In June 2004, I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, a fast-metastasizing and uncommon form of cancer. Yes, it was a shock, but I was determined to beat the rather dismal statistics. With the support of family & a strong network of friends, I emerged from 9 months of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation a cancer-free woman. I didn’t consider myself lucky, nor did I bemoan my situation when I was diagnosed. Who I am after the treatment is the same as who I was before, but I’m a lot more appreciative of life and possess a deeper capacity to love and give back to others.
The most apparent aspect of chemo is hair-loss. I thought this was going to be the easiest part of the treatment I would experience. After all, it’s only hair. And it grows back.
Your hair falls out in clumps and your scalp hurts feeling like pinpricks where the hair follicles used to be. It’s not possible to perform a simple an act like running your fingers through your hair without strands becoming entwined. As the chemotherapy eradicates the cancer cells within your body, you’re recovering internally while the pain on your scalp makes you want to cry.
I decided to find a way to provide comfort to others who might feel the same way that I did when they start chemotherapy. My favorite scarves & hats were those that people made for me because I knew they were made with affection and love. And sometimes a soft cap works wonders when you tire of wearing the wig, or just need to kick about the house.
I work with an amazing Board of Directors and a wonderfully talented group of volunteers. If you’re thinking of joining us, we appreciate your interest! If you’re a medical professional, we hope we bring a smile to someone in your office. And if you’ve received one of our knitted caps, we wish you success in your treatment, and hope our cap gives you a hug from each of us to survive and thrive! From my heart to yours, WELCOME! We’re happy you’re here.
IBC Survivor since 2004
Executive Director & Founder - Halos of Hope
Ms. Haschke is available for public speaking engagements regarding her cancer experience and for education on Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). To inquire about availability, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Inflammatory Breast Cancer, please visit www.ibcresearch.org.
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