• “There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today?” So she did and she had a wonderful day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. “Hmm,” she said, “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today?” So she did and she had a grand day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. ‘Well,’ she said, “today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.” So she did and she had a fun, fun day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “YEA!” she exclaimed, “I don’t have to fix my hair today!’ Attitude is everything. Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

My roommate from university Steve forwarded the above right when our neighbour and dearest friend Lucille was going through the ‘head ache’ of chemo and the ‘insult to injury’ side effect of hair loss. Tonight she celebrates the successful end of her yearlong treatment with the 15th annual Moon Walk London.

It was enlightening to follow her experience. At first, there was the inevitable shifting of hairstyles and strategic use of head gear, but eventually she yielded and just shaved her head of the dishevelled remaining hirsute bits. While self-conscious at the outset, her whole attitude shifted at that point. She wasn’t fighting with her hairstyle, but simply embracing it. She more frequently came over with no head covering and her bright smile and boisterous personality providing all of the adornment that her head needed.

She helps others who are working through treatment now and one of the first things she does it share her own difficult, but victorious story…

  • “I am coming to the end of all my treatments after 18 months since I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. For the past 10 years I have been subject to cysts and going to see my consultant to have them drained. I have for the last 10 years, since finding my first lump, been doing self examination each month about a week after my period. On the 24th November 2010 I went to my consultant with yet another lump but a sore nipple as well. So I had a mammogram and then a scan. I was not worried as I thought this was yet another cyst. During the scan they took a biopsy which was different from the usual drain. I went back to the consultant who went through my scan. This is when he said he was sorry but it looked like I had Breast Cancer…I ended up having Grade 3 IDC (invasive ductal carcinoma type breast cancer)…
  • I then started my chemo on the 18th January with the cold cap but unfortunately that did not work and ended up losing my hair. That was the next worst thing to deal with mentally. At first my hair became very thin and then a month later I got my husband to shave the last few wisps. I learnt to live without my hair but I did wrapping of scarves, wearing a lovely wig, or just being bold…
  • In July after my last radiotherapy my hair started to grow back and each day I have been growing stronger in myself. I will not lie…there are days my mind does silly things like ‘will it return’ ‘how long do I really have’ etc. even though I have been told my prognosis is good. So I am looking at life slightly differently and doing things when I want to do them and not putting it off…To celebrate the end of my treatment I am doing the Moonwalk (13 miles) on 12th May. I am doing this with 5 of my girlfriends as I wanted to put something back into research. I have been lucky with my husband, children, my best friend, friends and my work colleagues who are there for me all the way.  Lucille Richards”

If you want to support Lucille, you can make a donation at St. Peters Mammies page. Go Lucille!


Lori and Lucille