Laurie Adams got mammograms every year for years. And every time, her doctor told her—while she had dense breast tissue and calcium deposits—her results were normal. She was fine and should come back in a year. But Laurie wasn’t fine.
Laurie had breast cancer.
Mammograms can’t see through dense breast tissue, it turns out. It’s like trying to look through a glass of milk, so no matter how many years she kept coming back, they never would have seen the cancer. And calcium deposits are often an early indicator of breast cancer as well.
Laurie says she wishes she had done research for herself because then she would have realized her doctor was making a terrible mistake in sending her away for another year and repeating the same test. She would have known to request an ultrasound or an MRI.
Instead, Laurie has stage 3 breast cancer.
It Takes A Village
Cancer is an equal opportunity disease. It affects us all. We all know somebody who has gone or is going through a battle with cancer. And it’s never pretty. The treatments often cause more symptomatic side effects than the disease itself. Coupled with the constant battle between fear of the unknown and hope for the future, cancer can be a formidable opponent—both physically and mentally.
However, medical treatment has come a long way. Cancer is no longer the death sentence it was years ago. Laurie and her husband Jim are evidence of just that. Only three, short months after Laurie’s diagnosis, Jim was diagnosed with cancer—follicular lymphoma. All treatable. But it seemed they would go through most of their treatments alone.
You see, Laurie and Jim are not native to the Tennessee Valley area; their closest family lives more than 7 hours away in Florida, Texas and California. But when cancer called, Laurie and Jim discovered support in places they didn’t expect.
They found doctors who treated them more like family than patients. They found nurses who provided humor during the heaviness of chemotherapy. They found co-workers who stepped up to meet deadlines while Laurie made her way through treatments and procedures. And she found Salon Allure, where Paula Lecher walked her through every step of her hair loss journey.
Laurie and Jim found community.
It’s Just Hair
Often hair loss is the only outward sign you’re in a fight with cancer. A bald head becomes the constant reminder that you’re in a fight for your life. Two weeks after chemo starts, hair loss typically occurs. The second week after her first treatment, Laurie began to lose clumps of hair in the shower. She knew it was time.
She called her hair stylist and friend, Paula Lecher, who immediately responded by coming to Laurie’s side and guiding her through the process. They met at Special Touch by Eunice to select a wig.
“It was Paula’s expertise, which shape, style and color were best for me that made the difference. The ladies at the shop were so impressed. They said no one had ever had their hairstylist come in with them.” Laurie said.
But, Paula Lecher isn’t just any hairstylist.
Back at Salon Allure, the setting was quiet. After a final shampoo, it was time to shave Laurie’s head. She cried as she sat in that chair, and Paula simply put her arms around her and cried, too.
Armed with the support and courage she needed, Laurie said, “Let’s do it!” And with that, they dried their eyes, turned Laurie’s face from the mirror, as all hairstylists seem to do, and began.
Casually making conversation, the time flew by. Before she knew, it Laurie was done. Blair Tribble, a fellow stylist at Salon Allure, came over and commented on how pretty Laurie’s bald head was. The lightheartedness and sincerity were just what Laurie needed. With her wig styled just right, Laurie was all set and strolled out of the salon, head held high.
“After all,” Laurie says, “It’s just hair.”
Paula and the team at Salon Allure don’t just provide a service, they provide a safe haven for people in their times of need. Often, styling hair is simply the means by which they reach our community.
We hope you don’t have need for the kind of services Laurie found at Salon Allure. But if you do, the stylists know exactly what to do. And, if all you need is a good color touch-up and styling—or if you need to shop their boutique for that special gift—Salon Allure can take care of that, too.
For your appointment, please visit their website.