When life strips things right back…

When life strips things right back…

On the 6th December 2021 life changed in the blink of an eye. That old saying, you never know what’s around the corner, suddenly rang very true as I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

I am 35, have a very cheeky 5 year old and I am a primary school teacher. In all honesty this was not something I had ever seen happening to me. We all see and hear the information on the tv and radio but somehow it is easy to distance yourself from it.

That day a million things flitted through my mind but the top three concerns were; my daughter, being able to work and my hair. Cancer treatment is synonymous with hair loss and the second the word chemotherapy was mentioned I knew things would change for me.

I stopped working in February and underwent 3 surgeries including a lumpectomy and a partial reconstruction. I used my recovery time to research. I learnt that controlling my situation for myself was super important. I researched scalp cooling and looked into turbans as well as wigs. One thing I knew  I was that I didn’t want to look ‘sick’. Then I found @eadiechops I loved the patterns and youthful styles as well as the fact the turbans are pre tied which makes life very simple.

In April I stated chemotherapy, in preparation I cut my long hair into a pixie and ordered two turbans. I used scalp cooling but knew that my drug regimen was renowned for significant hair loss. Around 17 days after my first chemotherapy I began to shed. I found this really traumatic and after a few weeks of shedding hair and tears I decided to clipper my hair back. I used my pre tied turbans every day during this transition and they became a real comfort blanket. I have retained around 40% of my hair so far but have opted to keep it clipped back short. I continue to scalp cool for regrowth and advocated to be able to do this with my oncology team.

Losing my hair was hard but I have learnt so many positive things. I am not defined by my hair, I am so much more. Short, long, shaved, covered I have been them all in the last 6months.

It is easy to feel like you are losing control when you are diagnosed with cancer but I have found that taking control of the decisions I am able to has been key to my mental health. I may lose hair but I will do it my way and on my schedule. I am so pleased I found @eadiechops and know I will continue to use Emma’s products when the landscape changes again and I start to grow hair once more.

Cancer strips you bare and physically changes so much but also teaches you so much about self worth and finding new parts of yourself you never knew existed. I hope that my experiences will one day become someone else’s survival guide as I have found through so many in the community.

Zara (@lump.intheroad) • Instagram photos and videos

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