Hi everybody. My name is Amber Denae Wright. I am 28 years old and I am from Cape Town in South Africa. In August of 2020, just a week before my 28th birthday I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Stage 1, Type 2, Invasive Duct Carcinoma. This was the biggest shock of my life. Just the week before I had a lump removed from my right breast. These were the first signs of Breast Cancer. Thought that it was just a normal fibroadenoma. A week later when i went for my post-op appointment with the surgeon, my life was changed forever. In one moment, my whole world was turned upside down and the most harrowing news was brought to me. I needed breast cancer treatment. This is the worst news that you could receive at such a young age.
I Needed Breast Cancer Treatment and Straight Away
The debilitating news was delivered to me at a hospital here in Cape Town. At that very moment when I was told the news and what the plan was for the next few months of my life was told to me. The biggest thing that I could think about was that, I was going to have to lose my hair. This is obviously one of the side effects of having to go through chemotherapy is hair loss. And at that moment that was the thing that was in my mind. I was going to lose my hair. Before this and for my whole life I’ve had really long beautiful curly hair. Something that people have always complimented me on.
Losing my Identity through my Hair Loss
Something that I found my identity in, something that made me feel beautiful. And I realized that I was going to lose all of that and that was very scary for me.
And so, as the weeks went on the moment that I knew was coming started to weigh heavily on me. As I knew that at any day now this was going to happen. Exactly two weeks after I started my chemotherapy.
My hair started to fall out. I woke up on the Monday morning and there was some hair on my pillow. As the week went on more and more hair started falling out.
It was then all over my clothes, it was in my bed. It was on my floor when I showered, it was all over the shower actually.
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It was a very very scary thing to go through. Luckily I (Amber Denae Wright) had so much hair and such thick hair. That week, even though lots of it was falling out it wasn’t that noticeable.
For the last couple of days of that week, I kept it tied up in a pony just so that I didn’t have to see it all falling out.
It was a very emotional thing to experience especially because I knew what it meant. On the following Saturday, after my hair started falling off that week, I went to my shower and washed my hair. And as I pushed pulled my hands through my hair with the shampoo all of my hair just started pulling out here in the front.
With tears in my eyes, I called to my husband who came into the shower and he said to me. I’m so sorry my love but it’s coming out.
Cutting off all My Lovely Hair
He proceeded to climb into the shower with me and with a pair of scissors started to cut my hair.
It had all basically formed a big clump on the top of my head and all around the sides there was no hair.
So he stood with me and he started to cut the pieces, short enough so that we would be able to shave it.
That night for about an hour and a half after he finished cutting it we sat here in our apartment. With a very small handheld shaver, my husband shaved my head.
I subbed my eyes out I cried and cried and cried. Even though I knew it had been coming from the moment I was diagnosed.
I Did Not Recognise Myself
The reality was very very scary. For a long time that evening for the while that he was cutting it, I hadn’t looked in the mirror. I was terrified, I had found my identity in my looks and my hair and now that was all going to change.
And I was afraid of what I’d looked like. I was terrified to look in the mirror and not recognize that person. After he’d finished shaving it with shaking hands and my heart beating out of my chest. I walked to the mirror to have a look at myself for the first time. And when I looked in the mirror?
Shocked & Relieved All at the Same Time
I think that there was some relief, there was obviously some shock and but mainly relief because the thing that I’ve been fearing the most for the last month was finally over.
And I didn’t look too bad. I looked a bit disheveled and I looked definitely ill.
But I didn’t look as bad as I was hearing. So there was a great relief in knowing that this huge big fear that I had was finally over.
I could just move on, and the next day we went to my parent’s house and my dad had a proper high-powered head razor.
My dad then finished up and touched up the patches that were still quite messy on the top of my head.
My Loving Husband Was Shaving My Head
And I don’t think that’s it those are two moments that I don’t think any person should ever have to experience.
Having your husband shave your head in the shower and then having your dad shave your head as a girl was a very very traumatic.
A very emotional thing but thankfully because I knew it was coming I had planned and prepared.
That week before I started to lose my hair I’d gone to Fascinations Hair here in cape town and I tried on a whole bunch of wigs with my mum.
I found a beautiful wig that I felt confident in and that felt like it would make me feel normal when the inevitable happened.
My Selection of Jon Renau Wigs
So I bought myself a beautiful short blonde sort of ombre blonde, Elizabeth Wig from Jon Renau. I think having that gave me a lot of strength in losing my hair. Because I knew that if I hated the way I looked with no hair, I would at least have this beautiful wig to put on and make me feel normal.
I am really grateful for that and I’ve worn both my Elizabeth wig and my January Wig by Jon Renau which I later purchased over the last few months.
Review of the Elizabeth and Courtney Wigs by Jon Renau
Styling Tips for the Jon Renau January Wig
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Wigs do make you feel Normal Again
They helped me to feel normal and to feel like myself especially January because she’s short and dark and curly and very much like my hair was before I lost it. So those wigs really gave me confidence, they gave me peace in my heart that people wouldn’t look at me strange if I was wearing them.
Because no one could tell that I was wearing a wig and I’m not sure if I should take it as an insult or a huge compliment.
However, I received more compliments about my hair wearing both my wigs than I ever did with my natural hair. That’s a just testament to How Amazingly Natural Jon Renau Wigs Look and how beautiful they really look.
It How you Feel Inside That Counts
So I’ve been so grateful to have the opportunity to wear these two wigs to help me feel like a woman again.
In the moments where I am looking at myself with a bald head just didn’t feel like me.
Thankfully over time and over you know a couple of days and weeks and months of having no hair, I learned to love the way I looked.
Without hair, I learned to appreciate things that were inside and realize that it’s what’s inside that counts. It’s not about outward beauty. It’s not about what you look like on the outside.
But that when you’ve got no hair and you’ve got no eyebrows and you’ve got no eyelashes and you don’t have those physical attributes to fall back on.
You are forced to work on the person that’s inside and the person that you really are.
How I Want to Be Remembered After My Breast Cancer Treatment
I think that’s what people will remember you for. No one’s going to remember what you look like. But people are going to remember the kind of person that you were.
I hope that I will always be remembered as a kind person and with this whole journey that I’ve been on that has been so traumatic and so devastating there’s been so much good that’s come from it.
I did get to work on myself during my breast cancer treatment in a way that I would never otherwise have had to, and so I’ve chosen to see the positive in all of this.
YES, it has been the very very worst eight months of my life during my cancer treatment. And it’s been the very hardest eight months of my life, but I’ve come out stronger and I will fight and I will beat breast cancer.
It won’t define me and it won’t be the end of my story I’ve got a lot more life and love and joy to live and to experience and I can’t wait for what’s going to be next in my life I know it’s going to be great and I know that I’m going to be a much better off person for having walked this really difficult road.
Amber Shares Her Hair Loss Story and cancer Journey Below
Thank You For Your Time
Thank you so much for watching this video. I hope that you enjoyed hearing a bit about my story and a bit about who I am. So from me, Amber Denae Wright. I wish you all a wonderful day further and sending lots and lots of love.
Looking forward to connecting with you all after my Breast Cancer Treatment.
Please take any signs of breast cancer seriously.
Don’t delay in seeing your Doctor and think your lump will just go away.
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