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February, 10 2013: Dolling Survivor: Ivee

Please tell us your story and what you would like for people to know about you.

My name is Ivee.  I have a husband name Marcus and we have 5 children.  My family is the most important in my life.  They are the key [to] why I went through cancer so easily.  They supported me from the beginning of it and [are] still behind me all the way.

Please tell us about your illness, how long you have been diagnosed with it and
what stage you are in now.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer, Stage 2, on October 31, 2007.  I was 32 years old then. I had a mastectomy done and received 6 sets of chemotherapy and a year of Herceptin treatment. In 2011, my cancer came back.  I underwent 4 sets of chemo again and 7 weeks of radiation.  I am still on Herceptin treatment now and will not end until February of 2013.

How has this wig helped you?

Going through cancer again for the second time was devastating.  The wig helped me not remember that I was going through it again.  I felt beautiful in it.  People could not tell that I was wearing a wig.  It was just that perfect. To go through your day without worrying about how you look because of something that you are going through was one of the things that helped me cope with it.

Fill in the blank, With this wig I now feel…

With this wig I now feel, cancer free.  Like I’m not going through any treatments at all.  It makes me forget about cancer even just for a little bit.  It might not sound real, but it’s the truth.  As a girl, I worry about my hair just like others.  So when I learned about my cancer, the second worry that I had was losing all my hair.  So to have such a natural looking wig, it took away some of my worries about how I would look.  Just for a little bit, it made me cancer free.

What helps you fight this battle?

My family is a big key to going through my battle with breast cancer.  My husband was my biggest support.  He never once made me feel like there’s something wrong with me.    He helped me emotionally.  Also my kids were the best at times when I needed them.  They were all there for me at the perfect time.

How often do you wear your wig?

I do not wear my wig anymore.  My hair has grown out now.  But when I was going through chemo and lost all my hair, I wore my wig everyday.  All day and night except in my sleep.  It was really the best and perfect wig for me.

When you found out you could lose your hair did it have an impact on
your self-esteem?

When I found out that I could lose my hair, my initial reaction was afraid and terrified.  Like I mentioned earlier, hair is one of the important thing for me.  So knowing that I was going to lose it, for the second time, was very scary.  It almost felt  like going out of the house without any shoes on.  It would feel naked and uncomfortable.  I remember feeling like I was worrying what would people think of me.  It definitely brought my self-esteem down.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I would like to say that having an excellent, supportive group of people around me helps a whole lot when going through something like this in my life. The Dolling Foundation are part of my biggest support.   I will forever be appreciative and grateful to them.  I will treasure their friendship without end.

I will also always remember that I AM A SURVIVOR!