For me, the thought of losing my hair was probably the most daunting part of this process. I know this sounds vain, but for many women, their hair is their defining feature and is part of their identity. It is difficult for people to understand how it feels to lose your hair when they aren't faced with this challenging prospect but other women I know who have had breast cancer have felt exactly the same.
I'll start at the very beginning (because it's a very good place to start). When I was given my diagnosis, madly, one of my first thoughts was "I am going to lose my hair". The nurse answered all of my questions and promptly the hospital paperwork was sent to the wig company following my oncology consultation. They got in touch and I booked my appointment before my chemotherapy began because I think it's important to go before you lose your hair.
On the morning of the dreaded appointment, I had a total meltdown. However, the experience put me completely at ease - I am even looking forward to wearing my new wig!!! My appointment was at Wills Wigs in Bromsgrove. They made me feel comfortable from the moment I stepped through the door. The consultation took place in a private area and I was encouraged to bring a friend for support and advice.
My top tip is to be prepared to laugh at yourself. My initial thought when I tried on the first wig was "I'm f***ed!" especially when my best "friend" said I looked like Yoko Ono! I actually thought I looked more like Morticia Addams! Thankfully, there were lots more to choose from. They had a huge range of styles and colours. They can also alter most wigs to make it more individual e.g. they can change the fringe. If you find a style you like, but they don't stock the correct colour, you can always order it in. It was important for me to find a wig that looked similar to my own hair so that the change wasn't too obvious.
Free wigs are provided by the NHS for people who meet the right criteria. I was anxious because prescription wigs are mostly synthetic, as opposed to real hair. However, the quality was much better than I anticipated.
Losing your hair is never going to be easy, but maybe it's easier than you think.