I found a lump in my breast in August last year, but to be honest I didn’t take it too seriously. I’m a young mum of two daughters, aged 14 and 10, and I didn’t think people like me got cancer with no family history.
When my GP referred me very quickly for a biopsy and further testing I became more concerned, and within four days of my initial check-up I received a breast cancer diagnosis. It completely took the wind out of me. I was shocked, scared and confused. And of course, the biggest question was why me?
As the plans were laid out for my treatment, my breast care nurse told me about the Look Good Feel Better workshops, and I was thrilled at the idea of joining with other women in the same position as me. I knew what was ahead with my chemotherapy and decided to attend early in my treatment to be armed with the tools needed to help me through such a challenging time.
My life very quickly changed and will never be the same again. It now revolves around doctors appointments, tests, treatments, and constant worry and concern about my health, both at this point in time and forever to come. I cannot do the things I once took for granted like being active in the great outdoors with my husband and my girls, going for runs, and catching up with good friends over a coffee. And as expected, losing my hair during chemo was hard, and going out in public took a lot of courage.
But the Look Good Feel Better workshop taught me that it is still ok to want to feel good about myself and how I look. I learnt not only practical tips around make-up and headwear, but I also gained valuable insights from the other participants around how they were coping, and I appreciated them sharing stories and ideas. I came home from the workshop feeling confident and more equipped to face this new season of my life, and I was able to feel better about myself. I have since been able to walk confidently in public as myself, comfortable in how I look right now.
The Look Good Feel Better program is such a valuable tool for women going through cancer treatment. Spending time with the other participants in a safe environment gave me great comfort, as we shared a laugh and some tears together. No one else can understand what you are going through quite like a fellow patient. And the volunteers made me feel so special and valued at a time when I was feeling quite sad and vulnerable. This journey is not an easy road, and the Look Good Feel Better workshops are designed completely with the well-being of participants in mind.
Please consider taking part in Dry July – you will be ensuring that the Look Good Feel Better program can continue to support and empower cancer patients at a time when a boost in spirits and confidence is much-needed.