Good, Feel Better Program
by Lise Lamothe
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was after her breast cancer surgery in April, 1998, that Marlene
Bryenton was contacted by a "Reach to Recovery" volunteer
who told her about the "Look Good, Feel Better Program"
at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. Marlene learned
that through this program she could attend a seminar with other
women who also had to face a cancer diagnosis and who were undergoing
cancer treatments such as chemo-theraphy and radiation. The "Look
Good, Feel Better Program" provides free workshops to help
woman learn, or in some cases relearn, how to care for their skin,
apply make-up, select and wear a wig as well as explore other
alternatives they may have.
said, "I was looking forward to going but that particular
day I was not feeling very good, and was apprehensive of how sick
the other women would be who were dealing with cancer. I did go
and as I was sitting there, I thought how special these volunteers
were. I was very glad I went. I was having fun while experimenting
with the various products. I was surprised that all the information
I was getting was so user-friendly. That day, even though I did
not feel good, I felt better because of the experience and because
I looked better."
story is not uncommon. As a volunteer on the "Look Good,
Feel Better Team," I have found it a very enjoyable and rewarding
to work in the program.
a hair specialist, I often get the feeling that my good advise
and tips are a bit late by the time woman come to the program.
Most people know that hair loss is typically the most common,
temporary change experienced by those having cancer treatments.
Because of this, some woman will run to the store, try a number
of wigs, get discouraged but come home with a wig in a bag and
no desire to wear it. As a hair specialist, I have some "Good
News," you can avoid this situation by going to a wig specialist.
Here are a few other tips:
Bring a friend or a relative you can trust with you.
If you want to keep the same look, the best time to shop for a
wig is before treatments begin. It is easier to match the colour
and style. Otherwise, bring a picture with you.
If you are a bit more adventurous, approach the situation with
a spirit of fun, as a chance to experiment with a new hair style
Make sure that the wig specialist explains to you how to maintain
the wig properly and provides a refitting service if you need
There are different types of wigs. Synthetic wigs come pre-styled.
They are light and easy to care for. A good quality synthetic
wig looks very natural and is worth the few extra dollars it cost.
Human hair blend wigs are half human hair and half synthetic and
hold the style better than human hair wigs. Human hair wigs are
light and comfortable. They act like human hair and need to be
styled by the wig specialist. Human hair wigs are the most expensive
and tend to require the most day to day care.
a time when it is very difficult to feel good, this program helps
woman regain some power in a situation which can easily take over
their lives or where they can feel quite helpless.
you are a qualified cosmetic, esthetics or wig specialist and
would like to be a volunteer you can contact the provincial team
leader, Cynthia at 1-800-361-1964. If you have any questions about
the program call 1-800-914-4665.
Lise Lamothe is a "Look Good, Feel Better" volunteer
and operates Ocean Beauty Concepts in Charlottetown.
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