Back to the Grindstone – April 2011

The first part of April I spent, rather self indulgently, travelling about. First a night in Chester, followed by a few days in York for my boyfriend’s birthday, then a few days away with my siblings, as an engagement present for my sister, spent around Transylvania – Brasov, Bran, Rasnov and then Bucharest, doing all things gothic. (Come on, can anything be more gothic than standing in a turret of Bran Castle on a gloomy overcast day watching a funeral procession go by?) All this followed by a few days in London where my cousin, Daisy was putting on a play in Camden – ‘Bridges and Balloons’ (excellent).

I got back to Liverpool on the 15th – the next two days were spent helping my boyfriend move house, meaning that by the 18th I have achieved nothing work-wise. Still, a travelling ambition achieved, a family member supported, a lovely new house to hang out in and time well spent with family and friends – beats work any day!

Monday 18th meant back to the real world with a workshop at Linda McCartney Centre in the Royal Liverpool Hospital. These workshops are run by Look Good Feel Better and are designed to help women living with cancer to deal with the side effects of their treatment. Very often chemotherapy can change the texture of the skin, perhaps making it dryer or more sallow. Of course, hair loss is generally the most visible side effect, but this can also mean loss of eyelashes and eyebrows and radiotherapy can sometimes leave visible bruises. It seems the majority of the women I see have had some form of breast cancer, sometimes resulting in the loss of one or both breasts. Shallow as it sounds, my confidence dips if I get a spot or am having a bad hair day. That’s nothing in comparison to losing the sense of femininity that comes from the loss of hair or breasts. Of course, these things are a necessary evil in fighting this hideous disease, but Look Good Feel Better tries to help women along the way with make up and skin care tips to help them regain control over their looks. It’s a drop in the ocean, but self confidence is vital. I’ve been doing these workshops sporadically for the last couple of years. Initially I was nervous in case I found it overwhelming or depressing, but actually it’s quite uplifting to meet a group of women who just won’t give up.

visit Look Good Feel Better here

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