Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lymphedema Lobby Days

Lymphedema Lobby Days provides an opportunity to meet members of Congress and advocate for the Lymphedema Treatment Act. The event is taking place this year from March 4th-6th in Washington D.C. Last year over 70 country wide lymphedema patients appeared to speak up about the cause.
Below is a direct quote from the Lymphedema Treatment Act website about the impact of this event:
Attending Lymphedema Lobby Days is one of the most rewarding things I have done. It was awesome to see so many people from all over come together to make a difference. Experiencing the judicial process was an eye-opener as well. I am so glad I came. ~Tonya
Unfortunately, it is too late to register for this event for this year. However, even though you cannot make the trip to D.C. you can still make a difference. Contact your local representative to request a meeting regarding insurance coverage for these necessary lymphedema compression garments. 
Instructions for setting up a meeting are provided in the link below:
Also, please click the following link for more information on the Lymphedema Treatment Act:


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Self-Breast Exams

At Thelma's we often see that breast cancer had been detected by a simple self breast exam. It's a fast and easy way to stay on top of your health, and an early diagnosis is helpful with treatment. All women should give themselves a monthly self-breast exam, however, women over the age of 40 should also have a clinical exam every other year. The more aware you are of your body the better you are at detecting problems before they get too complicated.

One can give a self-breast exam in many ways in the comfort of your own home!

1.) In the shower with flat fingers, feel every part of the breast. Be aware of any lump, it will be hard,
about the size of a pea. Not all lumps mean cancer, but it still is an early detector for issues.

2.) Inspect your breasts in the mirror with your arms at your sides and then raise your arms over
your head. Look for any (new) abnormalities such as swelling, dimple of skin or changes in the nipple. Next, place your palms on your hips and flex chest muscles and exam the size on your breasts. Very few women have equal sized breasts, so knowing this information will allow you to note if there are any changes.

3.) While lying down put a pillow/towel beneath the right shoulder with the right hand behind the head. Take note of the distributed breast tissue and if there are any irregularities. You can do this by starting at the top of the breast and moving your fingers in a clock direction around the entirety of the breast (see chart below for other patterns). Then proceed to check the left side in the same manner. Be sure to feel and check the size of the nipple as well.

Doing these simple exams monthly can help you stay in tune with your body, and be aware of changes before your check ups with your doctor.

Below is a link for further explanation, as well as diagrams, of how to proceed with a self-breast
examination. breast-exam/?gclid=CjwKCAiAm7LSBRBBEiwAvL1- Ly0-

Image from

Thursday, January 4, 2018

2018 Health & Fitness

Excited to start New Year’s Resolutions? 
Can’t “weight” to go to the gym?

*Every resolution stems from a personal goal, of which will need thoughtful plans for proper success!

What are fitness trends that can be seen in 2018?

With all the technology that has come out to monitor fitness, it has been predicted that 2018 will be returning to the basics. For example:
  • One should look for returning to activities such as resistance training and yoga. Something else suggested is participating in the nostalgia of jumping rope. Although we think of a child’s game, jump rope has become highly popular in adult lives!
  • High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an extremely effective and quick way to establish great health and fitness, even within a busy life. HIIT circuits can be found all over the internet, and typically involve circuits of which utilize multiple parts of the body. 
    • These workouts are geared to be very intense, so make sure to start small and build yourself up! Begin with one HIIT circuit a week, and moderate interval training a few other times. One could aim to build up to three HIIT circuits a week given some time! Just for perspective, 10 minutes of proper HIIT training can be equivalent to 45 minutes of moderate interval training!!
  • Another great trend to consider is group classes at your local gym! This is a great way to start your fitness lifestyle without feeling as if you are in it on your own. There is a culture with classes, as most people find passion in certain exercises and often return weekly. Try a spinning class, or kickboxing, but pick something that suits you and you will look forward to attending!

What are fitness tips that can be utilized in 2018?

  • Make a plan!! Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t overwhelm your schedule with exercises that are out of range for yourself. Also, with workout plans, start slow at the beginning and allow yourself to build up. This is a commitment and you want to make it work with you and your weekly habits.
  • Strength train more! Many of us think the answer to weight loss is tons and tons of cardio. While cardio is great for the body, lifting weights allows our muscle to tone into the leanness many of us desire. Lifting weights allows your body to burn calories even after your workout, while cardio consolidates it to only the time spent.
  • Try more compound lifting as opposed to isolated movements. Isolated movements would be activities such as dumbbells. While this is a good workout, compound lifting utilizes multiple areas of the body. Some examples of compound lifting are lunges, squats, deadlifts, and push-presses.
  • Never skimp out on eating food that is good for you. The body burns properly when given the right fuel!

Therefore, what eating habits should be considered in 2018?

  • Eat mindfully! One doesn’t need to necessarily count calories or keep a food journal, but do it if it works for you! However, simply being mindful of what you are eating, how often, and cutting down on snacking will drastically improve eating habits.
  • Monitoring what you eat can be done by cooking at home. This way you know what is going into your food, and you can incorporate more lean proteins and healthier carbohydrates. Don’t forget to taste the rainbow and add colorful vegetables and fruits to every meal!
  • Don’t deprive yourself of food you love! Are Taco Tuesday’s your favorite day of the week? Use ground turkey instead of ground beef. Throw black beans into the dish, and use a spring mix instead of iceberg lettuce. Buy low-fat sour cream, and only use half of a taco seasoning packet! Simple alterations can greatly impact the nutritional value we take out of a meal.
  • When at the store, “shop the perimeter.” In most grocery stores the fresh produce is around the outside of the store. Get your greens, fruits and proteins without getting stuck in the middle isles of tempting boxed goodies. Plan your meals around freshness, even if that means small trips 2-3 times a week instead of one big run.
  • If you are not a breakfast person, something to consider for your mornings is tea and infused water. Many nutrients come from tea and infused water, however, if you love your coffee try and drink it black!

Fitness and eating healthy can only go so far, though. We need to remember to take care of ourselves. According to Essentially Women, women who have completed breast cancer treatments can struggle with sleeping issues. A goal to aim for is 150 minutes of activity a week, translating to 20 minutes a day. This amount of time spent on weekly activity has been proven to make a difference. 

A healthy lifestyle includes eight hours of sleep, walking every chance you can, finding time for yourself, appreciating the little things in life, and practicing random acts of kindness! Change can be scary, but allow yourself to embrace everything you have to offer and find out how happy a healthy life can make you.





-MaryKate Frey, Social Media Consultant at Thelma's 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Have you met your 2017 health insurance deductible and/or out of pocket limit? If so, you should try to take advantage of your benefits before it all resets in January.

Most insurance plans run from January to January, but double check with your insurance carrier to see when your start and end dates are. Nowadays, it is common for health insurance plans to have deductibles that can be as high as $6550 for an individual.(A deductible means: that your insurance coverage does not even start until you paid off enough claims to total that amount). This seems like an undesirable situation because you basically do not have health insurance coverage until you pay that down.

The upside is that if you do have one of these high deductible plans ($1300 or more) you qualify for a tax deferred health savings account.

What is that?
A health savings account (HSA) is a great way to budget how you will be paying for a large portion of your healthcare costs for the year. Most banks offer these types of accounts with a tax break benefit for those savings. The premiums for high deductible plans are typically lower, so the extra savings can be put into the account to be used for medical bills. Many employers also offer programs that match contributions to these HSA accounts. For 2017, the max amount that you can contribute is $3400, but the balance will rollover from year to year. The account can also earn tax deferred interest, which is yet another benefit. The HSA is a great perk for anyone with a high deductible insurance plan who has to plan on spending any of their own money on medical bills.

In a perfect world, we would never be sick and just build up that HSA each year. Life happens and sometimes we meet these high deductibles due to unforeseen circumstances. If you do end up meeting your yearly deductible, then take advantage of the 50-100% coverage that you paid thousands for! Try to make those appointments for non-emergency medical services and items (like your bras and breast prostheses) that you have been putting off.It is hard to say where the health insurance industry is headed, but the combination of a high deductible insurance plan linked with an HSA is seeming more popular each year.

It is best to familiarize yourself with your health care coverage as much as possible so that you can take full advantage of your benefits.

health-premiumscompressed-300x225.gif (300×225)

For more information check out the link to the IRS website

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Spirit of the Holidays!

As we recover from all the food on Thanksgiving, we have to keep in mind that the holiday season is progressing! Come down to Park Avenue in Rochester on Thursday, November 30th, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the 24th annual Spirit of the Holidays open house. This fun event is FREE to attend to, and stretches from Alexander Street to Culver Road, all along Park Avenue. There is live music, performances, horse drawn carriage rides, roasted chestnuts, and welcoming open arms of local businesses. Many of these Park Ave merchants have tasty food and beverage samples and free prizes for those who attend. May your spirits be merry and bright as you support local Rochester organizations!  

Image result for holiday spirit

-MaryKate Frey, Social Media Consultant at Thelma's 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

House Bra of Comfort

Don’t ruin the Thanksgiving holiday this year by letting your giblets sneak into the mashed potatoes! Get a supportive bra that keeps everything tucked in, and away from the food! 

While our bras address a number of women, one bra in particular seems to be making many happy. The ABC manufacturer has the 110 bra. To you, it could be known as the “house bra” due to its’ versatility and comfort, perfect for wearing around the house during the holidays. The 110 comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from XS-XXL, and A/B-E/F. This front hook bra is great for post-surgery. Other benefits of this bra apply to women whom have had shoulder surgeries, need wide back support, are going through radiation, have sensitive skin, or have osteoporosis. This bra also comes in many colors, with seasonal Fall and Spring options as well. 

110 Leisure Bra

The 110 is 97% cotton, while spandex and nylon are also materials, creating great comfort. Unfortunately, the straps on this bra do not adjust, but based on the happiness customers have gotten from this bra, we believe it can fit and help almost any woman! 

The link to the ABC website is located below next to "labels." If you have any questions about this bra, or you are someone who owns this bra, comment and let us know!! 

-MaryKate Frey, Social Media Consultant at Thelma's 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When is Thelma’s open?

BY APPOINTMENT, Thelma’s is open Tuesday through Friday, starting at 9:30 AM. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday we are open until 4:30 PM and on Thursday we are open until 7 PM. We are closed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

2. Is there parking?

There is parking available in the back of Thelma’s and two-hour parking on Park Avenue in front of the store. Please do not park in our neighbors’ lot as their business is subject to appointments as well.
3. Do I need a prescription?

A prescription is NEEDED in order to bill your insurance. If you are not using insurance a prescription may exempt tax for your purchase. As for lymph-edema garments, a prescription is needed even if insurance is not covering it.

4. Are wigs sold at Thelma's?

We unfortunately no longer carry wigs. Please contact WIGZ by Bangz at 585-248-9449, located in Penfield. This is a wonderful salon of which can provide individuals with a freshly styled and colored wig.

5. I want a bra, but not for medical reasons. Will Thelma’s be able to help me?

We focus our services on women post breast cancer, but try to accommodate any woman in need of bra. Just give us a call and we can see if Thelma’s is right for you!

6. Does Thelma’s sell bras that keep the prosthesis in place?

Our bras have pockets on the inside of which help to hold the prosthesis in place!
7. What does a fitting entail?

At Thelma’s you receive one on one service from a certified mastectomy fitter. They will take your bra measurement and help guide you to find the right size and style bra. Our fitters will help find the right breast accessories to achieve a balanced look.  

8. How long does a fitting take?
If it is your first time, we like to allow 45 minutes to an hour to properly go over all your options!

9. How do I wash my prosthesis?

Using gentle soap and water, lightly rub to clean the prosthesis and pat it dry. You should also store it in the box to keep it securely away from pets; they may use it as a chew toy!

10. Do you carry products to manage lymph-edema?
Thelma’s carries lymph-edema arm sleeves and gauntlets/gloves. You must have a prescription to purchase these items. We also have compression bras, vests and shirts to help with truncal-edema. We do NOT carry lower extremity compression products.

11. Will my insurance cover products I want to purchase?

In most cases, insurance companies may cover a portion of your purchase, typically being bras and a prosthesis, depending on your plan benefits. Be sure to contact your insurance provider to learn about your coverage.

12. What other products are sold at Thelma’s?
Thelma’s also carries swimwear, sportswear, hats/caps, handcrafted jewelry, various breast cancer awareness pins, and bracelets.

-MaryKate Frey, Social Media Consultant at Thelma's