Dedicated to Vera, nurse and volunteer, for the American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better Program. I don’t know her last name but think about her often. Her compassion helped me to return to the world of the living.
After surgery, chemo, and radiation, I’m afraid to see what is left.
One of the American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better volunteers (Vera) stands behind me.
She encourages me to look in the mirror. I joke about my fears. Is this me?
The face, my face looks puzzled. Hair grows like green sprouts on an old potato. Signs of life emerge from brown, sunken skin.
In the small mirror, the face accuses me. The makeup softens my face’s harsh lines.
Blush brings artificial health to my cheeks. My colored eyelids distract from buried sadness.
I’m transformed. Am I ready to pretend to be me again? My heart absorbs life with each breath.
Goals for the future clatter in my head like chimes at the wind’s mercy. Random.
Spring’s flower petals ride the wind’s waves. Their delicate beauty blooms for only a moment.
I too am temporary. Cancer cells that replicate can destroy me.
Each day is a surprise. Like a surfer, I risk the crashing waves.
The triumph is in the trying.
“The Look Good Feel Better program was founded and developed in 1989 by the Personal Care Products Council (at the time called the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, or CTFA), a charitable organization supported by the cosmetic industry, in cooperation with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Professional Beauty Association (or PBA), a national organization that represents hairstylists, wig experts, estheticians, makeup artists, and other professionals in the cosmetic industry.
All cosmetology volunteers who are part of the program attend a 4-hour certification class.
Look Good Feel Better is free, non-medical, and salon and product neutral. Volunteers and program participants do not promote any cosmetic product line or manufacturer. All cosmetics used in the group program have been donated.” https://www.cancer.org/treatment/support-programs-and-services/look-good-feel-better.html
SNOR celebrates cancer survivors and those who inspired them to live again.
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