Bright and beautifully tied scarves boost cancer survivor's confidence

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By Terri Jason

I didn't focus much on losing my hair, until I had to.

I knew hair loss was one of the treatment side effects and there wasn't much I could do about it.

Although I've always loved hats and scarves on other people, I've never been much for wearing them myself. However, I knew I would need to start, so I purchased several solid-colored scarves to mix and match with my daily attire.

I played around with tying and wearing the scarves before I began to lose my hair, trying to get a feel for the process.

Once I actually began to lose my hair, I decided to speed up the process and shave it off myself. After that was done, I felt better. 

All it takes is practice
Each day I played around a bit more with the scarves to figure out what worked for me as far as fit and style. Although I had no idea what I was doing when I started, I found I was better than I'd ever imagined.

Believing I had mastered the art of scarf tying, I continued to go about my daily routine. That is, until I visited Volunteer Services at MD Anderson one day.

Wow, they're the real masters of headwear.

Invaluable assistance
Through the gift shops and the beauty and barber shop you can find an endless array of hats, scarves, wigs and whatever makes you comfortable.

I hadn't ever considered scarves with textures, colors and patterns. I just thought they wouldn't work for me, but I was wrong. 

I couldn't believe how well the different options worked and they made such a difference. It was definitely one of those "don't knock it until you try it" moments for me.

It's also nice to have the volunteers assist you, with everything from making selections to styling to teaching scarf-tying techniques. This invaluable resource helps take the anxiety out of the process. Most people have no experience with scarf tying and like me, don't know how to get started.

Additionally, they offer a great pamphlet that shows not only different options for using the scarves but step-by-step instructions on how to achieve different looks.

Helping others
I've had many people stop to compliment me on my scarves, not only in the halls at MD Anderson but also out on the streets.

Strangers comment on how nicely tied the scarves are and they wish they could get the look. I assure them it's a lot simpler than it looks and if I can do it, they can, too.

Many times I've quickly taken off my scarf, before they even finish saying, "Oh no, you don't have to do that." Before they know it, I've shown them the simple process of scarf tying.

People are always pleasantly surprised to learn it's really simple. And I'm happy when I walk away, knowing I helped someone get past their fear.


Please tell me is there a site to purchase M. D. Anderson merchandise like they have in the gift shops in the hospital? I just found out I am still in remission, 5 years, and I would like to find out if i can find a M. D. Anderson t-shirt online. I also saw that M. D. Anderson had the Survivorship T-shirts, and was wondering if I could obtain one of those, being in remission for 5 years is a big deal, pls let me know where I can get them, thanks!!

Hi Lily, that's great! We're happy to hear you're doing well. Our gift shops carry a full line of products wish MD Anderson’s logo, including shirts. The link to information about our gift shops is included. Let us know if you need any help.

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