Portland store caters to women facing cancer

‘Just Like a Woman’ specializes in helping women deal with all the changes a breast cancer diagnosis brings.

PORTLAND, Ore — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. ‘Just Like a Woman’ in Southwest Portland specializes in helping women deal with all the changes a diagnosis brings.

Cary Goldberg clearly remembers the day, 14 years ago, when she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. “It wasn’t supposed to happen to me. I’m half Asian, I have great genes, no one in my family has cancer, but it doesn’t matter, anybody can get breast cancer,” said the mother of two.

Since her treatment started with chemotherapy, Goldberg didn’t think she would have surgery. But the cancer spread and she had a double mastectomy. “It’s another piece of the healing journey from breast cancer and I think it’s a really important piece” explained Goldberg. “How do you get used to the new normal of this strange new body you’re expected to just accept it and have it when something so traumatic and unexpected has happened.”

Goldberg turned to the internet to find garments to make her feel like herself again. She didn’t find much until she discovered ‘Just Like a Woman’ in Southwest Portland. The specialty lingerie store offers bras, pocketed swimsuits and many more options for people going through a breast cancer diagnosis and recovery. 

“Whether their husband is having a problem with it, they’re having body image issues, we try to make everybody feel just like a woman,” said Margy Imlay, the store owner. “People come in in tears and back when we could hug, we leave with hugs.”

Goldberg remembers the caring personal attention at the store. She loved the bra she was fitted in so much, the Handful Bra, that she ended up working for the company. Goldberg is now cancer-free and thanks to a certain store grateful to feel just like a woman.

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