Guest Blogger: Jackie of MCA

For the last guest post of the week, we have something a little bit different — good different. Jackie is a member of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, and approached me with a beautiful article about the relationship between fashion and beauty when dealing with cancer. 


Some of you may know that my little brother passed away from cancer when I was twelve, so the subject of cancer is very near and dear to my heart. I’m sure most, if not all, of you have someone in your life who has dealt with cancer. Jackie’s article about women with cancer (specifically mesothelioma), and helping to deal with it by beautifying your life and spending a little bit of time for yourself is really touching. 

I really think that this will be inspirational to anyone who is dealing with any kind of disease, sickness, depression, or struggle. I hope you’ll take the time to read it and enjoy it as much as I did.

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Cancer can take every minute of your attention away from the rest of your life and turn your focus to fighting the disease. However, distractions can serve not only as good mental breaks, but also to help you put things into perspective as you take care of yourself during this challenging time. Do not underestimate the power of fashion as it relates to beauty and feelings of contentment.

Dealing with a new diagnosis can put coping mechanisms to the test. A diagnosis such as mesothelioma, for example, can be a lot to process as you learn about the treatment. Fashion can
help give you something to not only take your mind out of a constant state of worry, but also can help you to feel better as you find the right clothes to carry you through challenging days. Beautiful pajamas, for example, can make a day of recovering on the couch seem not so gloomy, combined with some relaxing tea and a good book. Brightly colored T-shirts in beach-vacation inspired colors can bring a smile to your face as you rummage through your closet for your next casual outfit.

The fashion industry itself can be a way to take your mind out of your surroundings of IV poles and recliners as you receive transfusions. You can bring in fashion magazines during your treatments to skim through to see the latest in styles. Chemo treatments can sometimes lead to “chemo brain,” making it hard for you to focus and stay on point with a topic, and these magazines offer breezy, light commentary as well as plenty of pictures to enjoy as you compare designers and the latest in celebrity fashion.

As you treat your illness, treat yourself to staying in shape while indulging in fashion. Malls can be good exercise when you need to get out of your house. Time spent window-shopping at your own pace with a friend can help get your blood flowing. On days when you need to stay in and rest, online merchants offer a world of items to look at and consider during an impromptu shopping session in bed.

A favorite pair of jeans or a beautiful, comfortable sweater may be just the outfit you need to get through a day. These items can help you feel more relaxed as you begin treatments and visits to
oncologists. The perfect sweater can look good and chase away any chills you may be experiencing. Think about comfortable ballerina flats in fun, summer colors, or go with a demure, pale pair that still can add some pop to your office visit attire.

Colors and fashion have a way of changing moods. While you may be wearing colorful shoes or a rainbow-infused scarf for yourself, your style may bring delight to others you share space with in a treatment center. Look for ways to cheer yourself up through looking your best, and your inner beauty may radiate to brighten other people’s outlook, too.

  • Good post! Cancer is near and dear to my heart as well, as my cousin died a little over a year ago after battling it for three years. All of a sudden, there were only 4 of us grandchildren, instead of 5. We miss him dearly.

    And this advice is good for all kinds of bad days – sick or not. If you look put together, you'll feel much more put together. Fake it till you make it, I guess..whatever works.