Yep, hands up, that’s me she’s talking about as I’m trying to sit calmly in a room full of other ladies with masses of gorgeous products and make up in front of us attempting to work through the 12 point plan to achieve some flawless looks despite the ravages of a whole range of cancer treatments between us. I say hands up but actually my anonymity was preserved and no one apart from me knew that I was the one doing an impression of a pillar box until the ladies on my table made some complimentary comments about the consistency of my skin colour once the foundation was on. That was after the concealer, then the foundation, then the powder, blusher, eye shadow (3 colours), eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, mascara, lip liner (who knew such magic when applied correctly existed?!) and finally lipstick.
Actually the redness was due to Rosacea which is referred to as a relapsing condition meaning that there are times where it’s under control and then you sometimes have a period of flare ups, for me often triggered by products, heat, alcohol and stress. Take your pick which one prompted yesterday’s flushing. It makes me look like Aunt Sally for any of you young enough or British enough to recall the TV programme Worzel Gummage.
The Look Good Feel Better Workshop yesterday afternoon was flawless itself. I’ve mentioned before that it’s an international charity set up to help cancer patients combat some of the visible side effects of treatments, but it goes far deeper than the purely cosmetic. The philosophy of looking good and therefore feeling better is deeply rooted in the blend of emotional wellbeing and health. When you feel internally stuck, down, slightly or even hugely ravaged, overtaken or consumed, you do often need an external source of kindness and practical help to get you back on the path to feeling like yourself again. This can be especially true when the visible side effects affect appearance. We’re not talking about vanity here, but holistic care and I’m all for it. They are currently working on a male grooming workshop too- fabulous.
Each participant was presented with a goodie bag and we spent the afternoon working our way through the fragrances, products and cosmetics donated by big names in the beauty industry such as Lancôme, Clinique, Bare Minerals, L’Oréal, Boots, Smashbox Cosmetics, Rimmel, Estee Lauder and Emporio Armani. I love the fact that these companies are incorporating this into their corporate social responsibility focus. To find out more info regarding the charity click here www.lgfb.co.uk
The products by themselves were a wonderful gift and treat but for me it was the 3 workshop facilitator’s who were the enabling force. Between them they sorted us out, covered our flaws, gave great personalised advice, demonstrated how to do things properly, threw in hints and tips which made us all go ‘Ahhhhhhhhh I see’ and gently made us all feel ‘normal’. An essential gift. They all give their time to the charity on a voluntary basis and bring the workshop to life.
Trish is the lovely lady who hovered around my table and occasionally used me as a practice face to demonstrate on. Her presence was calming and caring whilst also dynamic. She made us laugh and feel human again. These people really are priceless and I hope that they know the positive impact that they are having through this work. Looking around the room ladies were genuinely sitting tall by the end of the session as their confidence and self-esteem returned; truly transformational inside and out. Trish is a freelance (hooray for freelancers says the freelancer!) makeup artist and lecturer and you can dig around and find more about her here Trish Rawlins I’ll definitely be contacting her to work her magic on me.
So here’s the result of me (with a helping hand from Trish) following the 12 stages. I’m not sure that I’ll remember them all and get them in the right order but I’ll try. Hopefully you all think it’s an improvement from my ‘before’ image posted yesterday? Poll below………….
To top off my exciting afternoon I collected my Hormone Therapy medication- Tamoxifen. It felt like a really big and significant step when I took the first one last night. The first of a likely 1,825 I’m going to have to take or 3,650 if I have to stay on it for 10 years. Like most medicines reading the potential side effects leaflet was actually quite sobering but the key thing here I think is that they are ‘potential’ and not certain. I’m taking the view that I’ll be fine on them but aware of any changes that might show themselves in time. I’m happy to report that the first 16 hours have been a doddle.
Steve and I agreed this morning that if ‘Tracy Tamoxifen’ my alter-ego shows herself she’ll be ‘advised’ that she’s not needed here………………….