Recently I was given the opportunity to attend a Look Good Feel Better class hosted by the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the Professional Beauty Association. I wasn’t sure what to expect but seeing as my excursions out of the house are somewhat limited, I was excited to attend.
Now understand that I am a people person (Well, I love being around people, but that doesn’t mean they always like being around me!) but I can be a wallflower going into an unknown situation. Introverted extrovert anyone? Or is that extroverted introvert? Hmmmm. So here I am, showing up at the prescribed time and I’m late. Ugghh. Communication issues…
Fake smile on, let’s go find a seat.
I take a few moments to look around the classroom and its occupants and they’re just like me, mostly…
Some proudly display their absence of hair, some don’t.
Some enhance their appearance, some don’t.
(Big dangling earrings on a bald head are mesmerizingly beautiful!)
Some are chatty, some aren’t.
BUT we are all cancer patients: lung, breast, urterine, etc…
There are 6 of us ladies and I believe I am the youngest (42) and the rest are in their 50’s, 60’s, and possibly 70’s?? There is the main consultant and a consultant-in-training (who is a 2 year survivor of lymphoma) teaching us to put on make-up. Did I mention that I haven’t worn make-up since my diagnosis? I really didn’t know what this Look Good Feel Better class was all about… My face looks like the lost member of the Teletubbies, my skin is dry and partially acnified (because who knew that chemotherapy works against cancer cells but has a happy-go-lucky, we’re-best-friends relationship with acne.), and I feel about as attractively human as Medusa – minus all the snaky hair extension things. No hair here, remember.
And so we began…
Face cleanser, concealer, foundation, personal story from a cancer patient, blush, comment from someone about how self-conscious she feels when people stare at her, eye shadow, laughter about the effects of steroids, neuropathy issues opening all these little components, (Asking for help to open up all these boxes and compacts and tubes…), and then comes the lesson about how to draw on eyebrows:
Who knew that in my lifetime, I would require a lesson on how to draw eyebrows on my own face!
I have about 10 eyebrow hairs above each eyebrow right now…
Then there is the mascara:
I have about 5 eyelashes on each eyelid right now. They are not all in a nice neat row either…
Random little suckers; Work with me here!
I enjoyed every moment of the Look Good Feel Better class! I got to hang out with people who knew exactly what I was going through… It wasn’t about looking good. It was about connecting with those beautiful women. Their character was set apart by their fears and the freedom to just be women, who have a disease that makes life very, very difficult and uncertain… Their triumph is being able to truly enjoy those precious moments of good in the midst of all those fears. I was privileged to be counted among them.
Many thanks to all those involved to help make the class happen, those who are part of these organizations that promote something positive in the midst of something so negative, and the companies (almost 40) that supply the components for the gift bags.