Happy October! Every month we enjoy producing a new issue full of informative articles about people, places and events in our little corner of the world. While each one is exciting, our annual Breast Cancer Awareness issue holds an extra special place in my heart. Having experienced the shock and scare of a breast cancer diagnosis, I know firsthand how important it is to stay on top of our health.

Scheduling an annual mammogram, for example, is key to detecting any signs of breast cancer in the earliest stages. Thankfully, my own breast cancer was detected early, and after a brief treatment, I was declared cancer-free. My experience has made me very grateful for the skilled and caring doctors, researchers and support staff who work tirelessly helping people conquer and overcome their diagnosis.

Navigating the journey through breast cancer, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond, is incredibly easier with a team of committed supporters—lucky for us, there are some amazing individuals in our community who make it their mission to support women every step of the way.

Linda Brafford, owner of A Private Affair in Thousand Oaks, is one such person. Since 1991, the compassionate staff at A Private Affair have been helping women find the perfect bra. With an emphasis on hard-to-fit sizes (A-N), A Private Affair offers women, including those who have undergone breast cancer mastectomies, a custom consultation and bra fitting.

“We have something for everyone,” says Linda, and if we don’t have the perfect fit, we’ll get it for you, she told me when I stopped in to look for that elusive perfectly form-fitting bra. Linda put me instantly at ease as we sat chatting on the cozy couch about my breast cancer experience and the challenges I’ve had bra shopping.

She then invited me to the dressing room, where she patiently and efficiently took my measurements and brought me several different styles to try. Her warm demeanor and professional expertise helped make an often uncomfortable experience actually enjoyable. We laughed and talked as she assisted me in trying on each bra, tightening and loosening straps and adjusting the clasps to ensure a comfortable, flattering fit.

I was surprised to learn that many bras come with pockets for inserts of all sizes that can be placed inside to enhance each woman’s shape and provide a custom fit. Linda told me they can also sew pockets into any bra to allow for breast prosthesis. They also offer custom prosthesis that fit like a puzzle piece, designed for each woman’s specific size and shape. Bra prosthesis are covered by medical insurance, check with her about your benefits.

Personally, I was delighted to discover that I could purchase a pair of perfectly sized reasonably priced bra pad inserts that add form and shape and tuck easily into any bra. I bought a couple pair and made plans to return to try on a few new bras she special-ordered for me. Again, I am reminded how fortunate we are to have such caring, knowledgeable people like Linda, whose passion and commitment to helping women look and feel their best is evident and truly appreciated. Stop in and experience how a perfectly fitted bra can make you feel so good!

Enjoy this month’s Breast Cancer Awareness issue; remember to schedule your annual checkup soon!

With Love & Gratitude,