‘Laughter has given me the strength to carry on’
As Sally Whitson Dawe battled cancer, one of her biggest fears was losing her hair. One friend understood that and helped her through it
Iwas seven when my mother died of breast cancer. Somehow I managed to deal with it, although, as I grew older, I was always worried that it would happen to me, too. Then, when I was in my 40s, I found a lump. My daughter, Freya, was eight at the time. As I went through surgery, followed by chemo and radiotherapy, I understood the horror my mum must have felt at the thought of leaving me.
They say you have different friends for different needs, and that is never truer than when you have an illness. Along with my husband, Dave, so many friends helped me through. My friend Ann-marie knew how important it was to me that I kept my hair. She volunteered to come with me when I had Cold Cap Therapy, which improves your chances of not losing it.
I hated wearing the cap – to me it was worse than the chemo drugs. Ann-marie made sure the cap was in place, and when I wanted to rip it off, she would talk me round, find a way to distract me, or make me laugh like only she could. That laughter gave me the strength to carry on. The day after style those my sessions,hair for she me. would come round to my house and gently wash and
After my treatment finished last November, I wanted to mark the closing of that chapter, and I suggested doing the Moonwalk. It seemed even more important when I learnt just how much the Walk the Walk charity has done to get Cold Cap Therapy into hospitals. Ann-marie was the first to say she would be part of my team. With my long, blonde hair beneath my baseball cap, and my friends by my side, I will feel so proud to be taking part.