March 16, 2018, my journey started with a diagnosis of breast cancer in my left breast. ER and PR positive and HER2 negative.
Double mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction on April 20th. A sentinel lymph node was removed on the left side. It had cancer in it.
May 13th, I had ten lymph nodes removed from my left arm pit. Two of those had specks of cancer and in one, the cancer had grown to the outside of the node.
June 13th, I started chemo. 4 treatments 3 weeks apart. Finished chemo August 15th.
September 20th, I started my 30 radiation treatments and finished November 2nd.
On November 24th, took my first tamoxifen (hormone blocker) pill that I will take for 5 years.
Through all of this, I can tell you there truly are some yucky days and pain, but it is very doable. You CAN do this. I have already said these words to you.
So get up today and choose to smile because you have the power to do so. You may have cancer, but cancer does not have you if you stand up and be powerful against it.
One thing I found interesting, especially at the beginning of my journey, was that yesterday, last week or last month we didn’t know we had cancer and we were overcomers for our families and friends, our tribe, and now, knowing we have cancer, we want to melt into fear.
It. Is. Hard.
But we are the same now, we just have cancer. That changes us forever, but we truly have the opportunity to decide how we look at that and proceed. Just don’t give your power and smile away to the fear. You ARE strong enough. Don’t worry alone. You are NOT alone. We are now all connected by the amazing pink thread.
In March of 2018, as Dawn began her breast cancer journey, she realized there were few resources available to prepare for breast cancer treatment and surgery. She also discovered that the few items she found for breast cancer patients were costly. She found a pattern and sewed her own mastectomy pillow and as her journey progressed, she realized there was a great need for other women going through breast cancer treatment - a need for mastectomy pillows and drain shirts, heart pillows, port pillows, and a couple of trinkets all packed and shipped with a bundle of love and support and a need for a group for breast cancer patients to find encouragement from others like them.
Dawn's desire to support other women going through this same breast cancer journey led to a grassroots effort to spread kindness and the Father's love along with a box of free items to aid in recovery. The Blessing Box Project is NOT business. It is not a charity or non-profit or NFP. It is simply a group of volunteers who have banded together to fulfill a desire to help others.
Dawn calls the all volunteer group, who assemble to sew, iron, pack, stuff, and donate, the Pink Tribe. They rely on donations of fabric, gently used or new mens button-up shirts, polyfill, postage and the small trinkets included in every box, as well as shipping supplies like labels, printer ink and packing tape. There is no charge for a Blessing Box. Although there is NO expectation, Dawn's only request is, if possible, for shipping to be reimbursed so that she is able to ship the next Blessing Box. Some reimburse their postage, some have sent extra postage money, some donate supplies, some sew pillow forms and ship them to her, and not surprisingly, every time she prints shipping labels, the postage is ALWAYS there, by the grace of God.
The Blessing Box Project's Facebook page is a huge resource for breast cancer patients - a place of encouragement and support for those newly diagnosed or those who are going through the next phase of their journey, a place to share one's own personal story, a place to request a Blessing Box and a place to find others who understand the journey.
Dawn's Blessing Box Project has grown exponentially, as word has spread through social media platforms, local news stories and word of mouth through the breast cancer community. To date, the Pink Tribe and Dawn have assembled and shipped over 9000 boxes across the US and some have even shipped globally to parts of Europe, Africa and Australia.
Drains are a pain and these shirts allow you to have some comfort with pockets on the inside to hold the drains and buttons to slip it on with ease. They make it easier to go to the store, go to the doctor or simply move from the bed to the chair.
These pillows are a huge help. They make everything from a car ride, hugging loved ones, and holding little ones tolerable.
Surprise gifts are fun trinkets that have been donated by the pink tribe, many of whom are previous recipients of a Blessing Box.
Heart pillows and Port pillows are also available as requested. Heart pillows are used under the arm to cushion lumpectomy & lymph node incisions. Port pillows protect chest ports while using seat belt or when extra cushioning is needed.
Check out this great video
Thank you so much for my blessing box project. Surgery was yesterday and I love my pillow. Keep doing what you do.
During my mastectomy, I wasn't sure what to expect. The blessing box I got gave me hope and was a huge help! Thank you to everyone who helped make my Blessing Box!
No person who receives a Blessing Box is ever charged for one. These boxes are made with love by fellow Pink Sisters AKA Pink Tribe and loved ones who want to be part of this amazing project.
Due to not charging for this service, donations are never expected but are always appreciated. Donations can be funds, fabric, men's button up shirts, poly-fill, or through an Amazon wishlist.
Below are a few ways to donate to the Blessing Box Project.
Thank you for your time and donation.
P.O. Box 646
Bellville, TX 77418
The Wooden Spool in Sealy Texas
In early 2022, The Wooden Spool's proprietor, Jennifer Arguijo, donated many, many bolts of fabric, which enabled the creation of more than 200 pillows by the Blessing Box Project's Pink Tribe!
The Wooden Spool will also generously match, yard for yard, any fabric bought for The Blessing Box Project.
The Wooden Spool
219 Fowlkes St.
Sealy, TX 77474
Monday - Saturday12:30 PM - 5:30 PM