This blog post is a personal one. It is not meant to be dramatic or sad, but rather factual and hopeful. Some of you know me personally, some just by name. I am Kristina, the founder of Kinamania. In November 2019, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Cancer & fear
Cancer. A word with so much fear behind it, so much fatality. The first thought I had was: I am mortal, but why me? Then, I realised why not me, since statistics show that 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer.
My second thought was: What will happen to me? The journey of chemotherapy was going to be rough, I was worried about my kids, my husband, my business. Will I be functional to take care of my kids? I was scared and I was anticipating the worst – I know that now.
I decided to worry about what was in my control. I knew I was going to lose my hair so I went and got one of those funky hair cuts that we just love on others but never have the courage to do ourselves. I also bought cool head covers, so I wouldn’t be taken off guard when I would be needed some.
I remember, a couple of weeks after my first chemotherapy treatment, I started getting the weirdest discomfort: my hair roots were itching. Few days later, as I was passing my hand in my hair, and a handful of hair just started falling. I was having a glass of wine with a friend and my husband, and we all sat there, looking at each other, not really sure what could be said. Same night, my husband trimmed my hair shorter. Following day, in my kitchen, I cried. I wasn’t bald yet, but I knew it was coming. I was scared, I wasn’t sure of what. I was scared of things that didn’t happen, scared of things that may not happen as well, scared of things I was imagining that could happen. Funny how the brain works.
Then we decided as a family, to turn this into a fun event, and with my kids, my husband shaved my head – doing crazy Mohawk looks in between. All I can say is: what a relief. Anticipation was so much more damaging emotionally that my actual bald head. It was my first move fighting cancer: I decided when to be bald. I didn’t wait for cancer to make me bald. It was a very empowering moment for me.
Another thing cancer made me realize is how lucky of a woman I am. I received so much support and love from friends and family, it was overwhelming. Having cancer (unfortunately) made me realize how blessed I was. We get wrapped up in the speed of life, in worries that do not matter in the big scope of things. We forget to be grateful of what we have.
I met so many people the past few months that had such an impact on me. People that I would have never met without this cancer: For example, a nutri-therapist that educated me about how food can help maximize treatment efficiency and reduce side effects like nausea. I think this is one of the most impactful change in my daily routine because I feel strong, especially during after chemo. The list of people I met is long and I will find a way to celebrate each of them, as they helped me and are still helping me go through that life challenge.
Kinamania : a bigger mission than just be a fashion brand
Cancer also pushed me to rethink how I want to do business. It got me thinking of how I want to make an impact in the world, at my level, in my “jurisdiction”, with my means and under my control. I wanted to have a bigger mission than just be a fashion brand. I wanted to shape Kinamania to be a brand with a cause, and this year, I have decided to start by donating 100 Euros per pair of THE RIMA derby shoe to the Fournier-Majoie Belgian foundation that supports cancer research. This is my contribution for now, until I can do more!
The picture you see was the first time I was seen in public with my bald head. It was during a skype call with my brand photographer and my dear friend who thought of capturing that moment.