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The Look Good Feel Better Program Regina SK

It's hard to imagine how anything could make you feel better after hearing the words "you have cancer." However, Canada's "Look Good, Feel Better" program is helping women, who have cancer, do just that.

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The Look Good Feel Better Program

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(NC)-It's hard to imagine how anything could make you feel better after hearing the words "you have cancer." Yet, if you asked any of the more than 70,000 women who have attended a Look Good Feel Better workshop to describe their experience, you might be surprised at what a difference two hours has made in their cancer journey.

Offered free of charge in more than 100 cancer-care facilities and hospitals across Canada, the Look Good Feel Better workshop helps women take back some of the control lost to cancer by helping them take charge of how they look. The workshops are led by volunteer industry-trained cosmetic advisers and hair-alternatives specialists who take women, usually in groups of 10, through a step-by-step process of managing the appearance-related effects of cancer and its treatment. Women find out that they can still look and feel good in spite of the changes and challenges of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

When Rosetta Weston was diagnosed with breast cancer last year at the age of 54, her biggest fear was losing her eyebrows. "I had this vision of me drawing a line for my eyebrows and looking like a clown," says Rosetta, who shared her concerns with a nurse at the hospital. The nurse suggested she attend a Look Good Feel Better workshop, but Rosetta immediately dismissed the idea, saying that she didn't really wear makeup. The nurse said, "Trust me, just go."

"When I walked into the workshop, I was thinking to myself, 'Why am I here?'" says Rosetta. "But as other women started to show up and the room became filled with conversation, my fears washed away. Everyone comes from different backgrounds, but you quickly realize that you all share wanting to get through it. There was so much positive energy in the room. The experience opened up my mind to listening and feeling, and it inspired me to participate and get involved in a lot of excellent support groups. That's the feel-better side."

Look Good Feel Better motivated Donna McGrath, 38, to talk more openly about her cancer experience. "I didn't like talking to my family about my disease. I needed another outlet. Talking with women who had already gone through a stage I hadn't made me stronger," says Donna.

Judy McKinnon, diagnosed at age 49, says that the positive energy she took away for the workshop stayed with her throughout her treatment. "The workshop is a safe haven where you can be honest with each other about how you're feeling," says Judy. "It demystifies some of the fear. There are so many unknowns when you have cancer, but you realize that no matter what cancer you have, you all share similar fears. You realize you're not alone and that you're going to be OK."

For more information, including workshop locations, visit lookgoodfeelbetter.ca or call 1-800-914-5665.

- News Canada