Ageing Well Fashion Over 50s Lifestyle

Uniquely You – My Cancer Council Workshop

August 22, 2019
Uniquely You - My Cancer Council Workshop

The Cancer Council’s Annual Daffodil Day Appeal is tomorrow. We are encouraged to donate and buy daffodils to help Cancer research. Cancer has affected us all in some way. For me, I have lost my Mother, Father and Brother to various forms of cancer all in their early to mid 60s so I’m passionate about finding a cure.

Ageing Well in August is covering many topics that help us to live full and active lives however for some of us that road can be difficult especially if we are diagnosed with Cancer.

I was delighted to hear that Christine Blundell from Christine My Private Stylist, Fashion Editor for Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond and also my friend, told me about her recent experience presenting a Colour Style Workshop for Women recovering from Cancer.

Giving back and also understanding the difficulties many of us face in life is a subject I am passionate about. I asked Chris to write about her experience presenting the Cancer Council Workshop which she shares with us today along with some tips that may assist with dressing for cancer treatment and side effects.

Uniquely You – My Cancer Council Workshop

Several weeks ago I had the wonderful privilege of being invited to conduct a workshop for ladies going through or recovering from all forms of cancer.

I name the Workshop Uniquely You, because we are all beautiful and unique and we should celebrate it.

I broke the workshop up into 2 sessions over a 2 hour period. The room that had been made available to me was warm, sunny and inviting with couches and rugs along with coffee and tea and yummy carrot cake. From the moment I walked in to set up the room, I was welcomed warmly offered a coffee and any help I needed from the support worker who was sitting in on the session.

Even so, I was a little nervous, not sure if these lovely ladies would feel like taking part. I needn’t have worried! I had a fully booked group and they all participated enthusiastically.

How the session worked

I began with a session on Colour explaining the concept behind the colour theory and how each of us has different skin, hair and eye tones that determine which of the 12 colour directions we fall into. I asked them to compare their skin tones with one another.

I also invited any who would like, to come up for me to work out whether they were warm or cool, while inviting input from the rest of the group about their observations. Every single one of them came up to have theirs done. They were so interested and surprised at some of the results.

After a short break for a coffee etc. I spoke to them about style for body shape and had taken along several garments of my own which I had on a garment rack and showed them how various garments could be used to draw attention away from areas they felt were their least flattering.

It had been explained to me that they were there for time out from thinking about cancer and just enjoying girl time, so my main focus was on style in general and not specifically directed towards dealing with issues they may have with dressing due to their cancer.

They were very open in talking about their cancer and asking how they could dress when, for example one lady had a leg that was quite swollen, others wanted to know how to draw attention away from where they had breast surgery and associated problems and how to dress with stoma and ostomy bags.

I was just so amazed at how they shared so openly their journey through cancer, but without feeling sorry for themselves.

  • One young woman had only got married in February and had lost all her hair, but was so happy to show me her beautiful wedding photos.
  • Another who was dealing with her third cancer,  was not concerned for herself, but her husband and how hard it must be for him.
  • Still another lady with cancer shared how her husband also had cancer.

These wonderful women loved seeing my garments and wanted to know where I had bought them and asked lots of questions, encouraged each other and handed out tissues when there were a few tears. They loved the different scarf trying techniques I showed them as it helped to draw attention away from areas they felt vulnerable about.

After our time was up, several of them stayed to ask questions and chat with me. They each took home a handout I had done for them for the session.

As I was packing my car to come home, one of the support workers came out to the car, gave me a hug and said that as the women left they were walking on air.

I feel that I received so much more than I gave and felt humbled and privileged to spend precious time with these amazing, beautiful, inspiring and courageous women.

Tips that may help in dressing for Cancer treatment and side effects

  • Fabrics that are soft and gentle on the skin, bamboo is natural, soft on skin and breathable.
  • A bra with front closure and soft cups.
  • When wearing an ostomy or stoma bag, looser fit pants may feel more comfortable. There are many fashionable ones to be found, especially as one of the trends for the coming season is the wide leg pant. Another option is a flowing skirt or dress.
  • Floral prints and darker fabrics are great for distracting away from areas where you may feel vulnerable.
  • Belly bands, bike shorts with higher waist help keep bags in place and feel secure.
  • Higher neck tops with no underarm gape for post breast cancer surgery.
  • A great idea is what is called a Chemisette, often called modesty panels, which fill in a neckline without wearing extra layers.
  • Pretty scarves at the neck look beautiful and add interest to your outfit. There are some fantastic scarf tying videos on YouTube.
  • Open front shirts make port access easier.
Uniquely You - My Cancer Council Workshop

Helpful websites:


Karla Dofflemeyer turning a scarf into a vest

Wendy’s lookbook 25 ways with scarves in 4.5 minutes

Meet Christine

Purpose & Meaning

If you are ready to find your best style then contact Christine by email:  Create your own personaIised Style program in the comfort of your own home for a low price of only $89 and you will have lifetime access to this fantastic fully colour illustrated style profile go to:

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  • Reply Deborah August 22, 2019 at 08:42

    Thanks for sharing Sue and what a great thing to do Christine. And the workshop sounds like it gave the women there a chance to talk about their experiences as well.

    • Reply Christine August 22, 2019 at 15:09

      Thank you Deborah, it was certainly a privilege for me to be amongst them. Christine x

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl August 22, 2019 at 08:59

    Christine, thank you for sharing the positive and vital work you do for women living with cancer.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Christine August 22, 2019 at 15:10

      Hi Sydney Shopgirl, my pleasure thank you for reading and commenting. Christine x

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle August 22, 2019 at 09:23

    What a fabulous event/session you hosted Christine. I can only imagine how much women going through cancer treatment would crave spending some time doing normal things and a session such as yours that provides tips and ways to feel pretty and attractive would be so valuable. I enjoyed the video’s too! Who knew a scarf could become a vest?! Thank you Sue for having Christine here guest posting on such a positive topic. xo #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Christine August 22, 2019 at 15:12

      Hi Min, it’s amazing the number of creative way people come up with for scarves isn’t it? I absolutely love them and they can change the look of an outfit in so many ways. Christine x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee August 22, 2019 at 09:45

    I hadn’t thought about clothes. What a good post.

    • Reply Christine August 22, 2019 at 15:14

      Hi Lydia, I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post, thank you for reading and commenting. Christine x

  • Reply Donna Connolly August 22, 2019 at 09:49

    Hi, Christine – Thank you for hosting such a wonderful event and sharing it with us. I’m sure that the participants received lots from the day. I am ALL THUMBS when it comes to tying a scarf so I loved your 4-minute video!

    • Reply Christine August 22, 2019 at 15:16

      Hi Donna, yes I know what you mean about being all thumbs when tying scarves, I often get myself in quite a tangle or nearly choke myself! Christine x

  • Reply Natalie August 22, 2019 at 09:55

    Thank you, Christine, for sharing your positive workshop experience, videos, and helpful websites. The participants appreciated your tips and you felt great knowing you made a difference, a win-win for everyone. Thank you, Sue, for sharing. #lovin’lifelinky

    • Reply Christine August 22, 2019 at 15:21

      Hi Natalie, I certainly enjoyed sharing with those beautiful ladies. Thank you for reading and commenting. Christine x

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan August 22, 2019 at 12:49

    Thank you, both, for this insightful post. It is so accurate to say that all of us have somehow been affected/impacted by cancer. While I have been blessed with generally excellent health, I did have Lyme disease years ago and my young daughters were scared of the IV port placed in my hand to make daily IV antibiotic treatments faster and easier. I tried to wear long sleeves and things to cover or distract from the port but with it on my hand it was difficult. I think your tips would have been a great help to me then. And I am sure all of the participants of the workshop and all of your readers, Sue, took something valuable away from the wisdom imparted.

    • Reply Christine August 22, 2019 at 15:25

      Hi Leslie, yes we are all too familiar with being impacted by cancer. My mother had a cancer of the blood which meant she had to have blood transfusions increasingly more until they no longer worked. I have seen several programs with people who have had Lyme disease and the horrible effects of it. I am so pleased you came through it. Christine x

  • Reply Jo Tracey August 22, 2019 at 13:40

    Thank you Christine and Sue. What a lovely thing to do. For these women to feel better about themselves is priceless.

    • Reply Christine August 22, 2019 at 15:27

      Hi Jo, it’s amazing that giving just a little of our time can brighten someone’s day who is otherwise dealing with so much and I loved doing it. Christine x

  • Reply Jennifer Jones August 23, 2019 at 20:39

    Aug a lovely thing to do Christine. Thanks for sharing with us. By the way Sue my brother in law invented Daffodil Day. We fill our house with daffodils in his memory onDaffodil Day

  • Reply Debbie Harris August 23, 2019 at 22:09

    What a heartwarming story from Christine. I am more aware than ever of some of the impacts of breast cancer as my sister has recently had surgery. The session sounds like a fun event for everyone involved and sharing your expertise must be a rewarding experience. Thanks Sue and Christine.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 24, 2019 at 04:53

      HI Deb, yes I would love to do something like this. I know Christine felt that she had contributed to making these women feel better about themselves and forget their problems and illness for just a few hours. It is a heartwarming story. xx

  • Reply Leanne | August 25, 2019 at 20:10

    What a fantastic experience for you and for each of the women who were at that session Christine. I’m sure they would have loved such a positive and “girly” time together – somewhere to be open about their journey, somewhere safe, and somewhere to feel pretty again. I hope you get asked to do it on a regular basis because it would be such a blessing to the women going through a cancer battle.

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