Body Image in The Chronically Ill
Earlier this year, I found out that a long lost friend of mine had been diagnosed with Cancer. Terrible news to hear that at only 35 years of age, she was now battling breast cancer. When I heard the news, I was devastated and immediately contacted her again so that I could reconnect with Shona.
It’s strange, how with our busy lives – we often only reconnect when we hear bad news. It’s a shame that we’re too busy to reconnect on a simple level with those who once made a significant impact on our lives. After meeting up for a coffee, Shona eventually started to open up about her illness.
As one of the prettier girls at school, she was always very popular with the boys. I never thought that this woman would be capable of having body image issues! Yet, here in front of me, her illness surely had eaten away at her self esteem and body image understandably. Cancer is such a horrible and ugly disease, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
The good news with Shona is that she is on the mend and appears to have her cancer in remission! I find it inspirational how she has reclaimed her body image and has not let it affect her life. She said that she had bought a wig from this shop and as a matter of fact, I couldn’t even tell she was wearing one!
Hair loss plays such a huge role in the mental struggle for cancer patients. It really is a horrible illness. As someone who has a clean health record, I really can’t even begin to relate to the struggles she has gone through. While I do have my own body image struggles myself, these pale in comparison to the ones that Shona goes through on a daily basis. Even though I’m well and able at the moment, I might even go and buy myself one of those wigs. I love the coloured wigs!.
It’s moments like these that really make you realise just how lucky you are to be fit, healthy and be surrounded by loving people. It’s times like these that drive me to keep updating my gratitude journal. You never know how things like this can affect someone close to you, or even yourself.
You’ve got to live every day as though it is your last!