How Kathy got her smile back | Health Beat

How Kathy got her smile back | Health Beat

At first, Kathy Walker seemed a little bit hesitant when she walked into the salon on the 3rd flooring of Spectrum Health and fitness Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion.

She wore a baseball cap in excess of her extensive blond hair, which experienced started off falling out in clumps simply because of chemotherapy.

“You could see the sweetness in her eyes,” stated Rebekah Pokorzynski, a stylist at Gorgeous You, a nonprofit that caters to gals and girls going through most cancers therapy.

As Walker eased herself into a chair, Pokorzynski started to operate her magic.

She freshened up the ends of Walker’s hair, which even now reached below the shoulders. Then Pokorzynski pulled out some colour swatches and wig samples.

“She just blossomed,” Pokorzynski explained.

They discovered a ideal match.

“It was a God factor,” Pokorzynski said. “We slid that about her remaining golden locks and … she was back again. That was her.”

Walker, of Muskegon, Michigan, assumed she’d by no means dress in a wig. But that modified as quickly as she looked in the mirror.

“When they say, ‘Beautiful You,’ that’s what it can make you really feel like,” Walker reported. “It makes you feel like a girl again.”

Given that 2014, Attractive You has been pampering women of all ages and ladies undergoing cancer treatment method. Founder Pam Westers, who owns Profile Salon in Comstock Park, Michigan, began by offering Wonderful You Mondays at her store on Alpine Avenue, the place girls and girls could get their hair shaved ahead of staying equipped for a wig.

They also get to appreciate haircuts, pedicures, manicures and massages, with stylists and therapeutic massage therapists volunteering their time.

Clientele could usually glimpse forward to a light touch and camaraderie.

Even if they arrived nervous, “they go away laughing and crying with joy,” Westers claimed.

Wonderful You grew so well-liked, Westers rented a second house up coming to Profile Salon. In addition to the particular remedy on Mondays, females can make particular person appointments. These undergoing lively cancer therapy qualify for complimentary salon and spa companies, together with wigs and head coverings.

‘She has a fighting spirit’

Beautiful You opened at Lemmen-Holton Most cancers Pavilion in January 2020.

Walker, 67, acquired about the Gorgeous You after her boyfriend, John Van Wyck, had talked to a golfing buddy whose wife went there during cancer procedure.

Together 14 yrs, Walker and Van Wyck have liked an lively retirement. In the summers they journey their Harley Davidson bike, and in the winters they stop by their place in Florida.

Walker brightens when she describes how she spends most of her times: shelling out time with her twin 3-year-aged grandchildren, Kloe and Bobby, who retain her moving.

When she started dropping bodyweight past December, Walker didn’t think a great deal of it.

“I’m the sort of human being who is in no way unwell,” she mentioned.

By April, nevertheless, she had dropped 35 kilos, placing her all round pounds at just 96 lbs ..

“I imagined, ‘This is a challenge,’” she claimed. “I wasn’t able to eat something at all. I’d consider two bites and be excellent for two times.”

She also skilled extreme back pain.

Immediately after returning to Muskegon from Florida in April, she soon linked with Sreenivasa Chandana, MD, PhD, a clinical oncologist specializing in pancreatic most cancers procedure at Most cancers and Hematology Facilities of Westen Michigan.

Walker experienced a tumor on her pancreas. She underwent cure for most cancers and been given medicine to manage the agony, and Dr. Chandana formulated a chemotherapy regimen aimed at keeping “a limited lid” on the cancer.

She commenced treatment method at Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion in June. She receives chemotherapy 3 Fridays in a row, with the fourth Friday off.

“Everyone there is just excellent,” Walker reported.

Dr. Chandana usually stops down to test on her. A current scan confirmed the tumor is shrinking and the cancer has not distribute.

“Part of it is the science and what we are performing,” Dr. Chandana claimed. “And most of it, her beneficial perspective. She has a combating spirit.”

They established a aim for Walker to achieve 4 kilos and tip the scale at 100 lbs . by year’s conclude.

Walker also finds a lot drive in investing time with her grandkids.

“I really will need to see if I can make myself far better,” she stated.

Amid it all, her favourable mind-set shines by means of.

“She is a trouper,” Dr. Chandana reported. “She is particularly optimistic.”

‘A tiny little bit of sunshine’

So far, Walker hasn’t dropped any extra pounds and her hunger is back again.

“I come to feel the greatest now that I’ve felt in months,” she said.

“That’s what occurs when you take control of the most cancers,” Dr. Chandana said.

Amid her wellbeing journey, Walker continues to invest cherished time with her grandchildren. She proudly displays off photographs of them. Kloe wishes to be a doctor, so Walker and Van Wyck bought her a actual stethoscope.

A person working day, Kloe mentioned, “Nana, your hair is slipping out.” Walker stated that it is simply because of the medicine she requires to get better.

“Don’t get worried,” Kloe replied. “We’ll buy you some hair.”

In a the latest go to to Attractive You, Walker and Pokorzynski speedily fell into effortless dialogue.

Walker provided updates about her grandkids as Pokorzynski braided her wig, freshened her eyeliner and showed her some head coverings for winter season.

Gorgeous You also delivers Vera Bradley chemotherapy baggage with objects this sort of as hand lotion, alongside with paraffin wax therapies and scalp massages. It delivers that very little one thing excess.

“They come and get to see me and that’s a tiny little bit of sunshine in that portion of the day,” Pokorzynski mentioned.

“They’re in the battle of their life,” she said. “When they request how significantly a hat or wig is and I notify them it is cost-free, they constantly get a tear in their eye. For them, it is a reduction. A present. Anything they don’t have to fret about.”

The two Walker and Van Wyck recall the 1st go to to Attractive You as a turning point.

“When she set that wig on, (Van Wyck) said, ‘I haven’t found a smile like that in a prolonged time,’” Walker claimed.

Throughout her chemotherapy therapies, she always will make a position to tell other ladies about Gorgeous You.

“It would make you truly feel so considerably greater,” Walker reported. “I assume: Be upbeat. You have to be.”