WigStyles | Hair Options for the Summer

I hope you all had an amazing Memorial Day weekend. Can you believe that it’s almost June?! Annnddd… that means I’m officially one month post chemo – such an amazing feeling!

Since we are getting a taste of summer, I thought I would share some wigstyles with you all! (Not even sure that’s a word, but that’s what I’m calling it!) For my pink sisters who are wearing wigs, you know that they are HOT. I’ve been struggling with finding a way to stay cool while also looking fashionable. Below are some options that I hope will help you.

  • Hat with Hair
    I have been looking EVERYWHERE for one of these amazing wigs. I went to a hair salon and ordered one, then they told me they were backordered. This was after I looked online for one and didn’t have any luck. I decided to do one more search and found the exact wig I was looking for (and cheap!) from VogueWigs.com. It’s called Hat Magic and you simply put this over your head and you can wear any hat of your choice. It’s cool and chic! If you want the hair off your back, you can put it in a ponytail (YES, a ponytail!) or a bun. It felt amazing to use a hair elastic! (Please don’t mind the no makeup – I’m just relaxing and cleaning today!)

 

  • Wig Bun
    Who says you cannot put a wig in a bun?! I was told you cannot put your hair up when you are wearing a wig, but I gave it a try! I used a simple clip and just clipped back some pieces of the hair. Since my wig is layered, a few of the pieces fell out, but I thought it looked chic and fabulous! This is just another trick when you are feeling so hot but want to put your hair back.Wiginbun
  • Headscarves
    When it’s way too hot out to wear a wig, there are so many different styles you can do with headscarves. I love this side bun or rosette. There are so many options! Check out this video from Dana Farber on scarf tying tips.
    Headscarf

Are there any styles that you recommend? Comment below!

Stay strong!

xo,

Monique

MeLastChemo

Look Good Feel Better | Makeup Tips

I attended a Look Good Feel Better class hosted by the American Cancer Society on Monday and it was great! For anyone who doesn’t know, this class talks about makeup, wigs, headscarves and more for women who are currently going through chemotherapy or radiation. The class is free and you get a ton of makeup for FREE. Yes, that’s right. FREE! Who doesn’t love free?! You should sign up today!

The ladies from the American Cancer Society showed me how to apply makeup. A lot of these tips I already knew, but it was nice to get some more help. They also showed us fun ways to tie scarves or how to wash your wig.

Look Good Feel Better.JPG

Also, I learned some makeup tips that I thought it would help anyone who is reading this:

  • When you moisturize your face, use gentle upward strokes. This helps control dryness and create a smooth surface for your makeup.
  • When applying blush, always smile and put it on the apples of your cheeks. Place the blush in an upward stroke and be careful not to put it near your eyes. This can cause you to look puffy.
  • Use an eyebrow powder instead of a pencil for eyebrows. This will make your brows look  more natural. If you lost your brows, look at an old picture of yourself when drawing in your brows.

Do you have any other makeup tips to share? Comment below!

xo,

Monique

Chemo is Over! | Are your personal products safe?

Well, chemo is officially O-V-E-R! Yay! I promised pictures from our party so here they are!

Now that chemo is over, I have about a month off before I begin 33 rounds of radiation. I will need to do a mapping session and get my tattoos. (Yes, they are real, permanent tattoos that maybe I will design into a heart. Hmmm… ;))

I also wanted to share an app that I heard about at the Stupid Cancer (PLEASE check out this organization if you haven’t. They support the young adult cancer survivor community and are AMAZING!) conference that I attended. I think it is so important to share this with others because I am really wondering if personal products caused my cancer. The app is called “Think Dirty” and you can download it from the App store if you have an iPhone. (I’m sure it’s available for Droid as well.) You simply scan your product and it will rate it from a 1-10 and show how carcinogenic the product is. This completely amazed me. ALL of my products rated a 9 or a 10 and I couldn’t believe it. Who knew that Aveeno body wash that is supposedly “natural and good for your skin” rated a 9 and mimics hormones in the body? (And my tumor was hormone positive – a bit scary.) Below is a picture of what the app looks like:

thinkdirty_app_mock_1000x627

I’m now switching to all natural and organic products such as body washes and lotions. If you have any recommendations, please leave them in the comments. I’m always searching for a favorite that doesn’t break the bank! I recommend everyone download this app and think twice about what we are putting on our skin!

I recently purchased the following natural products and they rated a 1. I’m in search for an all-natural face moisturizer, body lotion and shampoo/conditioner. I’ll be sure to let you know how they are:

Stay strong and beautiful! (Also prayers for my hair to grow are welcome! ;))

xo,

Monique

Last chemo party! Yay!

Monday, May 2nd is my last chemo! I could not be happier to close this chapter on this crazy journey. Chemo has been manageable, but I cannot wait to let my body recover, rest, and get back to my old energy level. My 5th round of chemo was definitely challenging since the fatigue lingered for about a week. Lets be real, I cannot wait for my taste to stay and for my hair to grow! I plan on sharing my hair growth journey with you all as well!

I also cannot wait to say “I am a Survivor.” I never thought those words could be so powerful until now. Cancer can completely wipe away my beauty. It can take my hair, my taste and my energy, but it cannot take away my determination and willpower to fight this and make sure it NEVER comes back. Although no one can predict the future, I’m happy to know that I am doing everything I can to destroy any cancer cell that is left in my body. I also cannot wait to enjoy life. I know something happy will come when I am done all of this. I don’t know what it is, but I can feel it.

So lets talk about the party that is happening on May 2nd. Of course, we are partying on the infusion floor! We are celebrating by:

  •  Wearing “Stronger Than Cancer, #WeFightWithMonique t-shirts. (Thanks to my sisters and parents for ordering these! They are pretty awesome! Pics to come!)
  • Making pink cupcakes for my care team
  • Designing a “YAY! No more chemo! sign
  • Wearing ONE Alex and Ani bracelet – I wore 6 Alex and Ani bracelets that have a special meaning to me. After each round of chemo, I removed a bracelet. So I cannot wait to remove this one!

keep-calm-celebrate-last-chemo

Also, on May 14th, my family and I will be participating in the Relay for Life. If you are interested in joining us, click here.

I cannot wait to share my last chemo pics with you all!

Stay strong and beautiful.

xo,

Monique

Beauty Musts While Going Through Chemo

I’ve been getting a lot of questions through social media that have to do with beauty products. Ladies are wondering where I buy certain things so I thought this would make a good blog post. (Please note that I am not getting paid to mention any of these products/companies. I think the products and companies are absolutely amazing and they need some love!)

Make Up/Hair

  • Wig: So many people are saying to me, “Wow, Monique! You are going through chemo and you haven’t lost your hair. That’s amazing!” Joke is on them, right?! I’ve lost some of my hair, but not all of it. (I’ve been praying to the hair gods that I don’t lose my brows and lashes. They’ve made it this far. Pleaseeee stay in for two more rounds!) I’m so fortunate to have Sally (my wig’s name!) and I’m so happy that she looks just like my real hair. I got her at the Salon on 10 on Newbury Street in Boston. (I also talk about my wig in my hair post if you want to learn more.)
  • Brow Filler: I haven’t lost all of my brows, but they have thinned a bit. I use Anastasia Dip Brow in light brown to fill them in. This stuff is amazing and looks so natural!
  • Foundation: Chemo can make you look pale and lets be real, I already have fair skin! I use the L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion to give me some color. I bought mine from CVS and it gives you the right amount of coverage.
  • Bronzer: To give me some color, I use a little bronzer on my cheeks and forehead to give me a sun-kissed glow. I don’t add a lot, but just enough so I don’t look so pale. I use the Bare Minerals warmth all over face color.
  • Pretty Package: Do you just want to feel pretty or do you know someone who could use some encouragement while they are going through treatment? Request a “Pretty Package” from Fighting Pretty. The package contains words of encouragement, makeup, OPI nail polish, scarf, adorable itty bitty boxing gloves, and socks. Such an amazing idea!

Fighting Pretty Pretty Package

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty Products

  • All-Natural Deodorant: I have been looking for an all natural deodorant FOREVER. I came across Violets are Blue from another lady’s blog and I’m in LOVE with their deodorant. It has no aluminum or harsh chemicals and it smells delicious! They also have a beauty line for women going through cancer treatment. How amazing is that?!
  • The Lux PuffAre you looking for a loofah that doesn’t hold bacteria? Then you need to try this loofah. It’s absolutely amazing! It gently exfoliates the skin.

Violets Are Blue

Head Coverings/Scarves

  • Chemo Beanies: Chemo Beanies has amazing head coverings that are already tied. You just slip them over your head and you don’t have to worry about them falling off. They are super comfortable and come in fun designs and patterns.
  • Hope ScarvesThey are an amazing company that I came across on social media. You can request a scarf of your color choice. They will send you a scarf as well as a note of encouragement. The scarf that they send you is from a previous fighter with their note of strength and courage. When you are done with the scarf, you write your own note and it will go on to the next fighter. I love the concept of this! I have a beautiful purple scarf and I will be donating it when I am done. Such an amazing company doing amazing things!

Hope Scarves

If you have any products to share or recommend, comment below!

xo,

Monique

Video | 5 Foods To Eat During Chemo

Two blog posts in one week? I know what you are thinking… Amazing, right?! Not only is this my second blog post this week, but wait for it… it’s a vlog post! My very first video! Since my career is in social and digital media, I’ve always been behind the camera. Now, I’m in front of the camera, unscripted and unedited. I hope you enjoy it! If you like these vlogs and want to see more of them, comment below!

In this video, I talk about the five foods that I’ve found help me during chemo when my taste is off and everything tastes disgusting.

  1. Grilled chicken tossed salad: I’m not sure if it’s because chicken is pretty bland, but this tastes great. It’s a good way to get your veggies and protein. Some Italian or balsamic dressing also tastes good.
  2. Soups – chicken noodle soup: My boyfriend makes a delicious chicken noodle soup that has chicken, potatoes, carrots, celery and pasta. It’s perfect for when you want something nice and hot.
  3. Jell-O: I feel like the last time I had Jello-O was when I was a kid. I’m not sure if it’s the texture, but something about strawberry Jell-O tastes delicious!
  4. Smoothies: Smoothies are a great way to get your fruits. My favorite is a strawberry coconut smoothie. I make it with coconut Greek yogurt, frozen strawberries, chia seeds, ice and water. YUM!
  5. Ice cream: Who doesn’t love ice cream? When my taste stinks, I can always rely on delicious vanilla or chocolate ice cream. You can never have enough ice cream, right?

What foods have helped you? Comment below!

Stay strong!

xo,

Monique

When everyone else’s life seems to go on

It’s been awhile since I wrote a blog post and I wanted to say I am so sorry! The 4th round of chemo came like a huge hurricane and wiped away all of my energy. I didn’t get off the couch for a few days and it was horrible! I didn’t want to do anything but lay down all day. For people who know me, you know that is NOT me. I’m always doing something or going somewhere.

I’ve been thinking a lot and of course wondering how this has happened to me because I am so healthy. Then again, I keep telling myself that cancer doesn’t discriminate. However, it’s also hard when everyone else’s life seems to go on. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but it’s so difficult to be struggling for your life with constant doctors appointments, getting injected with poison and feeling so sick that you can’t move. It’s hard to see others happy and smiling like nothing is wrong. Everyone has a battle they are dealing with but because of social media these days, we are constantly reminded of the happiness in other people’s lives. If they are really happy, we will never know but the constant reminders make me feel a bit down.

Feeling left out is also another feeling I am struggling with. When I feel so sick that I can’t move, I feel like I’m missing out on spending time with my friends and family. My mom’s birthday was this past weekend and I wasn’t able to go out to dinner with everyone. I felt so awful that I couldn’t be a part of the fun. I hate the feeling of others having fun without me.

I just want my life to be NORMAL. Is this bad to think? I want to eat food that doesn’t taste like metal or plastic. I want long flowing hair that I can throw up in a bun. I want to go on a vacation and just relax with a pina colada. (This WILL happen when I am done, I promise you. 😉 ) I want to wake up early for work, go to work, come home, make dinner and hang out with my boyfriend and dog feeling happy. I want to live my life knowing that this cancer will NEVER come back, but of course, we don’t know what the future has in store for us. I don’t want to constantly worry. I just want to be happy with my life. It’s that simple.

As for now, I have to keep checking treatments off my calendar and thinking about how AMAZING I am going to feel when I am done. Everything is temporary and treatment will soon be over!

Be kind to yourself.

xo,

Monique