Looking Good Means Feeling Better…💄

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  What one-person finds beautiful, another may not.  Beauty in things and people only exists in the mind that contemplates them.  I recently wrote a post about my freak accident in my DIY hair coloring experience and the loss of some of my hair.  Even though I was aware that using harsh chemicals during chemotherapy treatment was a huge “no-no”, my vanity prevailed me and I went ahead and dyed my hair despite the consequences that it may have.  I spent the remainder of that evening criminalizing myself over my vaingloriousness and my lack of consideration for my actions.

Finally after degrading myself to a self-proclaimed narcissist, I found my bravado and said to hell with it.   I realized it wasn’t a crime or a sin to crave making myself feel enhanced.  When one feels decent about themselves, particularly during chemotherapy, when there are so many exterior side effects, does not mean that they don’t deserve to feel fabulous on the outside while their insides are waging a war.

Clearly chemotherapy does a number on your interior, but the impacts that it has on your exterior can really do a number on your self-esteem.  It can range from hair loss, to fingernail loss, to dry, rashy and irregular pigmentation on your skin.  Of course not every person battling chemo has the same effects, but lately I have been noticing my skin has been the greatest target in the bull’s-eye that chemo goes after.

There was once a time when I wouldn’t leave the house without a full face of makeup.  Makeup was my safety net, my camouflage against the flaws I thought I had and that others would observe.  Once I was diagnosed with cancer and began chemotherapy, I noticed that I no longer cared about going out in public with a makeup-less face.  So be it if people didn’t find me visually appealing due to my lack of being gussied up.  I barely had the energy to get out of bed, let alone put myself together.  As time went on, I noticed that it was liberating to not feel the need to put makeup on for the sake of others, but in the same regard, I realized that getting ready made me feel better about myselfWhen I was dolled up, I felt less sick, at least from the outside.  I grasped that I couldn’t trivialize myself for wanting to keep up my appearance during illness. In fact, it gave me all the more ump to get up and look my best.  Now when I go to chemotherapy sessions, I make it my mission to look like a million bucks.

However, more recently the cause and effect of chemo has bequeathed itself upon my poor skin.  For a period of time I was going monthly to get facials and when filling out the paperwork where “health conditions” was required, I would hesitantly write “cancer” .  Once  they were aware of my condition, I was treated as though I had the plague and they were resistant on touching me with a ten foot pole.  Taking matters into my own hands, I decided that the commonly dark under eye circles, dry skin and irregular pigmentation was something I would have to tackle myself.  I began researching things that help to revive skin when going through chemo.  There are three key ingredients, SPF, creamy face wash with minimal chemicals and zero alcohol and a dewy daily and nightly moisturizer.  All things Aveno became my new best friend and go-to for my entire facial needs.  After some time, I slowly began to see results that my skin was coming back to life.  While I still have the dark under eyes from the chemo effects, my skin has become less dry and I overall feel better about myself with or without makeup because of my skin care rituals.

My point is, one must do what makes them feel good.  Whether it is being makeup free or putting on a full face, chemo girls must find what is right for them and do just that.  Beauty can be a very ambiguous term, but the way I see beauty is by being balanced from the inside out.  The makeup and skin regimen just helps me feel a little bit better about myself and allows me to confidently fight back against this cancer.  After all, the cancer is an epic battle and I will win it, with my full face of makeup on.  Looking good, means feeling better…💋

PS-  I recently read a great book called, “Beauty Pearls for Chemo Girls” written by Marybeth Maida and Debbie Kiederer, with a foreword by Betsey Johnson.  The writers are cancer survivors that first handedly saw the effects that chemo can have on one’s self-esteem with regards to feeling beautified.  This book provides TONS of advice as far as what to do about skin care, makeup, hair loss and stylish tips for those battling cancer and chemotherapy. 

#Cancer #YoungAdultCancer #ColonCancer #lifestyle I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.bestillmyheartblog.wordpress.com


Britt x

A Fist Full of Vanity

#Vanity I #BSMHB #BeStillMyHeartBlog I www.BeStillMyHeartBlog.wordpress.com

I’ve come to discover that every person’s chemo experience, as well as cancer experience is singular.  It is an experience all of one’s own.  There may be a multitude of guidebooks and/or instructions on what to do when going through chemo, but the anthology of chemo is merely individual based.  After all, it is called “practicing medicine”. 

Tonight was the first time in quite some time that I felt a sense of shock.  Much like my ignorance to my pre-cancer diagnosis symptoms, I have continued on the same path with my post-cancer diagnosis, to feel immune and exempt from the standard woes of chemotherapy and the side effects it escorts.  Undoubtedly, I have endured a number of side effects, some that are considered rare and some that are painstakingly obvious.  My collection of derivative symptoms have contained a myriad of unusual things, such as my heart troubles, but the one thing I have been able to avoid is hair loss. Typically those who are not familiar with the various chemo cocktails and the individual based potions that it consists of, find hair loss to be synonymous with cancer and the chemo effect.  On the contrary, not every chemo cocktail constitutes the loss of hair, but may include the thinning of hair, or nothing at all.  Within my particular chemo treatment, hair loss is particularly uncommon; however thinning has a heeded warning.  Being that I have not had either, up to this point, I have considered myself to be very fortunate in that regard.  I’ve always reckoned that by not “looking” sick, has enabled me to live without an exterior appearance that I am battling cancer.  An ignorant thought, yes, but nonetheless it helped me to blend with the “normal” people and feel more like them.

Taking queues from the expert’s advice has not been my strong suit thus far.  In preparation for the Holiday Season, full of soirees and celebrations, I reasoned that giving my hair a bit of a refresher was necessary.  The drab, drowned out brown needed some vivacity.  Against the instructions from my Doctor’s, I decided to do a DIY hair color at home.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Wrong!   Bestowed upon my obliviousness to the professional cautioning, vanity prevailed.

As I opened the cheap box of L’Oreal hair color, it represented liveliness to my lackluster hair and a refresher that was long overdue.  I mixed the hair dye and shook it as though I was making a mixed drink; a professional bartender in the works.  The Dark Chocolate Brown began to soak in and I could feel the freshness of my hair convening its revival.

Soon after, it was time to hit the shower and rinse the dye away in preparation for the newness.  With the water rinsing rapidly, I was gently rubbing my head to assist the water to extract the colorant.  As I brought my hand away from my head, I was alarmed to see a fist full of hair.  I continued to touch my head in shock.  “This can’t be happening, I am not supposed to loose my hair”, I said to myself as I freaked.

Subsequently, as I braved the confines outside of the shower, my reflection was hazy from the steam.  I wiped away the moisture and hesitantly examined my hair.  To no fault of my own, I discovered small patches that could not stay intact against the chemicals of the dye job.  Immediately I began to well up with tears, as this was the first time I had experienced the effects of hair loss.  By my own judgment, I felt as though coloring my hair would have zero impact on my scalp/hair, despite the Doctor’s caveat.

Naturally, I have spent the last hour beating myself up over my inconsiderable poor judgment and have reflected upon my jaded actions in feeling exempt from disease, even still.  But, in this lies a lesson that I have to trust the guidelines of the professionals, do as I am told and open my eyes to the fact that my individuality in the cancer process may have its singular parts, but as a whole I am a cancer patient, just like the other cancer patients that I  accompany in this uphill battle.  Narcissism will no longer concede me and from here on out I will not falter from the admonitions of the Healthcare Professionals.