Cherie Mathews: From Winning The Battle With Cancer to Helping the Healing Comfort of Others
Cherie Mathews can fearlessly be called the woman who turned her battle with cancer into a success story. After defeating breast cancer, she came with Healincomfort for every woman who has experienced the same pain. Cherie’s story recounts the journey from the end of the tunnel to the road to success. Healincomfort is exactly what a woman struggling with cancer needs to heal comfortably.
Cherie, as a breast cancer survivor, how was your fight with this cancer?
Life can certainly come along with some challenges. I was busy raising our family and am blessed to be Ashley and Adam’s Mom. My husband was training for another Ironman, so we were very careful to eat only organic and super healthy foods. I was also very into fitness and up to date with my well-women visits. After a regular mammogram, I was sitting in that little waiting room when my heart sank because the nurse came into my waiting room and did not say what I was expecting which was “the results are normal, we will see you again next year”. Instead, I was told that they have called in a doctor and radiologist specialist. The fact that breast cancer does not run in the family and I heard those terrifying words which were “I’m sorry Mrs. Mathews but you have breast cancer” made it really hard to comprehend.
I was expecting which was “the results are normal, we will see you again next year”. Instead, I was told that they have called in a doctor and radiologist specialist.
After the initial shock, I became warrior-like and decided to go after it and go on the offensive vs the defensive. After needle biopsies and confirmation of this disease, I had had enough with all this poking and prodding and just wanted cancer out of my body and to get on with my life. I was told that a single mastectomy was my best choice but after 48 pages of research from all over the world, I requested a double mastectomy. Can you even imagine what that feels like? The surgeons flat out told me “no way” we are not going to remove a healthy body part.
When I presented my research from all over the world and all the statistics that leaned heavily towards a bi-lateral disease I “won” the right to have a bi-lateral mastectomy. Receiving a cancer diagnosis is actually not only an attack on one’s body but also a battle for the mind and spirit. I know one thing that is certain and that is a positive mindset is your secret weapon, against all the negative and scary thoughts that try to flood your brain and set up house and live there. My spiritual walk only grew stronger, but I must be honest, battling breast cancer is scary.
I was also very into fitness and up to date with my well-women visits. After a regular mammogram, I was sitting in that little waiting room when my heart sank because the nurse came into my waiting room and did not say what I was expecting which was “the results are normal, we will see you again next year”. Instead, I was told that they have called in a doctor and radiologist specialist.
Whatwere the fears and the first thoughts you had when you found out that you had cancer?
You might have heard about the black tunnel that one falls down, well. I’m here to tell you it true but now include the hum sound that screams in your ears, which is when you no longer can hear the doctor talking. Falling down the never-ending black tunnel without any knowledge on how to stop this shock. The biggest fear was leaving my small children and amazing husband fend for themselves. My other big fear was during the night before the actual surgery, which was, what if they open me up and cancer is everywhere?
Following the success of winning the “war” against your breast cancer, what led you tocreatingHealincomfort?
After a double mastectomy, I woke up and the first thing I asked for was my red lipstick, because I wanted to look as normal as possible, knowing very well that I wouldn’t ever look normal again. When it was time to go home, the nurses told me it’s time to get dressed. I told the nurse that I brought my husband’s dress shirt as suggested by my surgeon. When the nurse tried to get me dressed in my husband’s dress shirt, the movement was too extreme and I actually got sick all over my shirt. The nurse snapped at me “why did you bring this?“ I replied, “well this is my first mastectomy, so how am I supposed to know what to bring and why don’t you offer something to go home in so I don’t have to guess incorrectly?” The nurse, still looking frustrated,told me they will provide a pair of safety pins to pin the medical drains to my throw up men’s dress shirt. This made me super mad because a sprained elbow receives a sling to recover in BUT a woman who has her breast removed is offered a pair of safety pins as her post-operative equipment to recover in. This is unacceptable and not fair.
When the nurse tried to get me dressed in my husband’s dress shirt, the movement was too extreme and I actually got sick all over my shirt. The nurse snapped at me “why did you bring this?“ I replied, “well this is my first mastectomy, so how am I supposed to know what to bring and why don’t you offer something to go home in so I don’t have to guess incorrectly?”
So I went about to fix this problem and even though the only class I ever failed was home economics because I can’t sew, I set out to make a recovery shirt with internal drains to help the patient recover in comfort and dignity. This shirt had to be feather soft and have four internal pockets to safely hold and conceal the medical drains on the inside of the shirt, so the patient can look like a person and not a science experiment.
I had a wonderful career with IBM in Research and Development and special projects for NASA but then went into teaching as I believe it is a noble cause to teach young people and be there for them. I taught for 18 years and even co-pioneered a public school program with my BFF BennaCail, called The First Tee National School Program. I am proud to share that we reached 10 millionpublic school children, with not only the game of golf but also the 9 Core Values and 9 Healthy Habits. I’m sharing this not to get off topic but because I wanted to introduce what’s called “bootstrapping”, a company and my fix for breast cancer patients, which means I self-funded with only $1,000 USD to help 100 breast cancer patients in Austin Texas USA.
I choose to bootstrap so anyone with a good idea doesn’t give up due to a lack of money. I’m blessed to share that my company called HEALINCOMFORT has now helped 40,000 breast cancer patients heal in comfort and with dignity by word of mouth. I have filed for patent protection and have been issued two USA patents and 5 Trademarks. I do believe women need to file and protect their intellectual property.