“The workshops were a comfort during my treatments”
In pre-Covid days, at a time before Leanne Smith, 29, moved from Aberdeen to Cambridge, she had already felt a lump in her breast, which luckily turned out to be benign.
She was therefore not unduly concerned when she felt another lump in her breast in the summer of 2021.
It was only after meeting a woman who spoke about her own breast cancer experience, combined with seeing a pink branded Cancer Research UK bus in Cambridge, that Leanne listened to her inner voice and arranged to see her doctor, who referred her to the breast clinic where she was then diagnosed with cancer.
Thankfully, because the cancer was caught at an early stage, subsequent treatments of chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and hormone therapy at Addenbrooke’s Hospital were successful and Leanne is now recovering well.
Leanne was made aware of Look Good Feel Better’s workshops, when she found a leaflet in the hospital. She was motivated to do something for herself and soon signed up to skincare & make-up, hairloss & haircare and nailcare workshops on-line. She says:
“The workshops were a comfort during my treatments and really helped prepare me for each step of the way like when my hair started to fall out. I gained a lot from the compassionate way in which the workshops were run as they were acknowledging my situation, but also instilling a sense of confidence and empowerment.
“I had lost interest in wearing make-up during the few years before I had cancer, but the workshops showed me that make-up and self-care are not at all frivolous, and can really help me feel better about myself. I don’t wear the make-up for other people, I do it for myself, to help me feel good about how I look. I now enjoy being creative with my appearance and love that I can express myself with make-up, wigs, clothes and accessories.”
Leanne, who had struggled with staying motivated to keep up with her regular yoga classes, also signed up to the Chair Tai Chi workshops.
“Within minutes, I felt something good happening in my body. The session helped me feel calmer and has really motivated me to do yoga again. It was also so heartening to be part of a group of people across the country, who are going through the same thing. It was good for both my body and mind.
“The workshops have had a fundamental impact on how I care about myself, and that is why I would invite others to experience it, too.”
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