I don’t think I have ever met anyone who doesn’t know someone who has or had cancer. Thankfully, there have been major strides in cancer research–my own mother survived brain cancer–and it is not the death sentence it was even 15 years ago. I think it’s safe to say we all also know people who have beat cancer, which is awesome. But it’s a tough fight, and anything us non-doctors can do to help is, in my opinion, totally worth it.
The little bit I can do comes in the form of the American Cancer Society’s Look Good, Feel Better Program (LGFB). LGFB is open to all women going through cancer treatment. Sessions are held at hospitals or clinics, and they are free. Huge cosmetics companies–like Chanel, Lancome, MAC, Dior and dozens more–donate beauty products to the program. At the session, each woman receives a bag full of cleanser, moisturizer and makeup. Trained volunteers like myself (all licensed estheticians or cosmetologists) walk the women through the makeup application process. So they do a self makeover, with us volunteers there for instruction and guidance. There is also time devoted to wigs and sometimes head coverings that can be worn if someone has hair loss and wants to cover it.
The sessions are non-medical and LGFB does not sell or endorse any particular products. The sessions are a great place for women to connect with other women they can relate to. I have seen friendships start at these sessions, and that’s one of the things I love about being there. I agree with the name of the program–I think most women feel better when they look better. It’s not a superficial thing, it’s a confidence thing. Whether it’s makeup, hair, or clothing, looking put together tends to make the majority of women feel better. And especially when a person is dealing with the appearance side effects of cancer or cancer treatment–loss of hair, eyebrows or lashes; dark circles under the eyes; dry skin; dull skin; etc.–a little boost on the beauty front may actually make them feel better. Those side effects can be extremely hard to deal with, and I don’t think that’s something you really think about unless it happens to you. Much of our confidence is tied into how we look and present ourselves to the world. If you’ve ever cried over a bad haircut, you know what I mean. But imagine your hair fell out, or your eyelashes, or your eyebrows. This program can help bring some of that confidence back, and that’s a big part of what makes it so important.
I can’t explain how much I love doing these sessions. To know that I am contributing in a small way to making someone’s life a little better or easier or more fun…it’s a great feeling. And the women who I have met through LGFB the last few years have been amazing. Talk about positive attitudes! Here are women who are going through a serious illness, and they show up with smiles on their faces, laughing and joking throughout the session. They are always so grateful and so kind. They thank me effusively, and I’m not even doing anything hard! They are they ones dealing with tough circumstances. I’m just sharing what I know and hoping that it helps.
The reason I’m writing this post is because I want people to be aware of this program and how amazing it is. If you have cancer, or know a woman who does, please pass on the website link http://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/. LGFB really makes a difference, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.
Have a beautiful day 🙂