Today MFSL is very pleased to have Guest Blogger, Jackie Clark, who does outreach for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance (a leading web resource for Mesothelioma cancer), share her opinion on how women can have fun with cancer during cancer treatment.
As a lot of you are aware, I am supposed to be on blog hiatus, but when Jackie wrote to me about whether she could guest blog on this particular topic because of the need to convince more women that despite a cancer diagnosis, they could still feel beautiful in their own skin. And furthermore, how fashion could be one of the ways to make women with cancer still feel strong and confident. I knew I had to oblige her as having known someone very close to me receive a cancer diagnosis, the topic is very dear to me.
Going through cancer treatment certainly takes a toll on your body, but it greatly affects your mind as well. It’s easy to get stuck in the mentality of someone who is “sick”, whether it is undergoing treatment for skin cancer or even something rare like mesothelioma. Radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, among other cancer treatments, can wreak havoc on a patient’s body, creating a skewed perception of who they are. Weight loss, fatigue, hair loss can all be symptoms of cancer treatment, and can adversely affect a patient’s self-esteem for obvious reasons. As much as we don’t like to admit it, a little vanity goes a long way in producing a confident attitude; when you look good you feel good. One thing that you can control in a time where you feel you have no control over anything is fashion. You can choose to make yourself feel beautiful, not for anyone else, but for yourself.
Hold on to Your Individuality
One side effect to cancer treatment that is seldom discussed is a loss of a sense of self. Everyone you know is pulling you in every direction, and it’s easy to completely lose control and be swept along with the tide. By indulging in fashion by having fun with clothes and shoes and accessories, you are taking back your life and putting your happiness in your own hands. When you look good you feel good, and by not letting cancer drag you under you are putting positivity in your life that will improve its quality.
There is something to be said for the concept of mind over matter. If you are able to find happiness when putting on that dress that makes your waist look tiny and brings out your eyes, then you are investing in a positive outlook on life. The self-consciousness that you may feel during treatment will dissipate when you feel like you look good. Confidence is contagious, and you will project your positivity on other aspects of your life.
Fashion offers a much needed distraction to a cancer patient going through treatment. Those shoes that you’ve been eyeing forever but see as a frivolous expense, they have the power to take your mind off other issues. Because of this fashion is not some unnecessary expense, but rather a helpful tool that is worth indulging in. You can’t put a price tag on feeling good.
When you are dealing with cancer treatment, it is easy to be overwhelmed with the changes happening to your body and the impact it has on your family and friends. But it is during this trying time that it is especially important to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Fashion is a wonderful way to unleash your creativity and individuality, and by looking good you can’t help but feel good, too. Remember to take care of your mind, body and spirit.
Check out the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance blog for more information on wellness.