Show your support for a cancer survivor

My Shaved Head a New Beginning

Heloise Enslin, recently shaved her head at Shavathon for the first time. Her cousin Roenel joined her for the shave at Rhapsody’s Parkview Shopping Centre. View pics in the gallery below…

She shares about what it meant to her and how she has had to come to terms with great personal loss and learnt to start moving forward & living life to the full again, below:

View Gallery:

Why Shave?

I participated for the first time in CANSA’s Shavathon this year. My cousin Roenel Kenyon, who also shaved her hair, motivated me to do so. She and her husband Dave Kenyon have shaved their hair off in past Shavathons.

For me to shave my hair and donate my hair was a symbolic act of “shedding” the pain of the past few months. It is only through this process of the growth of hair that I can “grow” again into the life that was given to me, so that I can live it to its fullest.

It was also a way to honour the memory of my mother & brother and to celebrate the lives of cancer Survivors.

Losing My Mother & Brother

Anita & Beukes Enslin on Kilimanjaro

Anita & Beukes Enslin on Kilimanjaro

Cancer has affected my life directly and indirectly. In May 2004 my mom was diagnosed with 80% liver cancer. Three months later in July she passed away.

Last year it was 10 years since she – “the heart” of our family – passed away. A devastating time which changed our family life forever.

Personally I thought we were all coping well these past 10 years. My youngest brother and I grew closer and we were there for each other. I also met my husband and got married in July 2014.

My brother came to stay with me for a few weeks before the wedding and helped me out so much with making decorations, etc. I had sensed that my brother had changed, but was shocked when he made an end to his own life in October 2014.

We will never have the answers to what caused his suffering and it is perhaps a combination of things, but I know that my mom’s passing affected his own happiness.

If she didn’t die from cancer she would have been the emotional support pillar he needed in his life and would have taken care of him through the difficult times… But they are together now. These two brave people lived full lives. They were loving humans with only good intentions and extremely funny and entertaining. They were taken from us way to soon. I am grateful that they loved me and for the bond we had.

Coping with Grief & Loss

Heloise Enslin gal

Heloise Enslin

The past months have been difficult since the shocking news in October and still there is not a day gone past that I am not searching for answers, thinking how we all could have done things differently, etc.

I also realize that I need to get on with life or otherwise I will be losing other loved ones around me.

Through God’s Grace I am coping. It is only His Grace that gives us strength in difficult times and it is His compassion that gives us insight into events.

I realize I am the only one that can do something about my own grief and that I need to stand up and start living.

It is only me that can make that choice.

I read good books over December, I have a caring family supporting me and I am coping with this new “normal”.

Nothing will bring them back, but I still have my life.

In the end I know that the only reason why we are here on earth is to learn lessons and to become better people and to prepare us for life after death.

I lost the two people closest to me and “losing” my hair for this good cause is nothing compared to the loss of my precious two loved ones.

My mom and brother are now living in me and I approach my “new” life now with “renewed” growth and grace. My shaved head is now my new normal.

I am honoured to have done this to celebrate the lives of cancer Survivors.

CANSA Can Help:

If you are feeling overwhelmed by a loved one’s illness or struggling to come to terms with loss, please contact your local CANSA Care Centre to arrange for counselling.

Find our more about requirements for hair donations…

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