I'm Hannah, I'm 28 years old and was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. I have beautiful, supportive parents and two fantastic older brothers- one of whom was my stem cell donor. I live with my gorgeous fiancé and our rescue dog.

I’m a psychologist working in private practice and in schools and love my job! Prior to psychology, I spent nine years coaching gymnastics and doing gymnastics and circus myself. Outside of work you’ll find me at the beach, travelling, or doing yoga and pilates. I also love to cook and bake sourdough bread.

I had been sick for about a month around October last year so saw my GP and had a series of tests. I continued working for the most part as I didn’t suspect it was anything serious; how could someone who was young and fit like me get cancer? After four weeks, having just received results of a CT scan, my GP called me and said that I had lymphoma. I was in complete shock and didn’t know what to do. I called my family and within 15 minutes my parents, brother and cousin were sitting on my bed with me. We ate cookies and ice-cream, talked, and cried.

I went into hospital the following day and after three days and further tests, the doctors diagnosed me with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. Treatment started the next day, but it took weeks for me to properly process the diagnosis.

By Christmas time I was starting to feel all the effects of the chemo treatment and the complications that came with it. I was actually so sick with an inflamed colon, an infection, and ongoing blood noses that I was in hospital for two and a half weeks over Christmas. I was on a very restricted diet, very nauseous and pretty much bald by that point. Christmas to me is all about family time, great food and celebration. It’s usually my favourite time of the year but that Christmas, every event, party and carols I couldn’t go to was a constant reminder of how much cancer sucks. Luckily on Christmas day, my doctors gave me day leave so I was able to spend some time with close family members, but I definitely didn’t feel like myself.

Physically, the treatment made me very, very weak - at some points during treatment just walking was difficult and I had to use a wheelchair. I lost a lot of independence and dignity and relied on my family to support me. I lost all body confidence due to physical changes- weight and muscle tone loss, face changes, dry skin, and of course hair loss.

The nurses at the hospital spoke so highly of the Look Good Feel Better program that I had no reluctance to order a Home-Delivered Confidence Kit. Unfortunately, I was never well enough to attend a workshop in person, but being delivered the Confidence Kit meant I had the products to help with participation in a Virtual Workshop, and to use day-to-day.

When my Kit arrived I was so excited. I put on makeup for the first time in months and drew on my eyebrows. I didn’t realise how unfeminine I’d been feeling or how good getting dressed up would make me feel. It was such a huge confidence lift. It also taught me to accept my ‘new’ body and thrive with it.

The information that came in the Home-Delivered Confidence Kit summarised everything taught in the virtual workshops, so it was great to be able to refer to this before and after the workshop - especially how to draw on eyebrows!

I was blown away with the quality and range of products I received and the usefulness of the information. I really appreciated all of it. After using the products in the Kit I had numerous comments on how healthy and happy I looked.

I have since taken part in a ‘tapping’ workshop as part of Feel Better Fridays which has taught me how to relieve anxiety related to cancer and what I’m going through. The facilitator was just amazing at explaining the technique, making me feel safe and comfortable, and the practice has since brought so much calm to my mind.

I would definitely recommend the Look Good Feel Better program to everyone going through cancer treatment and can’t thank the charity enough for all the help they’ve given me.

Since my diagnosis, my life has changed in more ways than one. I haven’t been able to work due to intensive treatment regimes and the associated side effects of fatigue, nausea, and a compromised immune system. I’ve been unable to do everyday activities outside of the home and have to be careful when allowing friends and family to come visit.

But aside from physical and practical changes, it’s changed how I view life. It has allowed me to feel things in deeper ways, appreciate the important stuff more and live a slower paced life. I also feel closer to my family, fiancé, and friends, having been through this. The support from them has never stopped.

I am super excited for Christmas this year to be better than the last and even more grateful for everything I have and everyone who’s helped me on my cancer journey, including the Look Good Feel Better program.

If you’re able to give a gift this Christmas to help them continue making a difference, your generosity would be so very appreciated.

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