Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden has said losing her hair was one of the things she was dreading most about cancer treatment – but has told how her close friends in the cast have been helping her to cope.
Amy, 33, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in May and had a mastectomy, but was then told she would need to have chemotherapy and found losing her hair one of the most difficult side effects to deal with.
The Welsh dancer told The Mirror how she had cried every day over her hair falling out and had to ask husband Ben Jones to brush it so she wouldn't see how much was coming out, until eventually she decided to take control and shave it off.
Even though all of her Strictly co-stars could not be with her when she shaved her head, Amy has shared how they offered their support and helped her to make it into a party.
She said that after shaving her head with her loved ones and enjoying some cake and non-alcoholic Prosecco together, Dianne Buswell had suggested that they should perform a dance.
Amy shared a clip of of the dance in her garden and says Dianne watched some of the party on Facetime, as well as video calling Katya Jones and Carlos Gu during the day.
She said: "Carlos was crying when I showed him, he wants to shave his head, too. He’s adamant, and that he’s getting a tattoo, a breast cancer one, but I’ve told him he’s not allowed to shave his head, he’s on Strictly!"
Amy added that Carlos had been making secret hand signals to her from the live Strictly shows and said she had cried the first time she watched it from home as the dancers made their way down the stairs into the ballroom.
It isn't just the pro cast who have been supporting Amy – she revealed that celebrity contestant Angela Scanlon had told her about her friend with alopecia who makes wigs and suggested that she visit.
Amy has ordered two wigs from Angela's friend and said she had Facetimed Dianne and Katya who offered their advice on which ones to choose.
The wardrobe department has been thinking of her, too, and apparently have a wig and a rail of clothes waiting for Amy at the Strictly set just in case she feels able to join them for an episode.
Amy has even met this year's celebrity contestants and said: "Adam [Thomas] is great, he has a friend I have been speaking to online who is my age and is going through this too. Bobby [Brazier] is a sweetheart, he is just so himself, he is genuinely lovely. Les [Dennis] and his wife were so kind. His wife wrapped her arms around me.
"Nigel [Harman] says the show’s not the same without me."
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