STORIES Breast Cancer Awareness Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's cancer Right on cue, 168 hours after the last chemo injection went in and I’m back to normal! I’m able to get up and about, I can lift my arms, I can eat food, woman reborn! It feels like my body stores up all the energy it would use during chemo week and hides it somewhere, like a soldier hiding in the trenches. Then when the week has passed all the energy bursts from the trenches…. “Over the top lads!!” Just like the sledgehammer hit on the Monday, on Friday the army of energy hits! I can’t sleep. I want to be up doing stuff. I want to clear out my wardrobe. I want to clean the kitchen. I want to go to town. I can’t stop thinking about all the things I’m going to do! I force myself to try and sleep but I’m like a kid on christmas eve. At about 5am I give up trying to sleep and get up and shower….ah shower! Needless to say personal hygiene has taken a bit of a hammering this week so now is not the time for skimping! As all body hair has gone, and I need to avoid washing my hair to stop it falling out, showers don’t take long at all. This gives me lots of extra time for moisturizing, exfoliating, eye creams, make up etc. Something I never do! So while I may be getting more haggard by the day, now seems a perfect time to up my beauty regime! I have lost a lot of hair this week and while I still have a covering I don’t feel comfortable going out without head covering. So the wig will be coming out! While I have fully accepted my cancer appearance it doesn’t mean I have to like it. So I have decided to fight it! Never mind fighting Cancer, the chemo can do that. I’m going to fight the look! I’m not going for all out model glamour…lets be realistic! But I am going for 36 year old woman look. I remember when Angelina Jolie had her double mastectomy she said of Brad Pitt “He’s too much of a man to make me feel like any less of a woman”. Cancer was still something that happened to other people then, but the quote stuck with me. So when I went through the boobless, hairless dilemma after diagnosis, I had no concerns about my femininity. Im not worried about attracting a lovely man and therefore I must look the part, I would settle for a Brad Pitt! But I do want to feel like me. The thing is I hate pity. I don’t mind compassion, I don’t mind empathy but pity just gets my goat. That look you get where people tilt their head and squint their eyes when asking how you are. I hate it. I don’t want to be pitied. I just want to be me… with cancer. But the natural reaction when someones has cancer seems to be pity. I dont want to be walking through town and people look and think “ah that poor woman, she obviously has cancer. But how brave of her to be out in public” I want them to look and think “bloody hell, does she really think that top goes with those trousers??” I am not ashamed of having Cancer and some women can really carry off the bald look. But I have met lots of women my age with cancer since being diagnosed, either through this blog or forums and we all seem to have the same concerns. Will I die? If the answer to that is “probably not” the next concern seems to be hair loss and chemo bloat. So my mission (that I have chosen to accept) from now until september is to not look too cancer-y. I did start a while ago when I was diagnosed. Before chemo started I had my eyebrows tattooed. A gorgeous friend of a friend had heard about my treatment and offered to do them for me. I went round and she did an amazing job! It wasnt comfortable but not as bad as a regular tattoo. So while my hair is shedding, eyebrows included, I still look relatively normal. I have worn the wig for the last 3 days and while I felt very self conscious I think it went relatively unnoticed. Some people I know thought it looked too nice to be my real hair! knowing that usually Im a wash and go kind of girl this blow dried look is out of character! Its a strange feeling to try and make your hair look MORE messy before you go out! Trying to make it look natural. So all the spare time I’ll have from not having to pluck my eyebrows will be spent playing with my new hair! As eyelashes are also on the way out, this weekend will see me practice the art of false lashes. Bring it on! Disclaimer: This will not apply on school runs. I will continue to look like a drunk hobo for school runs so everyone recognises me.