An Amazing Cancer Survivor
Ciara Priestly is the creator and designer of a beautifully compassionate line of Head Scarves for patients undergoing chemo related hair loss. Ciara’s devotion to this compelling service is a result of her own overwhelming experience with breast cancer.
Head Scarves by Ciara
Headscarves by Ciara tailor-make and supply a glamorous range of stylish, modern head scarves specifically designed for hair loss due to chemotherapy, alopecia or other medical conditions.
Based on personal experience, Ciara understands the need for women to retain their femininity while experiencing hair loss. The range of headscarves for sufferers of medical hair loss are available in a variety of styles and fabrics and are perfect for hair loss, chemotherapy, chemo treatment, cancer patients. They are easily tied and versatile – with different styles of hats, tie scarves and other headwear to cover everything from day-to-day wear to evening and special occasions.
(serving USA & UK – Other areas please Inquire)
~~~ Ciara’s Story ~~~
“My name is Ciara Priestly and i am now 29, when i was pregnant with my second child i was offered genetic testing for the brca1 gene due to a strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer. After much thought i decided to have this test done. Two weeks after giving birth to my daughter i was called back to see my consultant, he advised me that i had tested positive for this gene and what it would mean for me.
My chances of developing breast cancer would increase to 80% and my chances of developing ovarian cancer increased to 40%. I was offered 2 options, one was to opt for the screening which would include a yearly scan, but this would not start until i was 30, i was only 26 at the time or i could opt for a prophylactic mastectomy which would basically mean having my breasts removed as a preventative measure.
I was devastated but i felt that now i had this information i would be selfish not to use it as i had two young children to think about. I felt that if i opted for the screening i would always be worried if they had missed something or i would just be waiting to develop this horrific disease. I decided to opt for the surgery.
After having numerous appointments with consultants i seemed to reach a brick wall- my consultant felt that surgery was not the right option for me, he felt i should enjoy my twenties and come back in my thirties to have my surgery. I was shocked but pushed on telling them that it was a personal choice and i would probably drive myself crazy with worry if i didn’t have it done soon. They finally relented and i was scheduled for my surgery. I had an mri scan of my breasts before which was thankfully all clear. I proceeded to have my surgery despite people thinking i was crazy, including my mum who couldn’t understand why i was having my healthy breasts removed because i MIGHT get cancer.
The surgery went well and i went home to recover. Two weeks later i returned to the hospital to have my stitches removed. I was met with very sombre looking consultants and breast care nurses, still nothing twigged with me. I was then advised that when my breast tissue was sent to pathology they in fact found that i had a grade 3 breast cancer which the mri scan had not detected.
I was shocked to my core! Everything moved quickly from then, i was scheduled for more surgery 4 days later to have my lymph nodes removed. The prospect of chemotherapy hung over me like a black cloud- when i asked my surgeon if he felt it was necessary he replied “my main concern is to keep you alive, you are 26 years old and if this had not of been found for another 6 months we could not of treated you, you are a very lucky girl that you pushed us to have your surgery.” I felt sick to my stomach. I had 2 babies at home who needed me…..
…a few weeks later i started my chemotherapy, it was horrendous, i was extremely sick and lost all my hair within a few weeks. My household was turned upside down but we manage to get through it. When my chemo finished i decided to have an “end of chemo party”, we used is as an opportunity to raise money for cancer research, it was a very happy occasion to feel like i had reached the end of my treatment, little did i know my journey was far from over……….
As the brca1 gene affects both breast and ovarian cancer i was being monitored in relation to my ovaries- i had regular blood tests and scans, my blood tests used markers called CA125 levels, if they go above a certain level it indicates that something may be developing. Two days after my end of chemo party i received a phone call from my consultant telling me not to panic but my levels had shot up quite dramatically and i had to go into hospital the next day for a scan! I attended the hospital, had my scan but they could not find anything, my consultant said to me “taking into account what happened with your breast cancer i am not prepared to take any chances, i want to admit you for a radical hysterectomy”.
I was admitted the following month and thankfully everything went ok. The last few years have been extremely difficult but i chose to tell my story to raise awareness of this gene and also that cancer sufferers are not always within the ages expected! i was extremely lucky.
One great thing to come out of my experience is that it has led me to start my own business. Whilst undergoing chemotherapy I found it extremely difficult to find attractive comfortable headwear so I decided to start making my own. After many compliments from other cancer patients and requests to make some for them my business snowballed. I now have my own website www.headscarvesbyciara.co.uk. I offer people a made to fit service and also bespoke pieces for special occasions as well as standard every day headscarves.
I feel extremely lucky that I am able to turn a huge negative in my life into a positive.”
(serving USA & UK – Other areas please Inquire)