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Vantage Point - 10/6

10.06.2020

It's personal... Cancer Awareness Should Be Daily!

Breast cancer has been my life for the past 31 years. I initially noticed two lumps on my breast and went to the doctor to investigate. He didn't run any tests because I was young, only 35 years old, and no breast cancer in my family. My lumps were also unusual, they were hard and hurt, which is not common. Something still didn't feel right, so two years later I asked a new doctor to biopsy the lumps and results came back positive for cancer and so the journey began! With my surgery they discovered that the cancer cells were not all contained so chemotherapy followed with total loss of hair due to the significance of the chemo treatment. Imagine having been in the hair industry for over twenty years to learn that I would lose all of my hair.. plus I was growing it out for my 40th Birthday!

Three years later, I discovered a lump in my other breast. I went to eight doctors appointments in eight months insisting that it was cancer. They told me that I was hyper sensitive and it wasn't cancer. Finally, I was sent to have a mammogram, the nurse felt it like I did but it didn't show up on the test. She ordered an ultrasound and it was indeed cancerous. Second mastectomy and very humbled doctors, felt like they had eliminated the cancer so my follow up was a round of medication to prevent the return. Sixteen years later, it returned, this time in my scar tissue and I would go through my third mastectomy. In 2015 with my follow up scans, it was determined it had metastasized to bone cancer. I am now on my seventh treatment in the five years with the protocol to continue to thwart the advancement.

I share my story with you to empower all women and men to monitor their bodies and to speak up when you recognize anything amiss. You know your body and if something is off be your own advocate. I also share it for everyone to understand how important it is to continue to donate to research which we have been doing for many years with Susan G Komen, Wings of Karen and Valley Girls and Guys foundations. Partnering with these local foundations we have been able to see first hand the funds that we have raised going directly to funding major cancer research projects through UW Medicine and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. It is impressive to witness the advancements that have been made in the past thirty years.

As a salon owner and stylist you see first hand how cancer affects your clients, not only in their health and wellness, but also the psychological and physical affects when losing their hair. I am proud to be an advisory board member for HairToStay, the first and only national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping cancer patients afford scalp cooling. A treatment that can dramatically reduce chemotherapy induced hair loss. This year, they launched a new initiative, the HairToStay 1000 Club. They are asking 1,000 salons to pledge to raise $1,000 over the course of the year. 

Join the HTS1000 Club movement, and help us raise the $1M needed to help 1,000 women and men avoid the devastation of hair loss and heartbreaking experience of a 'chemo cut'.

My journey with cancer has provided me with a gift of perspective and the awareness of time, as well as, the understanding of what is truly important in life! I want you to know YOU are important to Salon Services and to your clients. You touch their lives daily with your hands and your hearts. You are usually the first place they go to ask for guidance, which is why I wanted to share my story to bring awareness for you to care for yourself so you can care for others and continue to be their resource. 

There should not be a month of awareness, it should be daily:
Daily in our care of our body and personal wellness. 
Focus on knowing your body and requiring attention if you recognize a change. 
Constant communication with your doctor when you find something, say something. 

Sincerely,

Sydney Berry
Owner & CEO of Salon Services

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