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.
If you are ready to find your best style then contact Christine by email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: www.christine.myprivatestylist.com