‘Kiss this cancer, I’ve got my pout out’

“When I started my Instagram ‘The big C and me’ I had no idea how much it would help me tackle the isolation that comes with a cancer diagnosis.

“I was just 32 when I found out that I had breast cancer. It was two weeks after my daughter’s second birthday. Most people are shocked when they find out about a diagnosis – obviously, nobody thinks it will happen to them. But I’d already had to cope with a thyroid cancer diagnosis when I was 24, and couldn’t believe I was going to have to go through it all again.

“They told me I’d have to go through seven rounds of chemotherapy, a lumpectomy and then twenty rounds of radiotherapy. Knowing that all that was ahead of me, I had to find a way to brighten up my treatments. So, every time I went into hospital, I bought myself a new lipstick. It sounds small – but I love make-up, and it made me feel so much better.

“It was my war paint. It hid how horrible the treatments made me feel, and I started sharing how much it helped me on my Instagram. Soon, I started to hear from other women going through the same thing. The lipstick updates opened me up to a whole community – a massive online support network of other people going through cancer treatments.

“I had felt so isolated when I was first diagnosed. But now, with the help of social media, I can put on one of my many shades of lipstick and say, kiss this cancer."

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