When I was diagnosed with cancer,

When I was diagnosed with cancer,
I didn't feel sick.

I didn't feel like
there was anything wrong with me.

I was going to have surgery,

they would get rid of it
and that would be that.

But in the course of the surgery they
then found cancer in the lymph nodes,

which means
that it potentially had spread.

So that necessitated chemotherapy.

Lots of people who are diagnosed
with cancer will have chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy attacks
the cancer cells in the body,

but in doing so
it also attacks healthy cells.

And a side-effect of this
is sometimes hair loss.

Losing my hair I thought, "I'm going to
look like a cancer victim."

Some people lose all of their body hair.

This can happen quite gradually
or suddenly in some cases.

Others don't even lose
all of the hair on their head,

so it is very different for everyone.

Four days after the second treatment
my head was really itching

and I decided to wash it.

And as I was washing it, it literally
came out in my hands like a mop.

And it was a most shocking experience
to just see it like that.

With hindsight, I probably would have
got it cut really short like this,

as a preparation, but that would
have been difficult at the time.

I think
there are lots of different options

in terms of coping
with the concept of losing hair.

People do cope with it very differently.

Some people are very open about it

and may choose to shave off
all their hair right from the start

and be very honest
about what's happening.

Others want things to appear
as normal as possible,

so they might choose to wear a wig
every day,

others might want to wear a wig

and alternate it with a scarf
when they're at home.

If you get your hair cut short,

I would suggest
getting a little sleeping cap,

so it's not all in your bed
when it starts coming out,

because that's quite distressing.

There is something called a cold cap,
it works by cooling the blood supply

to the hair follicles

and this can mean less chemicals
reach the hair follicles,

potentially causing less hair loss.

This does work really well for
some people not so well for others,

it's very dependent
on the treatment given

and the dosage of treatment given.

But if you are interested,

you can talk to your specialist
or your chemo nurse

about how suitable it might be for you.

They pump refrigerated stuff in
and it freezes your head basically.

It goes down to about -6 degrees.

And you sit there with it on
for about four hours,

quite a long time,
and... it didn't really work for me.

It didn't work for me.

And after the second chemotherapy

about half of my hair fell out,
so I didn't bother with it after that.

And, I have to say,
it was a great relief.

Many people do lose their eyebrows
and eyelashes as well as their hair

and make-up such as eyeliner,

false eyelashes and eyebrow pencils
can help here.

Lots of centres run workshops
to help with these techniques.

The answer to all of this
was to wear a lot of make-up,

to wear lots of lipstick, you know,
eye shadow.

I could draw my eyebrows on
with a pencil.

The eyelashes there's not much
you can do about it,

but eyeliner makes a big difference,

it gives that impression
of something being there.

There are lots of sources
of support out there.

People can talk to their specialist,
their health care provider.

Lots of women find it very helpful
to talk to other women

who are in a similar situation.

There's lots of information on the
Breast Cancer Care website

about hair loss and also contact
details for local support groups.

It becomes about
making it part of my outfit,

rather than thinking, "How am I going
to disguise the fact that I'm bald."

It's more, "How am I going to
integrate that into my whole look."

That really worked for me
and I think it's a good approach.