In Strasbourg, Angela takes care of the hearts and bodies of people with cancer

Posted byadmin Posted onApril 2, 2024 Comments0
In Strasbourg, Angela takes care of the hearts and bodies of people with cancer

Hand massage, manicure, makeup… for seven years, Angela Mula has been working in oncology to offer aesthetic procedures and well-being workshops adapted to cancer patients. Moments of care in their own right which allow women to discuss the illness and “reclaim” their image.

First, remove your makeup. Pass the deliciously cool milk cotton over the warm skin, sometimes tight from treatments. This Thursday morning, there are six of them participating in the facial treatment workshop led by Angela Mula in a small, bright room at the Strasbourg Europe Cancer Institute (Icans).

Eyelids closed, Isabelle lends her face to the expert hands of the socio-esthetician who details the good reflexes to adopt. Gentle, circular movement on the cheekbones. The fifty-year-old smiles mischievously: “It’s nice to play guinea pigs. »

Around the table, each woman moves at her own pace while Angela continues the session with the foundation – to be applied with a sponge, blending well to avoid the effects of demarcation on the jawline. Some follow the routine, focused. Others observe and discuss among themselves. An institute scene that has its place in the hospital.

Socio-beautician ICANS Cancer Women
© Adrien Labit / Pokaa

A space for listening and well-being

VSAesthetic sessions are part of the supportive care offered at Icans, explains Francine Thiriet, health executive within the structure. These are complementary treatments to chemotherapy and radiotherapy which make it possible to support people treated for cancer from the start of their journey. »

Today's workshop is part of a therapeutic education program which involves different professionals – physiotherapist, psychologist, dietician, etc. Objective: to help patients “reintegrate on a social and family level” after long months of therapy. Insulating, sometimes. Within this device, “the socio-esthetician provides a space for listening and well-being”.

A beautician by trade, Angela Mula trained in socio-aesthetics seven years ago, via the Aesthetics Courses with a humanitarian and social option (Codes). Based in Tours, this association of professionals from hospital and social environments was founded in 1978. Its mission: “Helping sufferers overcome their discomfort by reconciling them with their body and their image thanks to aesthetic treatmentses. »

We develops a certain number of psychological skills, Angela explains. How to listen without getting too involved, how to introduce yourself to a person undergoing treatment… Patients often confide in us: we are a bit like sponges. » Hired in oncology at the end of her training, the socio-esthetician was also trained in the side effects of different anti-cancer therapies, to better support patients.

“We teach them to see themselves as different”

In addition to this activity, which she carries out part-time, Angela Mula also works as a medical secretary in the department. An advantage : VS'It is important to know a person’s entire medical journey to advise them correctly”details the one who regularly communicates with the medical teams.

“When patients arrive for treatment, they are often afraid to ask questions. When talking with them, we sometimes discover that some do not understand what type of cancer they are being treated for. We can pass this on to the doctors so that they can come back and discuss with them. »

Socio-beautician ICANS Cancer Women
Francine Thiriet, healthcare executive. © Adrien Labit / Pokaa

Angela Mula says it again and again: listening and care are at the heart of her job. “During their treatment, many women lose a lot of self-confidence. Losing their hair is often something extremely difficult to deal with. There are some who refuse to leave their homes or who will spend six months without being able to look in a mirror. My role is also to make them accept this change, to teach them to see themselves as different and to accept themselves.. »

Reclaim your image

In the small room, the session continues with eye makeup. One eye on her mirror, Carine wonders about the best way to camouflage the rosacea that has appeared on her cheekbones during treatments. Angela takes this opportunity to present some very useful correctors: a yellow stick for purplish dark circles and a green one for redness. To be applied before foundation however…

After serving as an example for half an hour, Isabelle now strives to reproduce the advice given to her. This session is the second and last planned with the socio-esthetician in her treatment journey. It makest a lot of good, she smiled. Pampering yourself is important. This allows you to reclaim your image. »

During her chemotherapy, Isabelle lost her eyebrows and looked for tutorials on the internet to be able to redraw them using a small foam pattern ordered on the internet. “I managed, but I would have liked to have been accompanied at that time. »

“We need to talk”

Today, the one who never wore makeup gets dolled up when she goes out. Her pencil line finished, Isabelle takes another look in the mirror, turning her face towards the natural light. “It’s really not bad. Very natural! » rejoices the fifty-year-old. “I don’t think I would do the full routine again every day but I could suggest to my daughter that we both have a facial. »

While some of the participants question Angela Mula on the color to adopt for their eyes or the product to use for their skinothers discuss their scars among themselves in hushed tones. Difficulty touching that of the injection chamber, under the collarbone, or that of a mastectomy, to massage it and make it deflate.

We abneed to talk, to exchange with people who have experienced the same thing as We, testifies Agnès, 64 years old. Between us, we can say things that we don't necessarily share in the family environment, because we don't want to burden our loved ones. We find ourselves internalizing a lot of what we are experiencing. Beyond the beauty aspect, these sessions are almost a pretext to be able to chat. »

It's a friendly momentadds Carine. We listen to each other, we can exchange advice. Spaces like this, there aren't that many in our care journey. »

Socio-beautician ICANS Cancer Women
© Adrien Labit / Pokaa

At the end of the workshop, the participants quickly leave. Angela doesn't have time to clean the table: she has an appointment at the day hospital for further treatment. The socio-esthetician meets Chichie for a hand treatment and a manicure, in the chemotherapy room.

Whatnd she's there, it's perfectt, rejoices the forty-year-old. It's a change from chemo… Before, I did my nails, I had false eyelashes, I took care of myself… now, nothing! It's important that she's there. These sessions are our moments. At this point… all we have left is this. »

After a palm massage, Angela Mula takes out of her bag a varnish enriched with silica which prevents nail loss in people being treated for cancer. Chichie's neighbor, Rita, follows the scene with interest. The discussion begins between the two women and turns to wigs.

Chichie wears one when Rita has never been able to get used to it and prefers a turban. One thing leads to another, and here they come to the moment when their hair has fallen out, and how to cut it to avoid seeing it leave one by one. Angela Mula continues the manicure discreetly. Listening. If his hands heal so well, it is also because they know how to create a bond.

Socio-beautician ICANS Cancer Women
© Adrien Labit / Pokaa
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