Sheila Logan cancer survivor and founder of the company Tender Cush, which makes products specially designed for women following breast cancer surgery, tells us about her cancer journey and how she kept positive. Here is her story…

It is now almost 3 years since my diagnosis. It is amazing as looking back, it sometimes feels as though it happened to someone else…

The cancer

On 1st June 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer following my first routine mammogram. I received surgery to remove tumour and lymph nodes, which left 2 wounds close together, underarm. These wounds proved both painful and awkward in everyday situations. I found it difficult to sleep; travelling in the car was an anxious time as I was continually trying to protect myself against sudden stops; and when shopping or socialising I felt very vulnerable- I was terrified of anyone bumping into me.

On top of that, during chemotherapy, I had lost all my hair, my eyebrows and eyelashes, so it was definitely not a time I wanted to draw attention to myself. So although I felt the need to clutch a cushion underarm, I couldn’t bring myself to do so outside the house.

How to stay positive – an idea

To help me remain rested, active and positive I searched for products to help me keep living the life I wanted to. But could find nothing designed for me or women in my situation. So, I asked my son, Scott, to bring me my 35 year old sewing machine from the loft… and I got sewing!

First, I made 2 cushioned items which helped me greatly, the Shaped Cushion – helped me when sleeping or watching television, and the Travel Cushion, helped me feel more comfortable and relaxed travelling in the car.

I then made the TenderCush shoulder bag, which was truly liberating – I could go out feeling as though I had a cushion underarm, but I was the only one who knew. The bag looked and operated as any other bag, but was fully cushioned, and I could adjust the bag where protection and support was needed.

Sharing the comfort

On speaking to other women , I discovered that most felt the same as me. I wanted to make the items available for these women to buy at a time of need, and TenderCush was born. The products are now professionally produced by a quality textile manufacturer, and are available to buy on our website www.tendercush.co.uk

I would never have imagined that being diagnosed with cancer would lead me to be creative, and to start what I hope will be a business that helps and supports other women just like me. I will make a donation of £1 to Cancer Recovery for every purchase made thanks to them, and hope this supports other women going through the experiences I did, just enter the code CRFUK code at purchase.

Looking back

During treatment, I had put on weight, lost all my hair and looked and left like a different person. It is great to be back feeling and looking like myself again, and feeling positive for the future. I welcome opportunities that come along; I will be climbing Ben Nevis which is something I would never have contemplated before. For anyone newly diagnosed or going through treatment, it seems like a long, hard road, but I would say embrace all the help and support from family, friends and organisations like Cancer Recovery Foundation. They’ll help you along, to stay strong and to be positive. There is an end to that road, and hopefully it will be a bright, happy future.

Wishing You All the Very Best.

Sheila Logan