Sunday, May 26, 2019

A Beauty Guide for Women with Cancer

Ok, so you might think, “Beauty tips, really? That’s the least of my worries right now.” And that might be true at the start of diagnosis and treatment. But as we progress—or our loved one progresses—through CancerLand, issues around appearance will come up.

You know this. We know about hair loss and hair thinning, and skin changes and dryness everywhere. But just as I had to learn the hard way about cancer and sex, I’m learning too about cancer and appearance.

We also know that while the big stuff is on the inside (Courage, Wisdom, Will to Live, and Beauty) our outsides play a big role in how we feel and how we fight for our lives.

Most of the information on what to do is passed woman to woman (rarely man to man) and in that way we gather the scoop on wigs, skin care, eyebrows, oral care etc. But now I discovered a book that pulls it all together. It’s not a new book, but it’s new to me, and
maybe new to you.

The book is, “Pretty Sick: The Beauty Guide for Women with Cancer” by Caitlin M Kiernan. It was published in 2017, but recently Googled its way to me, and I’m loving this resource.

Let me say right off that Kiernan’s tone in the book is one woman to another. She was a beauty and fashion writer, so you’ll recognize the voice.

If you always loved woman’s magazines as I do, you’ll like this approach.

She’s a friend and a cancer sister telling the truth. 

But here’s a fellow cancer sister with the most amazing Rolodex of experts and resources, and friends in the beauty business. 

But let me add this too: While it says “women with cancer” in the title, this is also helpful for men. Yeah, you don’t have to be a “metrosexual” to want to save your hair, or deal with skin or mouth problems. 

On the other hand, Kiernan speaks directly and frankly and honestly about what happens to our sex lives and our sexual parts as a result of cancer treatments. I bless her for that. 

You know, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, that I came to this fight because NO ONE would talk to me about sex and cancer, sex and chemo, or sex and marriage for that matter. So, I came to this keyboard to do battle with fear, shyness and shame. 

If you have any of those questions go directly to Chapter Nine. No one has to lose their love life or relationship along with their hair. 

Caregivers and friends of friends with cancer: your job is to buy this book and hand it over. You can add a note that says, “When you’re ready to talk about this, I’m here.”

“Pretty Sick” turns out to be a pretty cool way of supporting a friend with cancer.