My Journey to Stylin' Cancer
Updated: Dec 11, 2019
📷: Studio West Photography
My journey began March 13, 2019 with a diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer. I know everyone’s feelings are different when receiving this type of diagnosis so for me, even though I was giving this news, I still felt good on the inside so I continued to believe in that feeling. I meet with my Gynecologist/Oncologist on March 25th and was told the plan was surgery for removing my tumor the next morning. My surgery was done robotically. There were many scenarios of what might happen during my surgery, even being prepped for a colostomy prior to the procedure.
I think my hardest night after my diagnosis was the night before surgery. Working in the medical field, I was too aware of all the things that could happen and it was hard to shut my mind off. It was at that time I decided to give everything over to God and let him handle all the tough stuff. Once I knew it was in his hand’s I had a huge sense of peace. Thankful my surgery went as planned and my surgeon was able to get 90%. What was remaining they felt confident the chemo would take care of.
I received my port-a-cath on April 19th with my first round of chemo scheduled for April 24th. My chemo would be a total of 6 rounds with 21 days in between. I remember being in the hospital after surgery and at that time they had told me the plan for chemo. My first question was will I lose my hair and they did not even hesitate with their response and said YES.
Prior to starting chemo you have a session with your doctor where they go over all the side effects that could happen when you are going through treatment. After that session, my concern for my hair loss was pretty minor! Again, all the information of what could happen overwhelms you at first, but I chose to continue to believe that “feeling of good” on my inside.
In preparation for my hair loss, I had made the decision of not using the cooling cap during chemo and didn’t feel that wigs were for me. So, I started to go on the internet and look for what options I had for head wear during chemo. I found many sites that sold items, which I ordered to try and people also gave me as gifts, but I never found a site that showed me how to wear these items with things in my closet. My hair started falling out on May 11th. I actually went ahead and had it shaved off shortly after that. My hair was supper thick and I couldn’t imagine how long it would take for it to be gone. It would be hard to be at work with hair dropping on everything so I would have had to wear a hat or scarf regardless.
Half the challenge of going through chemotherapy is feeling good about yourself. I couldn’t control the cancer or the hair loss, but I could control how I felt when I walked out the door. The pictures of me above and on this website with nothing on my head, were taken a week or two post chemo. I guess I wanted a reminder that I can do this, because nothing is guaranteed. If you notice, in the pictures, I have a Wonder Woman bracelet on. The reason is, when I was first diagnosed a good friend reminded me of a saying she gave me that reads: “I’m not saying I’m Wonder Woman I’m just saying no one has ever seen me and Wonder Woman in the same room.” She then gave me that bracelet. I wore that bracelet to all my chemo treatments. If your familiar with Wonder Woman, the bracelets she wore were proven indestructible and able to absorb the impact of incoming attacks. That fits for going through chemo! Wonder Woman became my persona. I was fortunate to receive many supportive gifts with the Wonder Woman theme, even a t-shirt that I wore to work on Fridays. If it gives you strength, do it!! Making an effort each day is hard when you are on this journey, but hopefully I can give you some inspirations that will make this a little easier.
I just want you to believe you can pull this off. Everything you’ve always thought about yourself has to go to the wayside. For example, I never thought I looked good in hats, let alone a scarf tied on my head! When hair loss starts you think “everyone will look at me.” Yes, time and time again I learned that this was true…but maybe, just maybe, they are looking at you because of the cute outfit you pulled together to wear with your hat! My goal is to give you ideas to look at so you can go back to your own closets and put together something that will make you feel fabulous- because let me tell you, you are nothing short of amazing and now is the time to let the world see it!