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Cancer And Wigs: A Special Tribute to Aunt Dottie

First Wig

Aunt Dottie in her first wig

During this season of Thanksgiving, I want to offer up my holiday to everything good in my life. In doing this, I would like to tell all my readers the story of my Aunt Dottie. Earlier this summer, my aunt lost her 17 year battle with cancer. During her entire fight, she faced each challenge with the courage of a warrior. I don’t ever remember a day where she lost her laugh or humor. It was challenged though on the day she lost her hair to chemo.

Being a girl who always loved fashion, make-up and style, this challenge seemed to be a larger hurdle than living with cancer itself. I finally had the chance to say thank you. I assured my wonderful aunt that I would take care of the hair loss. I immediately designed a wig in the fashion of her hair. Human hair wigs can be cut and styled to look almost identical when textured and thinned at the hair ends.

Wedding

Aunt Dottie at my wedding, 4 months after her stem cell transplant

To cut to the chase, Aunt Dottie was ecstatic. She embraced wearing her wig, and she decided that she should have a few to match the outfit she was wearing and occasion she was wearing it to. She made stage 4 lymphoma look easy. She was a role model that inspired many, especially me.

My aunt would lose her hair 7 times over the course of 17 years. As if creating the wigs wasn’t fun enough, designing new looks on the hair that was growing was even better. A beautician at heart, my aunt gave me cart blanch to use micro lines or fitted falls to add extensions to hair that was no longer than an inch long. These hair addition methods gave her an immediately longer look and allowed her to go swimming, take part in sports and yoga and feel beautiful the entire way through.

As I carve into my holiday turkey, I want to offer my blessings to any of you ladies who struggle with cancer. Prime Women and Ask the Expert are your open doors of communication. If I can’t make you new hair in person, then I can advise you on sourcing it near you. Whatever you do, don’t give up the fight and lean on the strength of those who love you, like Aunt Dottie, who remembered to put her hair and make-up on everyday while receiving her stem cell transplant. Once, a nurse asked her why, and her answer was simple. She said, “if I like who I see in the mirror, then it makes me think I’m going to be okay.”

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and remember to pass along the beauty of the season!

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