Posted on 08 February 2012.
Cancer is an awful disease that is very relevant in my life due to the fact that I’ve witnessed both my parents fight it; my mum had Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer 16 years ago (and was given 6 months to live!) and my father had metastasised throat cancer with an unknown primary 2 years ago. Both my parents are still fighting fit and raring to go, but one thing that a lot of people don’t take into account is the damaging effect it has on your self-confidence; both the disease itself and the treatment options regularly administered to fight the disease. Thankfully there are charities available that address this often overlooked issue, like Look Good, Feel Better, and there are people devoting their time to writing about the subject, such as the lovely Jackie Clark, who very kindly offered to write a guest post for me exploring the topic further:
Healing and Beauty – by Jackie Clark
Beauty does come from within, but a sense of outward beauty is just as important for a woman’s self-esteem and confidence. Strength and a positive outlook are strategic parts of the healing process for women with cancer.
Cancer ravages all parts of your body and soul. Whether you’re fighting mesothelioma or breast cancer, you need every weapon available in your arsenal. Not only are you ill from the disease but also treatments can leave you weak, exhausted and just plain sick. In addition to destroying healthy cells, cancer erodes your confidence, self-esteem and sense of beauty or attractiveness.
Cancer patients can fight back. One of the easiest ways is by searching your closet and makeup drawer. A little fashion and well-placed color cosmetics can help you overcome feeling overwhelmed and keep you out of the dark whirlpool of depression. Bringing a little style and color to the outside can help repair your soul and body.
Think about the times you’ve pulled out all the stops and your hair, makeup and outfit were perfect. How did you feel – strong, important, capable, worthy, and just completely HOT!? Now think how you feel when you’re in your sweats, hair messy and not a dot of makeup? Do words like depressed, lazy, weak, and unmotivated come to mind?
Even though you may not feel like it, give yourself just a few extra minutes to think about what you want to wear. It doesn’t take much longer to pull on a comfortable skirt, ruffled blouse and brightly colored flip-flops as it does sweats. The woman in the mirror might not look like the old you, but she will look like a strong, capable survivor.
A little extra effort can go a long way to improving your mood. Your skin might be reacting to treatment chemicals and be very sensitive, but a good, pure mineral foundation will help even out skin tone and provide a good base color. A touch of blush on your cheekbones and a light coat of lip gloss brings a healthier glow.
As you’re living though doctor visits and treatments, call a friend to help you weed through your clothing to find comfortable outfits that make you feel confident. If you’re unsure how to apply makeup, ask for her assistance. Caring, loving friends are also part of your healing arsenal.
Cancer patients can’t do much about what’s occurring inside their bodies. But they can have control of the outside. Feeling beautiful on the outside makes what you’re experiencing just a little easier to bear. When you look in the mirror you’ll see a person who has the strength to overcome anything.