Monday, 1 June 2015

Battling appearance

I love fashion and makeup and all things girly like doing different hair styles, fake tanning and attempting to get that kim kardashian contoured makeup (which is destined to fail every time). But don't get me wrong, leave me alone in a field full of mud and horses and I will be out there all day getting down and dirty, makeup free and my hair full of straw and maybe some horse poop if I'm really lucky. 

So, when I was diagnosed with leukaemia, appearance was a massive factor that affected me and I knew it was going to change. I remember one of the first things I said when a nurse asked me what I was worried about, I had literally just been wheeled into the cancer ward from the ambulance and just given my bed on the ward, my thought's didn't jump to where I was, what was happening to me and how long I would be here.. I was just worried about loosing my long locks. Which I now look back on and think how incredibly vein of me that was.

I eventually got over the issue of being bald once I knew there were ways around it. I could wear a wig or a hat, which I decided to do. And at first, I thought 'well I look pretty normal'. But once I got used to hiding my baldness, my face started to swell, my long eyelashes started to fall out and spots started to appear on my normally clear skin. For me, this was an issue. I loved to appear like I was happy and healthy, even when I wasn't. Right from the beginning, I told myself I didnt want to look ill and I didnt want people to notice my differences in the street. Other people could just think I had a chubby face with bad skin. I was the one that could notice all the differences. All I could see in the mirror was a different person, I would stand there and think 'who is that?'. No matter how many times friends and family will encourage you and say you look amazing, inside your still going to think that you appearance is not the same that it once was. Everyone needs time for adjustment, and thats exactly what I needed. I needed time. And now, I take it in my stride to battle with my appearance everyday. Will I have a spot that needs covering up? Will I have huge bags under my eyes? Will my hair have grown? Will my hair have thinned? Will I have chubby chipmunk cheeks? 

There are different ways I battle with my appearance 
  • I use fake tan or a tinted moisturiser to hide my paleness and to not have that 'oh you look ill' kind of pale skin. 
  • I moisturise or use baby oil on my body alot more than I did before my illness just to ensure my skin is in good condition.
  • I used to use baby oil on my bald peanut head when my hair first fell out as it was a little dry and dandruffy. 
  • I will wear makeup whenever I go out, whether its just a bit of mascara or a more extravagant make-over. 
  • Of any evening, I take my makeup off and give my face a good exfoliating with a facial scrub as chemotherapy was not very kind to my skin. 
  • I use vaseline around my eyes and on my eyelashes before bed. A girls got to do what a girls got to do to at least try and attempt to keep the remaining eyelashes in good condition
  • I'm learning to contour my face with makeup to try and get that more slender looking face. 
  • When I am on steroids, to avoid an insane weight gain (because left to my own devices I would just be eating crap all day) I try to snack on healthy food throughout the day, e.g. carrots, cucumber, peppers. 
  • I change up my hair style, even though I have a wig I can still style it. Mostly I keep it straight, but I've had it curled and done fish tail plaits before. 
  • I wear no wig at all! Sometimes I just rock my look how it is and concentrate on brightening up my eyes with makeup which distracts people away from you having no hair and leads them to your eyes. People will stare regardless so be prepared. 

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