Niccola, cancer-free and dancing at her wedding in 2014. (Source: Supplied.)
“My sense of self was just shattered, to the point where I couldn’t even recognise myself in the mirror,” remembers Niccola. “I was so thin, and I was so pale, and obviously I’d even lost my breasts. I looked so bad, and it took me a minute to recognise that that skeletal girl was me.”
This moment that Niccola describes so vividly – the moment of not recognising herself in the mirror, after undergoing multiple surgeries and chemotherapy – is at the very heart of Look Good Feel Better. Niccola attended a Look Good Feel Better workshop soon after her diagnosis, where attendees are taught to use beauty products to make themselves feel less like cancer patients, and more like the person they used to see in the mirror, all with the help of volunteering beauty industry professionals.
“You’re so busy just being functional, you don’t think about being beautiful.”
“I was just relieved to not be around doctors and nurses for an afternoon,” confides Niccola, as she recalls the Look Good Feel Better workshop she attended a reassuring number of years ago.
“The day you get your cancer diagnosis is the day you hand over all your responsibility to someone else. From then on, your oncologist, your surgeon, your nurses – they’re looking after you, and they’re effectively going to save your life.
“The thing about Look Good Feel Better is that it proves that there’s little things you can do, for you, that are in your control.”