How a breast cancer scare inspired the making of the award-winning mastectomy pillow, the Billow (breast + pillow)
After a 15-year career as a Wall Street professional, Marnie Rustemeyer decided to say goodbye to the financial district to start her own healthcare business focusing on women’s wellness. It may have seemed like a drastic switch for some, but for Marnie, it was a natural transition.
Inspired by her own breast cancer experience, Marnie conceived, designed and created the Billow – a recovery pillow for post-mastectomy patients like no other. What started off as an idea during her own recovery following a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgeries, Billow has turned into a thriving business which has the potential to help millions of women across the globe.
Back in 2013, Marnie, a West Virginia native who used to live in New York City, tested positive for the BRCA gene mutation, which greatly increases a person’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer. After exploring her options, Marnie elected to undergo a double mastectomy. Since her risk was also high for ovarian cancer, she also had a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
Living with cancer can be challenging, but with our new Community Offers page, you’ll be able to find extra help and support
Life with Cancer
Living with cancer isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s rarely easy. Many people struggle with a range of different symptoms and side effects, both physical and emotional.
In addition to making you feel unwell, living with cancer is expensive! Even if you live in a place with public healthcare (like the United Kingdom or Canada), the costs of travel, meals, and special accommodations during treatment can add up quickly. If you live in a country with privatised care, the costs can be even more staggering.
You might also find that living with cancer can be – frankly – a little boring. Frequent hospital visits, recovery days at home, and long chemotherapy sessions can all begin to feel tedious. Many people miss seeing friends from work, or feeling able to go about their daily lives as usual.
As the saying goes, if you want something done right, do it yourself!
Well, that’s exactly what we’ve done here at Live Better With. Over the years, we’ve curated a great selection of hats, turbans and headscarves and we’re always on the lookout for new excellent headwear options.
We receive tonnes of feedback and suggestions from customers every day about styles they love, fabrics that feel best on sensitive skin and the most affordable prices. Taking that all into consideration, we’re excited to announce that we have designed and created our very own luxurious and feminine headwear range influenced entirely by our community.
Meet HeadWrappers – a charity giving free support, advice and gorgeous headscarves to anyone experiencing hair loss as part of cancer treatment.
What does Headwrappers do?
Often the aftercare for people who lose their hair during chemotherapy or other cancer treatments can be quite basic. You might get a wig or a hat, but most people are unfamiliar with how to style this new headwear so that it feels flattering and comfortable. HeadWrappers aim to change that, by sharing their knowledge of scarves, hats and hairpieces as an alternative to standard wigs.
The CanPlan planner is a fantastic tool to help people living with cancer to take control of their disease and find ways to self-heal
Here at Live Better With, we’re constantly updating our product range as we’re always on the lookout for new things that have made a difference to the day-to-day life of someone living with cancer.
Today, we are so pleased to announce that we are teaming up with the new, innovative cancer planning brand, CanPlan, and will be their exclusive UK stockist.
US-based CanPlan is a one-of-a-kind planner designed to assist cancer patients and caregivers with the daily battles of cancer, by providing words of encouragement, reminders for positive living, and a tracking method to monitor the illness day to day. It is an all-in-one tool for patients and caregivers to take control of their cancer.
Whether you’ve had a mastectomy, prostatectomy or biopsy, we look at the best-reviewed scar cream treatments for after surgery
If you’ve had surgery as part of your cancer treatment, you’ll also have to deal with an unfortunate consequence – scars.
Scars are a natural part of the body’s healing process, but they can cause irritation and some find them unsightly. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to help improve the texture and appearance of your scars over time.
From hats and kitchenware to towelling and linen, here’s why bamboo is such a great textile for people living with cancer
Here at Live Better With, we hand-pick products that help ease symptoms and side effects and improve the quality of day-to-day life for people with cancer. And we make sure we do our homework – we work with patients, families, healthcare professionals and charities to make sure we can give the best possible information.
As part of Live Better With’s mission to make everyday living a little better for the millions of people living with cancer, today marks the launch of our very first cookbook: Eat Better With Cancer.
The cookbook, which includes 92 beautiful pages of stories, tips, and meal plans, brings together recipes that members of the Live Better With cancer community found tasty and easy to cook while going through treatment.
Contributors include writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and chefs, including Jackie Buxton, author of Tea & Chemo, Jennifer Young, creator of the Defiant Beauty skincare range, and Bryan Thom, Head Chef at the Marie Curie Hospice in Edinburgh.
Book Review: Cancer Is My Teacher by Lucy O’Donnell
“I remembered how, when I was diagnosed, I was given so many books that my head was literally swimming. My book is the antithesis of this.”
When you’re diagnosed with cancer, you’ll have a one hundred and one million questions and thoughts going through your mind. For answers and help, you may turn to healthcare professionals, blogs/forums or to books.
We have a wide range of books on our main Live Better With website, and one of our best sellers is Cancer Is My Teacher by Lucy O’Donnell.