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Jacquie Beltrao - Video 5

Carrying On Regardless

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For those who are unable to view the video, prefer to read, or who have difficulties in hearing, this is a transcription of the interview

Video 5 - Carrying On Regardless

Lucinda: I know that you did a modelling assignment right in the middle or towards the end of your treatment, 'cos we extended your hair and put a parting of the Intralace in, and you went out and...

Jacquie: It was mad, it was completely mad. I don't even know why I said yes, but I don't know, something made me say yes so I thought "I've never done it before, why not, I'm going to look stupid - oh well", and it was a really good professional day in a studio with an amazing photographer, modelling swimsuits and bikinis for Melissa Odabash because she'd done a special range for a charity for women who'd had a mastectomy.

So we were modelling this range and it was going to go on sale, and there was a wind machine, I had a wind machine blowing all my hair and it was all windswept, and this was still using Intralace so I think I had a parting, a fringe, and some extensions, but it was amazing, I mean the haidresser said, "this is in incredible, I can't believe, is this your hair?" and I said "well some of it's mine, some of it's not mine, well I bought it". So it was an amazing thing to do and actually the photos look great, and the hair looks really really good.

Lucinda: I mean you'd never know that you'd had a full-on mastectomy, and you can really see - I mean your body looks so incredibly healthy. I take it on board what you say, you looked after, you know "I live in this body so I'm going to look after it", and you can see your gymnast bits coming back in the swimming costume and the legs going on forever, and I thought you just looked incredible. You'd never have known - you know somebody who was on the inside, with you at that time, to see that, it's very very inspiring. For girls that are coming up that are younger, that are having to face what you had to face.

Jacquie: Yes you know, some people are going through it very young and you've got to go with that body for the rest of your life, and a lot of people will recover perfectly well from breast cancer and they will move on with their lives, and you do have to look after what you've got because in your head you're thinking "I don't want this to come back, I don't really want to go through chemo again", that would be devastating and that would be a whole new level of psychology, and so you know look after it, use it, use the hair to get you through it, and then learn the lesson really. Your surgeon, you sort of take it as read that your surgeon and your oncologist will deal with the illness part of it, but what you look like, only you can really take charge of that.

Lucinda: This is getting back to your bit of control.

Jacquie: Your little bit of control, taking it back, and trying to look as normal as possible.

Lucinda: Well you certainly did that, and some.