seated (me, mom, my brother and sister) and had ordered, mom dropped the news – she had breast cancer. My first thought was “No, it can’t be! She can’t have it! She’s my mom!” So many emotions ran through me and my life changed in that instant. She was so blessed that the doctor had removed the entire tumor for the biopsy and she only needed radiation and no chemo treatments. She has been cancer-free for 7 years now and all of her tests continue to come back clear. Through this entire journey we have leaned on our faith in God and faith keeps us going!




2017 Artist #8


LIFE ISN'T ALWAYS A BEACH by Becky Trevino Dillard’s Lingerie Department My mom is strong and she is selfless. Our family is the most important thing to her. She is my best friend and role model, all in one! When she was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer my heart fell into my stomach. The thought of not having her with me every day, to talk to, to laugh with and to go to for advice made my head hurt. I thought of the trips to the beach with our family in years past, dancing the night away and asking her what she thought about new guys I had met. In the midst of this, my mom was worried about me, my little brother and my dad. I thought to myself, “My mom is the most amazing person I know.” To be told she may lose her breasts and have to go through surgery and extensive chemo and to still be thinking of her family first, I decided that when she got through this – like I knew she would – we would make a trip to any beach of her choice as a family. Dedicated to my friend, S. S. and her mom.




2017 Artist #9


PERFECT FIT by Mayra Garcia Dillard’s Lingerie Department When I first started my career at Dillard’s, I never imagined myself being a Certified Bra Fitter, but now that I’m here, it’s an honor and a privilege to work with women across The Panhandle. And, let me tell you something, breast cancer does not discriminate! I have experienced a lot in my profession – I have met so many women that are survivors of breast cancer; some are still on their journey and some have lost loved ones to this horrible disease! It’s an honor to make a difference in their lives, one bra at a time. I want to give a special thanks to all those women who have shared their stories with me and allowed me to be a part of their journey.




2017 Artist #10


DREAM ON by Haley Smith as a talisman to protect people from bad dreams and thoughts. It is placed above your bed to catch the bad dreams or thoughts you may have, filter them and release new pleasant ones upon you. In this case I would like to use my “Dream On” dream catcher bra to symbolize that the hardships of breast cancer can be filtered and made into something powerful, hope. Women with breast cancer are brave, strong and they are warriors. They’re fighting against cancer for themselves and for their families who need them. It takes a lot of will power to face something so sinister and have faith that you will come up on top, that you will conquer the beast. Many women have won the battle and many more do it every day. My dream catcher is for all the women who need to see better days. It’s for the women who want to give up right before the finish line. They can see it but it’s still so far. I want these courageous women to know that there are people who may not know them but know of the horrible illness and what it can take from people. These people work just like a dream catcher. They want to take your pain away and turn it into a cure. They want to filter your thoughts of doubt and giving up and convert them into thoughts of hope and carrying on. Even when you think you are at your wits end you can push through. For every bad thought you have there are a thousand people praying for you to be enlightened with positivity and strength. There are people rooting for you even if you can’t feel it we are here hoping that you will keep dreaming for a beautiful tomorrow. Keep pushing for days without pain and heartache. Your days of healing and feeling like yourself again are coming. Just keep dreaming, we’re all here for you. I would like to dedicate my art bra to my Aunt Nita who is battling breast cancer.




2017 Artist #11


COOKIES by Janet Shelton Dillard’s Lingerie Department A wonderful, sweet woman once brought me cookies during a long day at work. She didn’t know me, she just went out of her way to make a stranger’s day better. Over the past 5 years, every time I’ve seen her at work, she has always been the sweetest, most uplifting person ever. She now has breast cancer, but that hasn’t changed her smile and sweet attitude. My bra is in honor of her with every hope and prayer for her as she battles this terrible illness.




2017 Artist #12


ECCLESIASTES 4:12 by Sierra Scott Dillard’s Lingerie Department I’ve had the privilege of fitting many breast cancer survivors and fighters
over the past few years and one factor that these women pretty much have in common is that they all have wonderful support groups. These women are strong individually, but they also have loving friends and family who are encouraging and present. A strong rope has more than one cord; We are stronger together!




2017 Artist #13


BLUE IS THE NEW YOU by Leslie Hicks & Korie Lee Perez Dillard’s Lingerie Department I don’t have breast cancer, at least not that I know of – and that’s the secret. Breast cancer can live and grow for many years without one’s knowledge. Without the proper self-exams and mammograms, women live with the notion that not knowing is better than knowing. This will never be true. I am a certified bra fitter. Being a bra fitter, I have to be very personable with women to do a proper fit. Many, many times over the years I have fit women who were newly diagnosed. Typically, those appointments end with the woman crying in the fitting room. This is a very humbling experience to be a part of. There is a special sisterhood that follows. The fear is tangible, but so is the hope! Even if her hope is so fragile – it’s still there. I always felt that the tears were mostly due to the unknown, because every one of these women I have met are strong!!! I’ve had so many amazing experiences. I have seen beautiful breast augmentations. I have seen equally beautiful nipple tattoos. I have also seen crazy scars from twenty years ago to scars that were still healing – all of them very different. I’ve seen bald women, women with very real looking wigs, ball caps and head wraps. I think I’ve seen it all. The bra that I used for my journey is the color blue. Many times blue symbolizes depression, sadness, and sorrow (i.e. “I have the blues”). I would think these emotions would describe how a newly diagnosed cancer patient feels. Geez, what an understatement to say that a woman is blue after being diagnosed with breast cancer. But wait, BLUE is also the color of one of the four elements!! Earth, Air, Fire and Water – and water is BLUE. WATER symbolizes baptism – arising of a NEW YOU. Water is also free flowing but generally has a distinct path. Just like a flowing river or a trickling brook, each woman will follow a distinct path outlined just for her. On this path BLUE will be a part of her journey. The color BLUE is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. BLUE also symbolizes calmness, harmony, love, peace, kindness and confidence. At the end of her journey, she will see BLUE differently as she becomes her “New You.” When you wear BLUE, be calm, confident and know that many, many women will be praying for you!
BLUE Trivia: Before he had it painted in 1955, what color was Elvis Presley’s first Cadillac? BLUE, of course! I sincerely believe in mammograms, mastectomies, lumpectomies, treatments and many BLUE tomorrows!! A special Thank You to my daughter for helping me create this beautiful bra!




2017 Artist #14


CATTLEYA by Ivy Swanson Dillard’s Lingerie Department We may be different but in many ways we are like Orchids. We can be different in shape, size, color and design, but at the end of the journey, because we are together, we are stronger than we would have ever imagined. No matter what, we still live and keep giving life.Starting early is key to a woman’s good health! Finding out sooner is better than finding out later!




2017 Artist #15


BE STILL by Ruleen Howard Dudes ‘n’ Divas Texas Oncology Breast Cancer Support Group, Breast Cancer Survivor I do not know why I got cancer, or why anyone does for that matter. I do know that it is a roller coaster ride close to hell and not one I ever want to repeat. The physical and mental changes your body goes through are mind blowing. Through this adventure I was thrown into, there was one constant that seemed to keep repeating itself over and over. “Be Still” I believe that sometimes God uses the hardships in our lives to make us stronger, and
sometimes it is a way for him to say, “Hey, you are trying to do too much by
yourself. I’ve got this, you need to just BE STILL, and let me be God.” I know that it is by His strength alone I have made it through and by His strength that I will continue to survive. I pray God’s strength and peace are with all that suffer this terrible disease. Remember, cancer is never the victor. Either you survice to live another day, or you go home to be with your Lord! Either way, God's got this, so BE STILL!




2017 Artist #16


MY SAFARI THROUGH BREAST CANCER by Deana Ray Dudes ‘n’ Divas Texas Oncology Breast Cancer Support Group, Breast Cancer Survivor My world changed when I heard the word “cancer.” My continuing journey will unfold every day of my life! RED is for strength and power. I get this from my family and close knit support friends and doctors. That has been woven into my life. Every day I am grateful for them.
WHITE & BLACK are for the journey that I am traveling through cancer. The ups and downs of everyday life. Mine is a series of successes, failures, celebrations, disappointments, joys and sorrows every step of the way. God will stand by my side.
GOLD is for color so I can look and find what is waiting for me on my journey.
BLUE is the gems that I am searching for during my safari of life. My family and friends give me love, support, help and advice.
THE PEARLS are the treasure I celebrate and look for during my journey. THE CROSS is the center of my life.




2017 Artist #17


Linda Jean Burkman Dudes ‘n’ Divas Texas Oncology Breast Cancer Support Group, Breast Cancer Survivor On May 14, 2015, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I did six chemo treatments. Before I started my first treatment, a friend gave me a book on the Lord’s Prayer. I had said this prayer ever since I was a little girl, but never like this. It took each phrase and explained it in detail. I read this book every time I went to chemo treatments. I had a partial mastectomy in November 2015. Dr. Lary removed the tumor and 22 lymph nodes. I started radiation treatments in December 2015 and I repeated the Lord’s Prayer during each treatment. By February 2016, I finished all 38 treatments. I must take tamoxifen for 5 years to decrease the chances of a recurrence. Today, June 13, 2017, I am cancer free!




2017 Artist #18


DON'T PRESS YOUR LUCK by Teresa March Friend of Panhandle Breast Health Panhandle Breast Health has become a serious part of my life. I honor survivor, Ella Shead, for introducing me to it years ago. I am thankful mammograms are so easily accessible and should not be taken lightly. I go annually! But, even in 2017, I still hear some women have not had an exam yet! Some say they are “lucky” – no problems – so far, so good. Trust me, when it comes to your breast health, there is no such thing as “LUCK”. There is no pot of gold, there are no lucky charms, and there aren’t any leprechauns.




2017 Artist #19


LIFE IS SWEET by Ash Grossman Friend of Panhandle Breast Health “To share happiness, and to have done something good before leaving this life is sweet.” -Gautama Buddha I have seen strong women taken down by cancer. That does not make them any less an amazing warrior. Every woman I have met has left an impression on me and has shaped who I am today. Live your life remembering you are a warrior that has the ability to change the world around you. Live a life of love because love is what makes life sweet.




2017 Artist #20


B.E.A.D. BRA by Sammie Thompson Friend of Panhandle Breast Health I have several wonderful friends who are breast cancer survivors mainly because it was detected in its early stage. The quote “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could certainly apply to our fight with breast cancer and is also the inspiration for the design of my bra: “B.E.A.D” Being Early About Detection




2017 Artist #21


THE BRIGHTEST STAR by Betty Whitson Harrington Cancer Center Support Group, Pampa, Texas, Cancer Survivor The stars represent those who have walked this journey with me the past 25 years: Family Friends Church Family Doctors All Medical Personnel At the top of the list would be God! He provided the strength, encouragement and attitude needed for this journey. God is the Great Physician, using earthly means for the healing.




2017 Artist #22


YOU'RE IN MY HEART, MY DEAR SISTER by Donald Lunsford Harrington Cancer Center Support Group, Pampa, Texas, Cancer Survivor My brother, my sister and I were all very close growing up and we stayed close all of our lives. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 50’s. After a long road of treatment and recovery, she beat it. In her 70’s she was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away 4 years ago.




2017 Artist #23


Leslie Howard Harrington Cancer Center Support Group, Pampa, Texas, Cancer Survivor My dad is a male breast cancer survivor. He also survived prostate cancer. Most men do not know that they can get breast cancer, too. Men need
to be educated that they do have breast tissue and, although it is not as widespread as female breast cancer, men can get breast cancer, too. So men, be aware, know your breasts and watch for changes!




2017 Artist #24


OH MY! by Connie Edwards & Dona Ketterman Harrington Cancer Center Support Group, Pampa, Texas, Cancer Survivor This bra was done in memory of my mother. Pink was her favorite flower color. “OH MY!” covers all the many emotions, from initial diagnosis through the entire journey and beyond. People with all types of cancer need our strength and prayers to help them move forward.




2017 Artist #25


BREAST BEE HIVE by Julie Mitchell PBH Board Member, Breast Cancer Survivor When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer – my life seemed like
a bee hive of activity – so many options, appointments and concerns. Life was buzzing with treatment options! Day by day, with my bee hive colony beside me, we swarmed into recovery. Now I am cancer free and buzzing with gratitude. This journey with the Lord has been as sweet as honey. BEE ware: I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 48 through
a routine mammogram. I can’t stress the importance of yearly mammograms on time after the age of 40!
BEE lieve: I received the best treatment and have been cancer free for 16 years. I give all the credit to God and the loving support of my family, friends and medical team. BEE long: I am honored to be a Board Member for Panhandle Breast Health. It is a small way I can give back to others and raise awareness for breast health!




2017 Artist #26


BLOOMING JEWEL by Victoria Vara PBH Assistant We were created to bloom and glisten like jewels for we are worthy. May you continue loving and growing, not allowing chains to hold us back. May you sparkle bright. Speak from a place of victory, hope and of joy. May this give you renewed confidence and inspiration to bloom like never before.




2017 Artist #27


DON'T MONKEY AROUND, SAVE YOUR MOUNDS by Becky Miller PBH, Co-Survivor, Breast Health Advocate In 2010 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was discovered during a routine mammogram! Because they caught it early, the cancer was still contained in the tumor they removed for biopsy and had not majorly spread – they did find a few cancer cells in her lymph nodes, but overall she didn’t require chemo, only surgery and radiation! Six months after her initial diagnosis she was pronounced cancer-free and she is now a seven-year survivor! Yes, I have yearly mammograms – nothing can stop me – I want to keep my mounds! As I go out about and meet women in our community and around The Panhandle, I talk about the importance of yearly mammograms and how it saved my mother’s life! I believe in the power of mammograms!! So remember, Don't Monkey Around, Save Your Mounds!




2017 Artist #28


LADY BUG by Brenda Talamantes TTUHSC Breast Center of Excellence Lady, Bug your friends to get their yearly mammograms!




2017 Artist #29


WILD WEST by Bobbie Perrin Women in Touch – Harrington Breast Cancer Support Group, Breast Cancer Survivor My journey through breast cancer has been a lot like living in the Wild West of the old days!





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