This blog is written by Claire Spera, patient care coordinator for our breast reconstruction patients. It is part of our Staff Picks Series, where we highlight the medical-grade skincare products that our staff and providers use and love.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27, I had no idea what was in store for me. I didn’t know that I’d need chemotherapy and radiation, and that I’d be a candidate for a bilateral mastectomy with DIEP flap reconstruction with Dr. Fisher. I was young and otherwise healthy, so learning that I would need chemotherapy and a major surgery was a particular shock.
Before I could have surgery, I had to get through six months of chemotherapy. I lost all the hair on my head, and my eyebrows and eyelashes thinned to dangerously low levels. I’m half Italian and had always had thick, long hair and eyelashes, and bold, dark brows. Cancer robbed me of that.
After chemotherapy ended, I proceeded forward with surgery, radiation, and the initiation of hormone therapy as my cancer was estrogen and progesterone positive. The hair on my head thankfully came back as thick as it was before cancer; my eyelashes and eyebrows did not. This was likely a combination of the chemotherapy with the hormone therapy, which can cause hair thinning and stunt growth.
Fast forward to four years later, and my lashes and brows still hadn’t returned to “normal.” I had reluctantly accepted they would never be the same. Then we began carrying RevitaLash and RevitaBrow at Dr. Fisher’s office.
Ophthalmologist-developed RevitaLash was created by Dr. Brinkenhoff, whose wife was battling metastatic breast cancer. She talked often of the physical tolls treatment was taking on her body — including causing her eyelashes to thin and become brittle — so he developed a conditioning serum as a way to help her feel beautiful, regardless of cancer. Next, he developed RevitaBrow.
I decided to give RevitaLash and RevitaBrow a try. I apply each product at night before I go to bed; it’s a quick, easy “swipe” of each lash line and brow with the applicator wand. At the four-week mark, I could already see my patchy brows filling in with my pre-chemo dark brown hair. I started to notice a difference in my lashes at the six-week mark. Today, they are longer and fuller than they were even before cancer!
People began asking me if I was wearing more makeup, but I had the same morning routine as always: tinted facial sunblock, mascara and lip gloss. My eyes were popping without the use of makeup with my enhanced brows and lashes — just like they used to.
RevitaLash and RevitaBrow are great not just for cancer survivors, but also for post-menopausal women and women who just don’t have naturally thick brows and/or lashes. As part of our Grand Opening Celebration at our new office on Thursday, September 13, we are offering attendees the chance to win a travel size RevitaLash and RevitaBrow, as well as offering 20% off ALL products. If you’re thinking of giving these products a try, now’s the time!