Actress, writer, and YouTuber Aniela McGuinness knew she was BRCA-positive and was three days away from scheduling a preventative double mastectomy when she learned she had stage I breast cancer. So the mastectomy got scheduled a little sooner than planned, and the word “preventative” quickly got dropped from its title. Understandably, this was a trying time for the young YouTuber, but she decided she wasn’t about to let cancer win in any way, shape, or form.
So on top of having the mastectomy to get rid of her cancer and prevent it from coming back, Aniela also started blogging, vlogging, and doing other projects related to breast cancer, both to help her work through the emotional upheaval of having breast cancer and to help others who are going through something similar.
The video below is from Aniela’s pre-mastectomy days, before she had, as she says, “graduated” from cancer. She had heard from other people who had had mastectomies that they really wished they had purchased more button-up tops to make getting dressed and undressed easier.
The problem is that many of the items that work really well for a post-mastectomy wardrobe are items of clothing that you may never be inclined to wear again. You want to make sure you have plenty of comfortable clothing to make yourself feel better during your mastectomy recovery, but you also want it to be pretty cheap so you’re not spending a fortune unnecessarily. But cheap doesn’t mean it can’t be cute! That’s where the thrift store haul comes in.
Yes, a thrift store is your best friend for this project. Aniela’s demonstration is proof that even some of the things that look the ugliest on thrift store racks can be styled to look cute and fashionable and be reasonably priced. She tries on each piece for you to see and explains why it will be helpful for her mastectomy.
When doing your pre-mastectomy thrift store shopping, don’t forget to look for soft fabrics and baggy styles that will not bother your incision sites and will be better able to hide your drain bags. Pockets are always a plus (especially if they’re on the inside!), and snaps, zippers, or other front closures work just as well as buttons.
Check out Aniela’s thrift store haul in the video!
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?