Sue Stannard, age 63, from Grantham, England

Sue was diagnosed in January 2011 with a common but aggressive type of breast cancer called invasive ductal carcinoma. Two weeks after her first chemotherapy treatment, her immune system collapsed and she spent a week in hospital on intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Over the next couple of years Sue had several surgeries, first to treat her breast cancer and then for reconstruction. She is now on a course of drug treatments to reduce the risk of recurrence, which will continue for at least ten years. These include drugs to protect and strengthen her bones due to the risk of osteoporosis. The main drug blocks oestrogen and so has an impact on skin aging and appearance.

Sue said: “I always ‘glammed up’ as much as I could for chemotherapy sessions and other hospital appointments – it was important for my confidence and because I didn’t want to be seen as just another cancer patient. Toughest of all to cope with was the return of my hair after chemo. I had had very little grey hair pre-treatment but my hair re-grew completely grey – which I’ve since learned happens to many women in this situation. It is also normal for re-growth to be a bit coarse and curly, and over the months as my hair got a bit longer it began to resemble something between a thistle and a loo-brush! I’m now a few years on from the initial re-growth stages, and learning how to manage and look after my ‘new’ hair over this time has been very important to me. I really hope this tutorial helps others in the same situation.”

Behind the scenes of Sue's #NotDefined photoshoot

Adam's Tips

Avoid heat styling and colouring your hair in the first six months after treatment
Stimulate growth by brushing your hair with a soft-bristle brush
A diet rich in calcium, vitamin D and Omega 3 is great for strong healthy hair

more #NotDefined stories


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