My First Fight With Breast Cancer
In 1995 I learned I had Stage II Breast Cancer. I had positive lymph nodes. That meant I had to take the Adriamycin, the powerful chemotherapy drug known as the Red Devil. Like many powerful chemo drugs, Adriamycin makes the hair fall out. The doctors told me I had between ten days and two weeks after starting chemotherapy before my hair would come out. I started scouring the wig stores because I still had to work full time and look normal while undergoing treatment. I have a large head and lots of hair so, it was a struggle to find a place that could help me. I went in one store and the owner yelled at me "If you not buy, you not touch". I found myself in the parking lot crying with my hair coming out in my hands.
A New Beginning with Accenté
I started thinking, "If I feel like this, then how many other women feel like this.” I was working in the dental field at the time and quit to work in a wig store. I liked it so much that I decided to go to Beauty School and get my Cosmetology license so I could cut, thin, and customize wigs on the person to make it look and feel natural.
After graduating from Beauty School I worked at another store fitting wigs; however, I had always dreamed of opening my own store. I decided to set up shop on the south side of OKC. Everything was on the north side at the time and I knew there would be a need for this service where I wanted to open up my shop. Soon after, a few friends directed me to my current location in Chatenay Square. I just love it! In addition to the wigs, we fit breast prosthesis and can file Medicare or other insurance for our patients.
Surviving and Thriving After A Second Fight
After opening the store, ten years and three months from my first breast cancer diagnosis, I was told I had cancer again in the same breast. The first time I did chemo and radiation with a lumpectomy. After making it ten years I was told there was only a 3% chance it would return, and here it was again. To tell you the truth I felt very betrayed by the "C" word. I didn't fit any of the criteria for having cancer in the first place. You know; no family history, no smoking, I breastfed my children, ate right, I wasn’t too overweight. There is no figuring this stuff out; I have come to find over the years that you just fight with all of your might.
You just fight. I envision the boxing gloves to be hot pink with rhinestones around the cuffs and lipstick to match. What other choice do we have? People say: "you're so strong!" Yes, we are. I have made up my mind; I know I'm going to go someday (we all do sooner or later) but I know the big "C" won't take me, something else will.
I didn’t feel the lump before my second diagnosis, I just felt so tired. As if someone had pulled the plug and all my energy was running out. I made an appointment with my breast imaging center. They did a mammogram and as I sat in the little room, in my drape, waiting on the results I knew in my heart that it was back.
Sure enough, the technician came in and told me that she may have taken the picture with a fold in my breast tissue and needed to take another picture. I said to her that it was okay to tell me that I had cancer again because I already felt as though it was back again. She looked at me very strange and said, "Well, let's just see". Sure enough the mammogram showed the dark spot near the chest wall.
The next thing I knew, I was in another room getting an ultrasound and they were going to place a metal marker in the spot and do a biopsy, all in the same hour. Driving home that day I did not know for sure yet because the biopsy had to be sent to the lab, but I was told it looked like it was probably cancer.
I got the results the next day, It was Cancer! The options were to take off one breast, both breasts, rebuild or not to rebuild the breasts. After speaking with my doctor, I chose to have both breasts removed, and since reconstruction was an option I decided to have that done.
Since I was radiated in 1995, I had to go with a Tram-flap on the left breast and an implant on the right side. It came out beautifully and I'm truly happy. I wear the same bra size as I did before and I feel God and great physicians have worked miracles. In every way, I can truly sympathize with each and every woman who walks through my doors. There are always so many questions and that's why I am here for you.
Providing Understanding and Care For Each and Every Customer
We will sit back and take things slowly. I'll teach you everything you need to know about the care of wigs and how to wear them. I know that there are many reasons why women may need wigs and as a professional cosmetologist I will work with you to give you personalized help in meeting your unique appearance needs. We also help those with Alopecia, Trichotillomania, Lupus and burns. We will provide professional and confidential assistance in meeting your appearance needs.
Please feel free to come in and browse our large selection of turbans, wigs, hats and gifts.