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Looking Good, Feeling Better program for women

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to report back after attending one of the "Looking Good, Feeling Better" workshop for women with cancer. These workshops are put on by the (in my case) Canada Cancer Agency and the Hair/Cosmetics Association. These same, or similar workshops are held across Canada, in the US, and Australia... and I imagine throughout some of the European countries, although that is just a guess on my part. The Hair/Cosmetic Associations get products from all the big name corporations such as Avon, Clinique, Chanel, Estee Lauder, and a bunch of other who participate. The workshop is 2 hours of just making you feel good. Knowing that going through the chemo process, no matter what kind of cancer you have or what the side affects will be (since everyone is so different), the concept of the workshop is... if you feel good about yourself on the outside, then it will be easier to feel better about yourself on the inside (even with a war of drugs going on inside).

So with that, there were 5 volunteers group leaders from various cosmetic or hair companies, who walked us through makeup demonstrations.... from cleansing through putting on makeup, especially if you are missing hair like eyelashes or eyebrows. Since I'm involved with theatre, I have to admit there wasn't too much new in the makeup portion for me to learn, other than should I lose my eyebrows, I now know how to draw eyebrows on properly with an eyebrow pencil. But, it certainly was fun playing with the makeup products... and wow, what a collection of swag we got!! I'd say it was like a mini-suitcase of products from all the sponsoring companies. Seriously, these weren't just mini-freebie handouts... these were full products! Without a word of exaggeration, each of us gals got at least $200 worth of brand new makeup, moisturizers, sunscreen lotions, cleansing products, etc.

After the makeup demonstration and play, there was a gal who specialized in custom made wigs, hair pieces, etc. Now THIS part really interested me since I have no idea if I'm going to lose all my hair, just thinning, or if it's going to come out in clumps. When it comes to wigs, I have to admit I'm a bit jaded because I have seen some ladies with really, really ugly wigs... and because of that, have this stereotype thought about wigs and that was that they are good for costuming and Halloween, but that's about it. WRONG! Wow, was I ever wrong! There are some truly beautiful, well-styled wigs that are stunningly gorgeous. One of the ones she brought in, I fell in love with. It was the hair style that I have always loved but my own hair would NEVER EVER go like that. I have (or had) too much natural curl and frizz, so anything with straight hair, let alone a gorgeous bob, was just not in the cards for me. Of course I volunteered to be her model when she was demonstrating the wigs to the glass... and when she put this one on me, I totally fell in love with it! So much so that who cares if I do or don't lose my hair... I WANT THAT WIG!!!

She then put another one on me... one that I would NEVER EVER have picked for myself. It was blonde and one that looked like a casual cut, a bit on the messy side, but was meant to be messy. It reminded me of a hairstyle that someone with a small face... a tall, willowy model might get away with it. Well, she put it on, fluffed it up here and there with her hand... and voila... I was transposed into a face that even I didn't recognize!! Now I want BOTH those wigs LOL!! She laughed when the other gals in the room said they couldn't decide which one for me... they both looked good. She said they have many more styled and in many colours and shades of the colour. So yes, you guessed it, I have asked for a consultation appt. with her... sometime after I have my port put in, but before I actually start the chemo.

I am now feeling much more prepared. It's amazing how, hair is just hair... and it will grow back once we stop the chemo... but for us gals, it is a big deal. I'm sure you fellows can chime in too and if you have a full head of hair, then it can be somewhat traumatic for you as well... I don't mean to exclude you. But in our society, women primp and pamper their hair, match their makeup for the over all look... and the expectation is if you care about yourself, then you pay attention to your appearance. Whether we do or not, it is sort of drilled into us... so take away our hair and panic sets in. I'm sure once it's gone, one gets used to it and can have the attitude, "What the heck, it's only hair after all and if someone doesn't like my bald head, well then that's THEIR problem, not mine." But when you are facing the possibility, it can be downright frightening. So knowing I can buy a wig or two and have them here SHOULD I lose my hair is a big relief. If I don't lose my hair, then I don't think I've wasted the money because these wigs I have my eye on (and there may be some I haven't even seen yet) are so gorgeous I have no problem wearing them whether I have hair or not :)

Soooooo... ladies! If you haven't been to one of these workshops, treat yourself! They are free and you will be pleasantly surprised how much you get out of it, more so for the self-esteem... but also, you may learn some tricks you didn't know. And what a great gift you get with all the new products you get to bring home. I highly recommend this workshop for every single female who has, or is about to start, any kind of chemo treatment.

Cheryl

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Cheryl,

I am so glad you enjoyed the Look Good Feel Better program you attended! Are we going to see you featured in their next pamphlet?

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2118
Joined: Oct 2009

Love, love,love the attitude. Yes, it is just hair for for a woman it is very traumatic to lose it. I'm happy you have something picked out should the need arise.

Hugs - Tina

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