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Reader responds to story on self-esteem cosmetology programs for cancer patients

A reader responds to a story about beauty programs for cancer patients at hospitals. (Doug Kapustin/For The Washington Post)
Cancer and self-esteem

Facing up to recovery” [Nov. 13] was right on point. In 2010 and 2011, after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, I underwent a series of chemotherapy treatments. Thirteen days after the first treatment, I lost my hair, my eyebrows and my eyelashes. The chemotherapy was an endless, numbing progression of doctors’ appointments and treatments, followed by days in bed. The shock was looking in the mirror, seeing a hollowed-eyed, gray-faced, bald creature and wondering “Where did I go?” Total loss of hair for many women feels like the loss of femininity.

The advice I received at the “Look Good . . . Feel Better” program at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda helped me to get through it. The cosmetologist taught us how to “create” eyebrows and eyelashes with makeup. He explained the options of wigs and scarves. I worked during my treatments, and when I left my house in the morning, I felt a little more confident and attractive, knowing that my appearance did not scream “cancer patient.”

Corinne Schultz, Silver Spring



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