I have spoken to a lot of women over the past few weeks who have been feeling very overwhelmed with facing hair loss. It is heartbreaking hearing them cry over the phone but I have been grateful for their call, for their bravery in reaching out for help and I can only hope that my words of advice have offered comfort and calm in an otherwise turbulent time.
It has inspired me to organise my thoughts and pull together a list of help and advice that is available free of charge for chemo patients - and where you can get a bit of a boost, be it a free goody bag or event to look forward to after your treatment has ended.
So here we go.....
I have mentioned Jen's Friends on a blog previously but they are worth mentioning again. The team offer free mastectomy pillows which are made by an army of craft-loving volunteers, all you have to do is pay for the postage and they will send a heart shaped cushion which goes under your arm to ease the pressure from any surgeries. You can find them on Facebook (click here) and all the instructions on how to get in touch with them are at the top of their facebook page. You will need to be a bit organised because there is a little bit of a wait (around 3-4 weeks) but the team are wonderful and lots of women have said how helpful the pillows were.
The Headwrappers team work with me on a monthly zoom hair loss advice call but outside of that, they do an extensive amount of work with cancer patients who need help and support during treatment. Their tea, topknots and turbans sessions are a great way to connect with other patients, to share ideas, learn new scarf tying techniques and hear from experts in the field in a relaxed setting. If you want to join any of our online scarf tying events, you can register here and you will receive a free goody bag in the post containing a couple of head scarves, samples and discount vouchers.
Hair Reborn is a charity offering support, advice and a free hair styling service for people suffering hair loss as a result of cancer chemotherapy treatment. The free in-salon programme offers up to 3 appointments at an appointed salon as your hair beings to grow back, helping you to achieve a new healthy, manageable style and regain your identity, confidence and self-esteem. You will have to register in order to start the programme but all the details are on their website; www.hairreborn.uk
Look Good Feel Better
Look Good Feel Better is a leading cancer support charity aimed at boosting the physical and emotional wellbeing of people living with cancer. The team provide online workshops covering skincare and make-up, grooming, hair loss, haircare, wig advice and nail care. They used to run in-person workshops but these have moved online since the pandemic. You can register to join one of their free sessions online (click here) and I believe you also get a lovely goody bag with cosmetics and skincare samples too!
Cancer Support UK
Not only do Cancer Support UK provide counselling services for chemo patients, they also offer free Cancer Kits to people currently undergoing treatment as a practical aid to recovery.
They have Cancer Kits, Chemo Kits and Kids’ Kits, which are supplied free of charge. The Kits include practical items for people receiving cancer treatment and can be ordered for yourself or for a friend, click here to access their page and learn more about them.
Chemo Gift Bags
Chemo Gift Bags are a lovely charity dedicated to helping ladies and gents who are currently undergoing a diagnosis for breast cancer and having chemotherapy. They supply free gift bags to chemo patients that will help you through your treatment and hope that by providing these care packages they will bring a little light to what is a daunting time for you. All Chemo gift bags are lovingly hand-packed and inside you will have many of the items that you will require whilst having chemotherapy treatment.
Something to Look Forward to
This is a fabulous charity that offers people with cancer and their families access to a variety of gifts that have generously donated by people and companies. Choose from a broad selection of restaurant meals, hotel stays, beauty treatments, tickets for events and attractions to give you a boost and an enjoyable memory during a very difficult time. Cancer not only affects our well-being, but many families suffer income loss as a result and this charity helps to ease the stress by providing a little bit of luxury to those who need it most.
Hopefully, this list gives you a little bit of extra guidance and support as well as a few pampering gifts to boost morale and give you a reason to smile today!