“I’m so sorry to tell you this, but it’s true, you have breast cancer.”
That’s when Caitlin began to cry. “I don’t remember much after that.”
The voicemail from the doctor couldn’t be right. But now her father was telling her…he’d confirmed with the doctor. It was true.
That was July. Now it was September. Several surgeries and two rounds of chemo later.
Caitlin Kiernan, beauty editor for Life & Style Weekly, was preparing for the party she couldn’t miss.
After all, she’d helped convince the celebs to show up.
What normally takes an hour took 3.
Yet here she was, chatting with the Kardashians and surrounded by the who’s who of Hollywood’s hair and fashion elite.
And nobody at the party (except Caitlin’s close friends) had any clue about her battle with cancer.
As a beauty director, she had all the right people on speed dial.
The consultant to help her perfectly style thinning hair and keep more from falling out.
The dentist with mouth rinses to prevent the chemo sores.
The manicurist who kept her fingernails intact.
“Every day is a gift for me now…I’m not going to go out being a grouch…I’m going to show up for my life.”
In her new book, “Pretty Sick: The Beauty Guide for Women with Cancer,” Caitlin says losing her hair was the first big issue.
And it’s not vain to ask. Oncologists say this is the first question every woman asks.
Caitlin says Joan Lunden gave her some great advice:
Get ahead of it. Get a game plan. Cut it. Don’t allow it to start showing up on your pillow.
Don’t let this remind you of what you might be losing. Get a cute wig, a beanie or whatever’s going to make you feel better about it.
No wonder many people dread the “cure” more than the disease.
Sadly, this keeps too many people away from the doctor.
How do you fight this killer agressively – while avoiding needless disfigurement and painful side effects?
Finding out early can give you more hope.
If the news is bad, you have more time to choose options and do something about it.
Claire Warner was bending over and pulling up her socks one day in June 2016. Something strange caught her eye in the bedroom mirror.
It was a tiny, slight dimple in her left breast.
She didn’t want to believe it was anything…but she couldn’t forget it either.
Then she remembered a Facebook post. “Had I not seen that Facebook post, I would not have done anything about it.”
Claire says the photo “has probably saved my life.”
Doctors caught her triple negative, invasive ductal/lobular carcinoma very early.
Now she’s finished treatment, there’s no evidence of cancer and she feels great.
“I was told from the start that this was curable,” Claire says, “and I don’t know that, had I waited until other symptoms came, that they still would have been saying that.”
“Blink and you’d miss it,” she wrote on Facebook of her dimple, urging people to check for the symptom.
“I hope that people realize that breast cancer isn’t just about the lump,” says Claire. “Everybody knows to check for lumps, but I couldn’t feel the lump.”
Erin Smith Chiez posted the photo below on Facebook. In 2015, she saw an indentation that looked like one of those pictures.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 days later.
This image is part of the Know Your Lemons campaign started by the Worldwide Breast Cancer organization.
You can learn more about each of these 12 signs here.
“If you truly want to help people WITH cancer, or those who will GET cancer, share photos like this one,” says Erin.
During chemotherapy or radiation, your skin is especially dry and fragile.
And your stress levels are probably going through the roof.
According to Nicole Martin, writing for Bella Magazine, “Facials are as important as going to your dentist.”
A facial gives you much needed moisturization and relaxation – and helps promote your healing.
“Treatments for breast cancer are so draining,” says survivor Sylvia. “I felt wonderful after my facial.”
Always ask the esthetician about the products they use. The last thing you need during cancer treatment is exposure to more dangerous chemicals.
Mention that you have cancer. Yes, you may feel self-conscious about it, but this alerts your esthetician to the unique needs of your skin.
Go for the massage. You’re probably going to be amazed at the amount of tension around your face. Especially in the jaw area.
Massage relieves stress, headaches, opens your sinuses and relaxes your neck and shoulders.
Have you gotten facials during cancer treatment? What did you think of the exerience?
Why not talk to an experienced esthetician about treating your face and skin to something special?
Life takes it out of you. I’d love to help you put it back in.
How can I help you personally?
Call me at 303-920-2350 with any questions, concerns or to find out how massage and essential oils can make life better for you.
by Sarah Shropshire
LMT, Essential Oil and Business Consultant