Dear Sun Spots: We are a group of women called P.I.P.S. (Pretty in Pink Survivors) who have had breast cancer and are meeting together at my home every month. This way we all have that warm loving feeling right from the get-go, and not a sterile hospital feeling. There are now 13 of us. When we leave each other after a get-together, or an outing, no one ever leaves without a hug.

Losing a breast is very traumatic for a woman. After all, that is part of their womanhood! Even the women who choose to have a lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy have a very hard time dealing with it. They have to have a piece of their breast removed in hopes of getting rid of all that cancer, which in turn leaves them with a breast that will never look the same again. Now just imagine also having to have chemo and radiation on top of that.

Having the opportunity to meet with other women who have gone through the same thing that you have is such a help. Even though your family and friends are there for you, it sometimes is just not enough. They have no idea what you are going through mentally. It is very comforting to be in a home setting having coffee, cookies and laughing together. After all, laughing is a great way to heal both physically and mentally.

Three years ago myself and my friend and Bosom Buddy, Carlene, who is also a breast cancer survivor, decided that there must be other women out there who could use a buddy to talk with and do things with.

So, we got the P.I.P.S. off and running. We have not looked back since. That same year we approached CMMC about putting together a calendar which would feature Breast Cancer Survivors each month having a fun time doing something they enjoyed. Also, we asked if they could please put in resources for them to be able to call if they needed help. CMMC did a really good job putting it all together.

Last year, the P.I.P.S. put together a cookbook to sell in order to raise money for all cancer survivors who need help financially, whether it be for oil, gas or food. We have a member who works for the American Cancer Society and she could let us know who is in need of our help. We are selling the cookbooks for $15. Please call me, Claudette Caron, at 755-0077 or Carlene Sperry at 786-5237 if you would like to buy a cookbook. Thank you all in advance for your help. – Claudette, Lewiston.

Dear Sun Spots: I am looking for a postcard dealer. I have collections of Maine covered bridges and other Maine locations. Also, cards of Andover, Maine. Phone 225-3580. – No Name, No Town.

Answer: In addition to responses from readers, contact Orphan Annie’s, 96 Court St. in Auburn at 782-0638 or Bill Cartmel at 795-1386.

Dear Sun Spots: I am a member of the Maine Elks Association and we are collecting inkjet and laser cartridges for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program. So if you want to help this project out please save all of your empty cartridges and give them to your nearest Elks Lodge or call me at 364-2479 for pickups. We accept all inkjet and laser cartridges. Thanks for your help! Debi , Rumford.

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