Monday, August 8, 2011

Look Good, Feel Better

Look Good, Feel Better was the name of the class that I attended today at the Cancer Center.  The premise being that if you pay attention to your looks using makeup, wigs, etc during chemo, you'll feel better.  I'm sure it's probably true, but I haven't even started chemo yet and there are days that I don't care WHAT I look like.  But, I can see how taking the time to look good when you aren't feeling great, would probably make a big difference.

I learned a lot of cool stuff in the class but the biggest thing I learned is that I can not take my MOTHER anywhere!  See, we were supposed to take a "friend."  I did.  I took my Mother - the woman who spent the entire time bragging about me and my blog.  I was mortified and I wanted to crawl under the table several times. She is so embarrassing.  I'm not taking her anywhere anymore.  I'm not kidding MOM!

Anyway, when we arrived to the class, we were given a bag of makeup!  All FREE!  Well, if you know me, you know I love free!  There were 3 different skin tones to choose from: Light, Medium and Dark.  There were no bags labeled "Pasty White" which is what I really am, so I settled for "Light."

I was trying to save the suspense of what was in the bag as long as I could but then my Mother started bugging me wanting to see so I had to open it to shut her up.  There were cleansers, lotions, foundation, powder, eye shadow (mine, however, was florescent green!), mascara, eye pencil, brow pencil (mine was light brown), blush, lip liner, gloss, lipstick, body wash and a scrubber.  So much cool stuff!  And good brands!  It was so cool!  I don't really wear much makeup but maybe I'll start!

Other people had a few different things.  The lady next to me had a big wonderful makeup brush and I threatened to tackle her for it.  She didn't look scared so that scared me and I decided she might be tougher than she looked.  However, she also got light pink eye shadow which was pretty amusing.  So, there were some misses in there (like my GREEN eye shadow), but, for the most part, everything was perfect and so cool!

Once the class started, we went around the room and introduced ourselves.  A couple of the women had a hard time talking without crying.  I wanted to hug them so badly.  I wanted to tell them that it would be okay! But, what do I know?  I don't know that it will be okay!  I don't even know if I'll be okay!  When it came to my Mother, this is where she sat there and bragged about this blog and how wonderful it is and and what a great writer I am.  I was mortified.

Once I recovered from my Mother's embarrassing me, it was my turn and I was last to go.  The lady in charge of the class had told everyone to just tell whatever you wanted to say about yourself.  By the time it got to me, I took note that everyone had only talked about what kind of cancer they had and whether or not they would have chemo and/or radiation and where they were in their treatment.  I did the same thing.  But what I really wanted to scream was that MY CANCER ISN'T WHO I AM!  I wanted to tell about how I'm a mother and a teacher and a wife and that I have two beautiful smart children who love me and maybe even a quick plug about my puppy!  But, I didn't.  I followed the crowd and just said, "I'm Laura. I have breast cancer.  I had a double mastectomy.  I start chemo next week or the week after."


It was so depressing.  Yes, I was curious as to what cancer everyone was battling - but I wanted to know WHO they are.  Not just about the cancer.  Tell me about YOU.

Since I was the last one to talk;  the lady who was in charge of the class then introduced herself and said she's a beautician and had a double mastectomy 5 years ago after having had many tumors removed (benign I think) and testing positive for the BRCA gene.  So, then I started looking at her boobs, of course.  But, that's okay, because my Mom was looking at them too.  I know this because she asked me later if I thought she'd had reconstruction.  Ha!  Caught ya Mom!  So glad I'm not the only perv looking at everyone's boobs!

The beautician was tall and really beautiful with long hair.  She was very soft spoken and nice.  She went over all the horrible things that happen to your body during chemo and radiation.  I kind of zoned out during the radiation part since it doesn't apply.

Then it was time to play with the makeup.  I knew we'd be playing so I didn't wear any.  I put on some and my Mom didn't know that I know HOW to put on makeup.  I do wear some makeup but my philosophy is that you shouldn't be able to tell that I'm wearing it...

One of the negatives about the meeting is that there is usually a makeup artist there to help and she was absent this time.  So, there was no guidance.  I don't think I needed any help but maybe other people did?

Set D - the Uni-brow!  WOOT!
When we got to the eyebrow pencil.  Mine was light brown.  I have dark brown hair and black eyebrows so that was pretty amusing.  But, I did have fun using the brush on the eyebrow pencil to carefully brush my eyebrows!  The lady in charge talked about how many people lose their eyebrows during chemo but you can use a pencil to draw them on!  Draw them on!  I've seen people that do this and I've never given it much thought.  But, I don't think I can do it myself so I'm in big trouble if mine fall out.  She even drew on the board how to do it but I just see disaster written all over that one.  However, I did learn that there are STENCILS you can get so you can color in your eyebrows!  I could maybe do that.  I think I'd like to try a uni-brow.  Do they have stencils for that?

After the makeup-ing was done, we talked a bit about hats and wigs.  She went over the different types of wigs even though we all know already what I look like in a wig and it's not a pretty sight.  I just don't see wigs in my future but you never know...

And THEN, one of the coolest parts was she taught us how to make a turban out of a T-shirt!  It was so cool!  You cut the bottom part of the T-shirt off and you can wrap it around your head to make a turban!  It looked super cute!  I don't know for sure that it's something I would do...but maybe.  It was really cute and looked comfy!

In case I didn't have enough perspective in my life: One of the ladies in the class had lung cancer that then moved to her brain.  She was having radiation on her brain and was told that, because of the radiation, her hair would NEVER grow back.  EVER!  Here I am bellyaching about losing my hair for a few months and she will never have hair again.  That made me think of the lady I met the day I tried on wigs.  She was also going to lose her hair due to radiation to her brain - she didn't say anything, but I wonder if she will never have hair again either?  I can't imagine.  I really can't.  But then...I couldn't imagine, not too long ago, having cancer, losing my breasts, going through chemo...I guess we take what we are given, don't we?

After the class was over, I walked down to the room with the hats again and found 3 more hats and a head cover.  I have to stop going there getting hats all the time - they are going to start asking questions about what I'm doing with all these hats because I am starting to stockpile quite a few.  It's possibly approaching the ridiculous.

Unfortunately, by going down there, my Mother took this as further opportunity to brag about me to everyone she saw.  I couldn't really focus on the hats because I was too busy trying to hush up my Mother!  Thankfully, I was able to round her up finally and we left.

It was a fun class overall.  I did look good when I left thanks to all the free makeup and I did feel better.  I just hope the feeling lasts long after I wash off the free makeup...

Boob Count:  114


  1. picture of yourself all made up? Come on Laura....this post is lacking! BAHAHAHAH! And for the record...if it's not one thing, it's your MOTHER (especially YOURS!) ~Viki

  2. I know, my Mom really wanted to take one but my eyes are still healing and I was feeling self-conscious. Plus, her pictures are always blurry b/c she doesn't know how to use my Iphone! LOL

  3. Hahaha Love this story !!! So fun and I have to said that at lease your Mom make you think about something else , not just cancer she is proud of you that is all . But why you didn't take me :( I love make up !! When I was in schooli was the one who was putting make up on all the girls and it looked good if I said so my self , anytime you want to play with make up call me I'll help you :) is fun when you do it with friends ........ Awwww
    Elizabeth .

  4. Let your mother brag about you and your extreme awesomeness!