Salon for Cancer Patients - Omaha, Nebraska - CHI Health

Salon for Cancer Patients

Article Date: Oct 23, 2013

When Julie Sherman learned she had breast cancer – two things came to mind. The first was her family.

"I have kids at home.  I've got to make it.  I have to survive this it was scary," said Julie Sherman.

The second thing she thought about was her hair.

"Logically as a woman you think losing your hair it's okay, it's just your hair. But let me tell you it was pretty traumatic. So I was thankful I could come here," said Sherman.

Here - is the Image Recovery Center.  Alegent Creighton Health has 3 of them. They are medical salons offering services to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. It may look like your traditional salon but it's really a place of healing.

"I was clueless and afraid and didn't know where to start so when I did come to the center for my first appointment, they really put me at ease that I was going to be able to do this," said Sherman.

Staffed by clinically trained cosmetologists, cancer patients can come here for wigs, massages, makeup tips, mastectomy related products, like swimsuits and under garments, and more. The services are geared towards the special needs of cancer patients.

"We are a service through the health care system that provides that patient something they are not able to receive in the retail world. We are highly trained we have a lot of experience and it's a clean safe environment because they are cancer patients their immunities are very low, said Sandy Jensen a Clinical Cosmetologist at the Image Recovery Center.

And their anxiety levels are pretty high too. Patients who come through these doors are overwhelmed - Julie was numb but she wanted to fight the cancer on her own terms. So with Sandy's help, she shaved her head before the chemo could take her hair and then found a wig that suited her style.

"You just want to feel as normal as you can while you're going through it. I didn't want to look sick. I didn't want to feel sick.  I didn't want to put that fear factor in my family. I didn't want people to look at me funny," said Julie.

And that's what the Image Recovery Center is all about - helping cancer patients going through the changes that come with cancer treatment - so they can feel better about themselves inside and out.

"If there's a question we can't provide the answer to, we find it for them. It's highly important we help them get through this journey.

It is a journey. It's been 3 years since Julie was diagnosed and everything looks great.

"Everyday is a blessing and that's how I look at it." said Julie.

She still comes here for services but now she helps other cancer patients see the disease doesn't have to consume them.

"I was thankful I could come here.  I've recommended so many patients - I said just let them help you. They can hold  your hand and take you through it so you can survive – you can get up in the morning and look in the mirror and think I'm going to be fine I'm going to make it," said Julie.

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Image Recovery Center

Cancer Center

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