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Taking steps in the right direction

16:21 22 November 2012

Fiona Welsh was diagnosed with cancer after finding a lump on her breast.

Fiona Welsh was diagnosed with cancer after finding a lump on her breast.

Archant

Fiona Welsh on her battle against cancer

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SO far I have achieved the things I set out to achieve this week – wear my wig in public, and return to work.

On Monday my new hair made its first appearance out on my head and we went off to work together.

I swear it took longer to position it correctly than my own hair took to wash, dry and style.

I nearly gave up and went to put my faithful hat back on, but I felt I needed my hair on to look “normal” – but I felt far from normal.

It wasn’t long until my lovely work colleagues wanted to try the wig on, something I didn’t mind at all, but I guess its one of my ways of coping with it all.

Sharing and being open about everything going on is just my way of dealing with things.

I do have a “guilty pleasure” wig too. Well, when else can a girl decide to have short hair in the morning and change to lovely long hair for the afternoon?

Both wigs came shaped and styled, but anyone else could obtain that same wig and have that exact same style, but this annoyed me, my own hair was individual to me, why can’t my wigs be too?

I heard about Steve, who works at The Retreat in Fore Street in Ipswich, and he was willing to help me.

In fact he styles lots of ladies who wear wigs for various reasons.

He managed to cut and create a style while injecting a bit of my own personality into my wigs, making them feel like they were finally mine and “my” hair again, and he also gave me advice for when my own hair decides to return too.

I came away with that same feeling you get when you have been to the hairdressers, and for giving me that nice feeling again when I have no hair I will be eternally grateful to Steve for.

n Last week I was very much aware that my article was underneath the very sad news of lovely little Jaymie-Leigh Ring, who like me faced her cancer with a smile.

Sadly her cancer was far greater and much harder to fight.

I would like to share something with Jaymie-Leigh’s family and friends.

I was given a poem on a bookmark by Douglas Pagels when I was diagnosed from Pat, who was my Sunday school teacher and it reads: “May you always have an Angel by your side, watching out for you in all things you do, reminding you to keep believing in brighter days.”

I read these words every day and hope you too can find some comfort in them.

I have one more week of “normality” before chemo treatment number three strikes. I am counting the days already with slight dread, but, I am still embracing this, still very humbled by it all, and of course I am still smiling.

I don’t know what my tomorrows may bring, none of us really ever fully do, but I do believe in brighter days and always will.

n If you would like to send a message to Fiona, e-mail starnews@archant.co.uk or write to Star Newsdesk, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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