it’s ALL about YOU! Part IV

     Today will be the most fun series of questions to ponder prior to starting cancer treatment.  That is because this one truly is ALL about YOU!  You have several choices you can make when addressing these questions.
     What kind of hairstyles look good on you?  Do you like hats?  These questions will lead you to choose a wig (if the other factors are right) over a
wig or hats, turbans and scarves instead.   Wigs are beautiful, natural looking and safe because they offer a bit of privacy regarding the cancer journey you are on.  Hats, turbans and scarves are beautiful and they make a statement about you and your fashion signature.   Additionally these choices generally let others know that your are on a cancer journey.  If you have a very small head and you do not choose to go with a wig you will want to be certain to purchase a few hairpieces and wear a shoulder pad at the crown of your head to give the illusion of hair. 
     Are you a risk-taker with your wardrobe and accessory choices?  Are you trendy and love the latest styles or are you more comfortable in classic styles of clothing and accessories.  I am certain you are beginning to see some patterns in how you answer these questions.  The more daring and dramatic you are the more you will be ready to make a “cancer treatment fashion statement”.  On the other hand, if you are more classic you will choose things that are very similar to your pre-cancer journey outfits.  Neither is right or wrong, they are simply your choice…and isn’t that wonderful?!
     Do you love very simple natural fabrics, patterns and accessories?  Then you will tend to choose scarves of soft cotton in solids or with a simple pattern.  You will surround yourself with clothing, headwear and accessories that are no fussy and require no special care.  I suggest that each of you (even if you are over-the-top dramatic) adopt a comfort  policy during your treatment.  You do not need anything extra to deal with at a time when you may not feel your best.
     Do you always wear makeup no matter the day?  If not, then you can follow a very simple makeup regimen during treatment making certain your skin is getting the
moisture and nutrition it needs.  If makeup is as important to you as wearing clothes then you may want to take a few extra steps with your makeup during treatment.  I have a simple makeup regimen in my book Beauty During the Cancer Journey that might be helpful.  
      It really is about you…so look at your choices and choose the ones that will make you the happiest with your appearance!
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen


it’s ALL about YOU! part III

Hope you are having a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

     I am going to take just a couple of minutes to address questions 4 and 5 of the things you need to consider before you begin treatment for cancer.
     These questions are basically asking the same thing, but in a different way.  For some of you, your treatment will take longer and so it is important to look at each of those seasons your treament will span.  If your treatment is only going to be during one or two seasons your considerations will be different.
      Question 4 is posing the question from the standpoint of what special days and holidays your treatment period will encompass.   Consider whether your anniversary (and what anniversary it is), birthdays (and again what birthdays they are) work related conferences and so on will take place during  treatment.  Although you may choose not wear a wig for everyday you may want to go ahead and get a wig for these special occasions.  There will be other things like clothing, false eyelashes and eyebrows to consider.
      If you live where it is going to be cool to cold the majority of your treatment time and you are going to lose all of your hair you will need a sleeping cap for nights and warmer hats or a wig during the day than those in warmer climates.  However, if you live where it is warm to hot th emajority of your treatment time and you are going to lose all of your hair you may want to consider options to wigs for headwear.  Wigs are quite warm so lightweight scarves and cotton turbans may be a viable part or full-time alternative to a wig.  Clothing choices need to be made that are both for comfort and ease during treatment in addition to seasonally comfortable. 
     Do not become overwhelmed with these questions and issues.  At a time when most every part of your life is out of control these are areas you can have control over and have fun doing it!  You are not alone.  There are some excellent reasources available in most major cities.  Many cancer coaches offer phone consultations also.
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

it’s ALL about YOU! part II

     Today we will look at the first three questions from those on Wednesday’s blog.  Monday’s blog will address question s 4 and 5.   Wednesday’s blog will address questions 6-10  and Friday we will finish up with questions 11-13.

     For some of you  surgery and/or treatment will not affect your external body much.  You may deal basically with some swelling that will call for looser fitting clothing and elasticized waistlines. 
     However, others of you will have external body altering surgeries and/or treatment.  There are many resources you can plug into to help with these changes and choices for clothing that will make you feel feminine and yet be simple and comfortable.  My e-book, Beauty During the Cancer Journey is one such resource.  Another is a book called Beauty and Cancer.   I am sure there are also many local resources available.  Finally, I am available for phone consultations.

     Different treatments and drugs will dictate if or how much hair you may lose during the cancer journey.  Ask your oncologist what to expect based on the treatment and/or drugs in your treatment program.  We will look at this issue more in depth next Wednesday, but for this question I am wanting you to simply be aware of what amount of hair loss (alopecia) you will experience.  Once you know the answer to this question you will be able to make headwear choices that suit you and be aware of your need for potential replacement eyebrows and eyelashes.

     …more on Monday.  Check back tomorrow for a light-hearted, encouraging message.
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

It’s ALL About YOU!

     The first step of the cancer journey as it relates to beauty issues, concerns and questions is to evaluate yourself.  You will want to answer some basic questions.  The answers to these questions will help you make good choices for yourself on the journey. 

1.   In what ways will my body change with surgery and/or treatment?
2.   Will I keep my hair, have partial hair loss or complete hair loss?
3.   What about my eyebrows and eyelashes? 
4.   What time of the year will my treatment be?
5.   What type of climate do I live in?  Is it generally hot, cold or moderate during the months I will be having treatment?
6.   What kinds of hairstyles look good on me?  Do I wear my hair very short or do I like having a lot of hair around my face?
7.   Do I like hats?
8.   Am I a risk-taker with my wardrobe and accessory choices?
9.   Do I love simple, natural clothing or am I more dramatic?

10. Do I always wear makeup no matter the day?
11.  Will I work part-time, full-time or not at all during treatment?
12.  If I work am I in front of groups of people on a regular basis?
13.  Do I exercise moderately, aggressively or not at all?

     I have posed the questions today…I will begin working you through your answers on Friday’s blog. 
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen


Beauty and Cancer

      When you are diagnosed with cancer life immediately changes.  I know that having had cancer once nearly thirteen years ago and four recurrences.    
       As women, once diagnosed, our survival mode kicks in…but shortly after treatment begins so does beauty and cancer questions mode.  In other words, although we do not feel good, we have an inner drive to  continue to look good despite the attacks on our physically appearance. 

       Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of this week I will address some of the basic issues and give you ideas and encouragement for Beauty During the Cancer Journey

Men, Cancer and Special Considerations

     Hello!  I trust your weekend is starting off well. 
     I wanted to share two things with you today as it relates to men and cancer.

     Many women do not think that it is as tramatic  for men to lose their hair during treatment because it is in “vogue” to be bald.  However, it can be just as devastating for men as for women.  In my book Beauty During the Cancer Journey I have a chapter on headwear.  You can relate everything on the topic to men and women alike.  There are also many other books and articles available besides my book.   
     Until now there have not been many viable options for brow replacement on men.  If a man’s career dictates he be in front of groups of people on a regular basis, not having eyebrows is generally a give-away that he having some type of chemotherapy even if he has chosen to purchase and wear a wig (toupee).  I have found a wonderful product called nuBrow.  These false eyebrows are easily applied with a non-toxic adhesive and are very natural looking.   They are available in medium brown and can be worn “as is” or dyed with an eyebrow/eyelash tint to match his natural hair color.  They can also be trimmed to fit the look they prefer.  With gentle care a pair of these eyebrow will last 4-6 weeks and the cost is nominal.     

     Men who have a hormone-based cancer, such as prostate or breast, should be aware that treatment may leave them sterile.   Having sperm frozen in a sperm bank can offer some security and comfort should they become sterile.  Make certain to have them check with their doctor if you think this is something they should consider doing.  Whether he is planning on having children (or more children) is not the complete issue here.  These types of cancer attack their perception of themselves as men.   Just knowing they have sperm available, should they want it, can be a tremendous boost to their masculine well-being!

caring for you,
Carin g Hansen