Cheryl’s Adventure - LOOK GOOD - FEEL BETTER
By Cheryl Copeland

Children’s words are often charming, especially when spoken directly from the heart.  While some phrases or comments are meant to be nothing but sweet and innocent, we sometimes rule them to be a bit blunt and horribly honest.  Giggles often follow if you find yourself thinking, “Did you just say that out loud?”  Children are built with an honesty chip that allows them to speak without thinking.  It is because of this gift that we often find ourselves laughing at the truth that lies behind the words of such an adorable face! 

Cheryl CopelandThe best part about these innocent yet stingingly truthful times is that they come when you least expect it. The other night I was putting my daughter to bed, completing our nightly prayers, and counting our blessings when I happened to notice my reflection in the mirror.  I was quickly reminded that I was not only bald, but had recently lost all of my remaining eyebrows and eyelashes.  I’ve been bald for nearly five months now, but I typically forget what I look like.  Think about it! When was the last time you actually saw your own head?  Without a picture or reflection you don’t really see it!  

I thought it would be a good idea to thank my daughter for loving me as me, and accepting my new look.  Lexie gently rubbed my head and giggled.  Without missing a beat she responded, “Mommy, you know who you look like?  Remember that movie of the kids looking for treasure on a pirate ship?  The Goonies!  You look like...”  In unison we both said, “SLOTH!” 

If you are like me, your mouth probably just hit the floor.  Before I could respond I looked at myself in the mirror while making a growling face.  I began to laugh with her as I realized that she was simply speaking the truth!  From our angle of reflection, I looked pretty darn funny...and a lot like good ol’ Sloth!  

Just as I wrote in my last article, Joy of Being Bald, there are true benefits to having no hair.  But being bald AND having no eyebrows or eyelashes simply makes you look considerably different.  I’ve included some pictures to share.  Hopefully you’ll get an amazingly hearty laugh to help boost your immune system, but I also wanted to bring to your attention an amazing program that is available to all women cancer patients called Look Good – Feel Better! 

Look Good…Feel Better works in cooperation with the American Cancer Society.  It is a program that is available, free of charge, in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  Group workshops are held to teach beauty techniques to female cancer patients to help them combat the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. This program has served over 750,000 women in the United States and is supported by more than 14,500 volunteers.

My friend Gina Faulk, who’s battling ovarian cancer, and I decided to sign up for the class. We went online to www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org and typed in our zip code at the bottom of the page under “Find a Program.” We found a location that was near our homes and best fit our schedule.  We called the American Cancer Society and registered for the class being held at Hebron Baptist Church.  Our friends, Sandy and Ginger, came along for the fun!  We were kindly greeted by two ladies.  One was a volunteer, a cancer survivor herself, and the other was a licensed cosmetologist.  

They provided us with an enormous amount of helpful information, including the LIVESTRONG Guidebook.  Then it was time to open our presents!  Yes, we acted like little children on Christmas morning as we ripped open our bag filled with hundreds of dollars of make-up that was donated.   During the next few hours we learned helpful hints of proper skin care while going through chemo, and of course awesome makeup tricks – such as applying symmetrical eyebrows and creating the illusion of eyelashes! They even demonstrated several ways to cover the baldness.  We continued to laugh as we played around with scarves, baseball caps, cowboy hats, and learned new tricks with wigs! 

The program definitely lives up to its title!  Cancer is awful, but you don’t have to look the part.  Please be sure to share this information with anyone you know that is battling cancer.  Although this particular class is designed for women, they have many other programs offered for everyone.  

Thank you to everyone who participates in Relay for Life and supports the American Cancer Society.  This is just one of the many programs they offer to cancer patients – and my family is quite grateful! I only wished that I had attended the class sooner – BEFORE my daughter had a chance to compare me to Sloth in The Goonies! 

 

Cheryl Copeland is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about life’s lessons and her personal adventure with breast cancer.