Tyrin Naidoo knows the importance of looking after yourself, and has always taken pride in his appearance. Until a cancer diagnosis made it all seem a bit frivolous.
Having been a civil engineer overseeing infrastructure projects, starting cancer treatment in May 2017 made him exhausted, in pain, and sometimes depressed.
Attending a Look Good Feel Better men’s class helped give him the boost he needed to face cancer.
“The class reminded me, firstly that I am not alone on this journey, and secondly you have to ensure you look good on the outside, so you feel better on the inside,” he says.
LGFB is using funds raised by Dry July participants in 2018 to boost the men’s programme by 30 per cent. The free classes are for men with any cancer and at any stage, in eight centres around New Zealand.
Tyrin has put his career on hold, wanting to focus on his recuperation and was initially nervous about attending the class that has the motto “Live Stronger, Live Better”. The one-hour session includes how to protect your skin, best shaving practices, masking the side effects of treatment and the importance of regular physical exercise.
Tyrin was recommended the class by Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand and now advocates other cancer patients attend too. Like many undergoing cancer treatment, he has suffered from many side effects from his illness and treatment – and he wanted to live as normally as possible.
“There are a few friends that don’t know about my illness so I don’t talk to them about it and act as normal as can be.”
Tyrin admits there have been moments where he has living in denial, but likes to see the positives in what has been an arduous 18 months.
“I have a supportive family, a lovely wife and two boys – one and two. If I hadn’t got sick I would have been working long hours and would have missed out on time with my boys while they are little. Now I am at home with them more. I have learnt to live with less – and get joy from my family.
“The class wasn’t anything like I expected it to be, it was very educational, and it is really good to remind yourself of all the things you used to do and how it makes you feel when you look good – you actually do feel better.”