My mother Gloria, who battled Lung Cancer, used to say, "Cancer is a thief. It robs you of so much. " Ten years later, I found myself voicing these same words as I dealt with the day-to-day reality of my own treatment for Breast Cancer.
Shortly following my diagnosis, I underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. I became bald, breast-less, and twenty pounds heavier from treatment. I was thrown into early menopause (chemo-pause as I like to say) with skin that was dry, pale, and ultra sun-sensitive. It was soul destroying.
One day, as I was looking in the mirror, adjusting my chemo cap, I got MAD. Not just the "O.K. I’m upset but I can be reasoned with- kind of mad," but the "I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it" type of mad! I had had enough. Cancer was a thief–and I was no longer going to let it rob me of ME.
I became determined to reclaim my self-esteem and STYLE. Yes, I said the S word style. I started to wear headscarves with beautiful patterns, and select cardigans and pashminas for warmth and color. I tossed out my matronly looking mastectomy bras and sought alternatives to my chemo sweats. I soon found that when I looked better, I felt better. This was important for me and my family.
When I recovered, I co-founded www.CancerBeGlammed.com with my dear friend, Ellen Weiss Kander. Our goal–to help women be prepared for the side effects of cancer treatment and to provide easy-access to fashionable products and style solutions.
Ellen and I funded Cancer Be Glammed with our own money. My share came from a small inheritance my mother had left me when she had passed away. I had saved it, wanting to put it towards something meaningful, something important.
Women deserve to recover with self-confidence, self-esteem and style.
Cancer is so hard. Recovery shouldn’t be.