Monday, March 9, 2009

Look Good...Feel Better

Today I went to this monthly class they offer through the Dominican Katz Center - it's called, "Look Good...Feel Better". The American Cancer Society got together with the Personal Care Products Council and the National Cosmetology Association to sponsor a free class for cancer patients where they give away a bag of free make-up and free wigs. They teach you how to put on make-up and how to tie up scarves, etc.

In high school, I experimented with make-up and in college I kinda left it behind. When I flunked my oral exam to become a licensed marriage and family therapist, I went to the exam again the following year with my hair permed and dyed, wearing expensive clothing picked out for me by a personal shopper, including high heels so I could look older and pass the exam. (Of course I also went over at least one vignette a day for an entire year. But I'm sure the whole get-up helped as well.) I got married around that same time and my wedding album is full of photos of me with permed & highlighted hair. Then when I started working as a therapist, I wore make-up, high heels and earrings until my ears couldn't take it anymore and my toes got calloused. When I got my own office and private practice, I got more comfortable and left the make-up, permed hair and highlights behind. From then on, make-up was for special occasions only.

So going in there today was well, out of desperation. My eyebrows have thinned out and all my lower eyelashes are gone. My upper eyelashes are barely still there and of course, my head is bald. My skin on my eyelids sag down to what eyelashes I have left. My skin on my face is pale and blotchy. I just thought I could use a few pointers and if I didn't like the make-up, well, Aimee would love it.

When I got there, I was the only one out of the 5 participants who had no hair. I really felt out of place - like I didn't belong there! I discovered that they just came in after their first chemo - which of course, I couldn't do! It took me a long time to get to this class and my hair came out only 2 weeks after that first tremendous blast of chemo landed me in the hospital for 8 days.

Anyway, they showed us how to put on the make-up and I was afraid to put anything on my eyes because I've been having problems with stuff getting in my eyes. After awhile though, I put some eye pencil on so I could actually look like I had some eyelashes. Then I tried eyebrow pencil and either had the wrong color or I just look like a clown with eyebrow pencil. So I wiped it off.

Luckily, I was the only one without hair because when it came time to try wigs on, I got to be the demonstration! And the person in charge did not know what my real hair color looked like so she picked out this very light brown/blond wig for me and it looked great! Unfortunately, I had to leave early and couldn't find one exactly the same color to take home, but I'll go back there another time and get personal attention.

I did bring one wig home and surprised Aimee and Geoff when I walked in the door with it on. Aimee said, "What happened? Did you grow hair?" I had her take a photo of me to show you all what I looked like with the wig and make-up on. Don't laugh! Or maybe you should. It's definitely funny. Aimee kept saying that I looked like my mom. When Jason came home and got surprised, he said I looked like my mom. Geoff thinks so too. I kept thinking that Grandma Pauline is definitely laughing and happy right now that I have a huge bag of make-up and a blond wig. Maybe I look like her!

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