Last year, Dee a vibrant, charming grandmother from Bournemouth was diagnosed with terminal cancer – this is her story.
The cancer diagnosis
In September 2014, Dee had been experiencing stomach problems and decided to have a routine check-up with her local GP. Expecting it to be just a stomach bug or virus, Dee was expecting to be prescribed a simple remedy and return home. However, she was not ready for what her doctor told her. After listening to how she was feeling – that she had stomach problems and was consistently tired – the GP felt her glands. The GP found that one particular gland was swollen and immediately informed her it was possible they were looking for cancer.
Totally shocked, Dee returned home; unsure what to do or whether she even wanted to tell her family. In the weeks that followed, she was put through a series of tests including a CT scan which highlighted that many lymph nodes looked cancerous. A biopsy of a lymph node diagnosed that she had lung cancer. It was also confirmed that the cancer was terminal.
Upon this news, Dee became particularly reserved. She did not want people to know that she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer as she was afraid she would be treated differently and did not want to be overwhelmed with sympathy. Dee saw her diagnosis as just another obstacle to face and one she wanted to get over privately. Finding it extremely difficult to tell anyone, she let only her closest family and friends know and tried to live life as normally as possible.
Cancer hair loss
In order to try and fight the cancer Dee had to undergo a heavy regime of treatments and chemotherapy. The first round of chemotherapy hit her hard and made her almost bed-bound for 10 days after each treatment. This also had a damaging effect on her confidence as she wanted to be out and active. When the first line of chemotherapy failed, she was offered a clinical trial at Southampton University hospital, unfortunately she was advised the treatment would cause cancer hair loss.
As soon as she learnt this, Dee was eager to find a hair loss treatment, such as a wig in Bournemouth. However, despite being given the best care towards treating the cancer, the hospital gave her next to no information on how to deal with her hair loss. Given her determination to live as normal a life as possible, this was extremely worrying for her. She did not want to be seen without her hair as people would know she was ill.
Simone Thomas hair loss clinic in Bournemouth
A close friend of Dee’s – who was also diagnosed with cancer – recommended she visit Simone Thomas. Simone had helped her friend with her own hair loss, so she was certain Simone would be able to aid her where the hospital could not. Desperate to find a solution, she booked a free consultation with Simone.
Dee’s Story – Cancer Hair Loss
At her consultation, she was completely blown away by the service she received, saying:
“I really did not know what to expect and I was feeling quite daunted about going to have a wig fitted. However, Simone made the whole process really fun – it felt like a party! Simone is so personable and so as soon as we started talking I felt at ease. I felt that Simone could really relate to what I was going through and how important my hair was to me.”
“Before visiting Simone I had been to several wig outfitters. However, they all felt so clinical and I was really uncomfortable so it put me off getting a wig. But at Simone Thomas hair loss clinic Simone showed so much empathy and knew exactly what I was talking about.”
At the salon, Simone got to know precisely what Dee wanted from her hair and what she was going through with her cancer treatments. Simone spent dedicated time with Dee and her daughter, who accompanied her, trying on wigs, until she found the ones which were right for her. The human hair wigs were then personally styled by Simone Thomas’ professional stylist, Danny Smith.
“Danny was also extremely professional and brilliant to talk to. It was great to be able to talk to both Danny and Simone openly about my treatments and what I was going through at the time. They were both so willing to listen and put me totally at ease.”
Since, seeing Simone Thomas, Dee’s confidence has increased ten-fold. As a result of her growth in confidence, she decided to go public about the fact she has cancer when her son announced he would be doing the “3 Peaks Challenge” in aid of Cancer Research UK.
“It was a very difficult decision to go on Facebook and announce my cancer to the world. However, I decided it was time to do my bit to try and spread awareness and help my son raise money to fight the disease. Until recently, Cancer has been seen as such a taboo topic – however, from my own experience I now feel it’s much better to talk about it openly. Visiting Simone definitely helped in my decision to be more open about my cancer as she really helped boost my confidence.”
Now, when not enduring chemotherapy, Dee is doing all she can to enjoy life; from holidaying in Iceland, wining and dining in a 5 star hotel in London, to spending time with family in the Lake District. Dee has also been inundated with messages since announcing her cancer on Facebook and has been reunited with old friends that she has not seen in years. Soon, she will be celebrating her 60th (despite being 58) with a huge “just in case” party on her daughter’s wedding anniversary.
Dee’s daughter has commented:
“We are doing all we can to make the most of our time together – which has made for an incredible last few months. We feel very fortunate to have done all we have. Thanks to Simone, she has helped my mum to look and feel good in herself. This has given her the confidence to go out and do all the things we have – I don’t think we would have done half as much if she hadn’t had hair.”
Finally, Dee has said:
“I’m determined to live life to the full. I feel it’s very important that even if people are ill we can still make an effort to feel and look good if we want to. Simone has helped me to do this and I would recommend her to anyone.”
If you are experiencing cancer hair loss and need support, please book a free consultation with our specialists in a comfortable and friendly environment at our hair loss clinic in Bournemouth. Get in touch to find out more.