How Sheila found strength to ditch the wig


Sheila was devastated when she lost her hair due to chemotherapy treatment. She hated her wig but was scared to go out without it. She tells us how she overcame her fear and ditch her wig to become the strong person that she is today.

I didn’t believe it

I found a lump in early December 2014. My doctor thought it probably wasn’t something to worry about, so I didn’t give it another thought over Christmas and New Year.

Tests confirmed, however, that the lump was breast cancer. Suddenly there were a flurry of letters and appointments to meet healthcare professionals.

I thought, “why are they doing this?” I expected a phone call to say they’d got it wrong.

I asked my partner, Ross, to check if it was really my name on the letters.

I was told I would lose my hair

Reality hit home when I met my breast care nurse, who explained what was going to happen. She told me I was going to lose my shoulder length blonde hair.

I had been blonde since my mid-30s and I loved it. That’s when it really hit me that this was serious.

Going through treatment was horrendous, and the chemotherapy made me very ill. I went totally off food, I felt sick, I had everything going.

I dreaded losing my hair the most. Eventually I went to a hairdresser to get it shaved off.

I waited until the last minute. Hair was falling out everywhere.

Despite my initial fear, when the hair was finally gone, a weight had been lifted.

I thought: I can do this.

Deciding to ditch the wig

I was adamant that I would wear a wig until my hair grew back.

I hated my wig with a passion. I hated wearing it and was terrified it would fall off. But I didn’t want to go out without it.

A few months after my treatment finished, I had a sudden change of heart. I woke up one Saturday morning in September. My hair was about a quarter of an inch long. I came downstairs and said to Ross: ‘I’m not wearing my wig anymore’.

I phoned my mum and my best friend Nancy to tell them I was ditching my wig.

That night, I went out for the first time without it.

Ross’s family own a nightclub. I went to the club that night with no wig on and I felt great. It was the first time I accepted me for who I am.

You’re not alone

I wasted a lot of energy on the way I looked. That person with the long blonde hair isn’t here anymore.

I’m happy with my life. I’ve got my family, my home, Ross, the dogs. These experiences taught me that.

My advice to anyone going through breast cancer is to use all the support you can muster. Family, friends, and information and support from Breast Cancer Care.

I’m a stronger person because of what I’ve gone through.


  1. Tricia coulsonwood October 2, 2018 at 7:45 pm -  Reply

    Hello , just like you my daughter Janette ditched her wig also..
    She tried it for a few hours and didn’t like it . So we went out and bought lots of scarves in various colours and patterns and she wore them when she was out and about. She had long straight blond hair ,when her hair started to grow back post chemotherapy it grew back curly..!!..But as time went on it straightened again and now she’s got her long London straight hair once again.She now 5yrs post op and chemotherapy .
    Alison Keenan has been a major support in our lives and despite going through so much herself she was selfless in her help to many others.
    We wish you a very successful recovery back to your “normal” self.
    Many,many good wishes, Tricia & Janette.x

  2. Lyn shortman October 2, 2018 at 9:11 pm -  Reply

    Shelia you are amazing be told you have breast cancer.with the love ❤️ and support of your wonderful family and friends who help you get through it and the support from Breast cancer care team sending you best wishes.Lyn xxx

  3. Tricia coulsonwood October 4, 2018 at 7:54 am -  Reply

    Hello Shiela,I have just joined blogs,I left a message earlier but I am unsure it came through. I wanted to leave you a comment. My daughter Janette had the same reaction as you,not to wear her wig..That was 5yrs ago now..The day she had the reamains of her once long blond hair shaved off we all cried with her..She bought several beautiful scarves and wore them until she had shortish hair? . Once all chemotherapy was given and her hair started to grow back we were startled to see it was growing back curly!.It was several months before it started to loosen up and now its back to being long and blond again.I realise its been a tough journey for you , your expeiriences are just as I saw and felt for my daughter..
    Your brave and determined as many many of you are..Ali Keenan as you know has helped support many ladies during and after diagnosis and treatment, she deserves a medal for her selflessness towards others..Do you blog her? Or you may know her.Every good wish to you ,regards,Tricia.

  4. Barbara October 4, 2018 at 1:06 pm -  Reply

    Sheila you are a brave, beautiful lady. You look stunning with the new hair do. I have had long hair for over 50 years so I can imagine the hair loss was devastating. I’m sure you have given hope and confidence to women whatever their situation. Best of luck for the future. X

  5. Charlotte October 18, 2018 at 3:11 pm -  Reply

    loved reading this! what a remarkable brave and very beautiful lady 😍

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