A Personal Journey of Survival – Charmaine Wudrick
Going through cancer is a personal journey and is very different for each person. Also, most women go through it alone. I was fortunate enough to have an army of girlfriends rally around me and accompany me to each and every appointment, chemo round, and surgery date. But what I mean when I say that most women go through cancer alone, is that our besties aren’t diagnosed with us. They can’t offer advice because they haven’t gone through the loss of hair, eyebrows, eye lashes, or how to dress for your new shape.
When we don’t know something, we usually turn to our mother figures for advice and help. Darlene and the Look Good Feel Better group do this every month for a group of women diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatments. She is the mother of all mother advisors and brings all her little peeps together.
I was nervous to attend and had no idea what to expect. But I had been told by each person I had met along the way, from doctors to nurses and other survivors, that it was what I must do. That it was worth stepping outside my comfort zone to do. So, I booked. I also booked a girlfriend to come along with me – that’s what women do, right? Like I said, I have great girlfriends.
I knew from the moment I walked through the doors that this was no ordinary gathering of women. Suddenly, I found my bald head not alone or the center of attention. I felt a tremendous sense of comradery, bravery, hope, and excitement. I may have been the only one that day rocking the bald, but I was sure when I left, others had found their courage too.
We laughed, a lot. A room full of inexperienced eyebrow drawing is bound to break the ice and start the giggles and conversation flowing. We played with a bottomless bag of freebies and learned how to put on our best faces to help build us back up to keep up the fight. We spoke of treatments and support groups and gave out our phone numbers. We connected safely and through mutual understanding, all under the guidance of our Look Good Feel Better mothers, whom circled the room and offered one-on-one assistance and support.
It’s a beautiful and memorable thing where, for a little while, cancer isn’t so scary. I can assure you we all left Look Good Feel Better with a little more sparkle than we went in with; and many of us have built lasting friendships far stronger than cancer’s hold. It is an amazing, selfless act that the women of Look Good Feel Better do for women diagnosed with cancer each and every month – what a terrible hole there would be without them as well as the companies and charities who donate to it’s cause.
So, from the bottom of my heart as well as many others before me, and after me, we say thank you. Thank you for your time, patience, understanding, support, wisdom, and the motherly hugs when we needed it most.