L30 — July 2011 — Self-Image During Cancer
Intro: Battling cancer is not easy. Treatment often involves chemotherapy, the side effects of which can be tough. Fatigue, nausea, hair loss. For many people, losing their hair is particularly stressful. That's why Mayo Clinic teamed up with a hair and skin care salon. They specialize in helping cancer patients keep a positive self-image as they go through treatment.
My first visit was very emotional. I walked in the door and I started to cry.
Jackie Overland says it took a lot of courage to step into this salon to get fitted for a wig.
That's when the reality hit me. Yes, I have to go through cancer. Yes, I am going to lose my hair. I am going to suffer all the side effects. I'm going to be sick.
There's even times when just making the call to make the appointment is a big thing for them and it's very difficult.
Ann Richards is the supervisor at Erickson Skin & Hair Care Center at Mayo Clinic. She helps patients like Jackie with wigs, hats, scarves even makeup.
That looks really nice. Isn't that cute? Goes with your outfit. Oh, it does!
But what happens at this shop goes much deeper than just giving tips on how to wrap a head covering. It's about listening. Sharing. And offering strength when the journey overwhelms.
Now I have to have a hug. I got a tear on your jacket.
Our goal is to have the patient walk out of here and have an "I can do this" attitude.
I think attitude is key. I just decided I was going to be OK. I am OK. No matter what happens to my body, I am OK inside.
And Jackie says with the tools she gathered here, both physical and emotional, she's feeling OK, more like herself, on the outside, too. For Medical Edge, I'm Vivien Williams.
Ann says it's very common for patients to struggle with losing their hair. But the people at shops like Erickson's can help make the experience a little easier.
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