TV Dancer With A Guinness World Record Dealing With Devastating Diagnosis
Amy Dowden is a professional dancer who is best known for dancing on the dance competition show “Strictly Come Dancing.” She danced on 146 episodes of the show from 2017 through 2022. (She also has held the Guinness World Record for most back-Charleston kick-steps in 30 seconds.) But this year, she’s taking a break from the show.
Dowden’s decision not to dance on the current season of “Strictly Come Dancing” has nothing to do with her dancing ability or a lack of interest in being on the show. Instead, it has everything to do with her health.
In May 2023, Dowden received a very serious diagnosis that has changed her life. She was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She has since had a double mastectomy, but that was not enough. She found out that the cancer had spread, and she had to undergo chemotherapy.
Chemo has been extremely difficult on her body, and she has been open about her experience on social media. She shared that after her first chemotherapy treatment, she contracted sepsis. After her second treatment, she experienced blood clots. After her third treatment, she started to lose her hair.
In September, Dowden decided to take control of her situation in the best way she could think of. She decided to stop trying to hold onto her hair and to shave it all off.
On Instagram, Dowden shared a video of her experience shaving her head. When the video starts, she is sitting in a chair taking selfies, but as her hair is cut and finally shaved, she struggles to hold back the tears. It was quite an emotional experience for her.
Accompanying the video, Dowden wrote, “This too shall pass.” Then she added that she is “Taking control.” She called shaving her head “The hardest step so far.”
Dowden explained, “I know it’s only hair but these past few months I’ve had what feels like so much taken away from me that has made me not feel like Amy. I’m missing every possible aspect of dancing. I just wanted to keep my identity with my hair and I tried telling myself it wouldn’t go.”
Dowden added that she eventually realized she wasn’t going to be able to keep her hair. She explained, “I would dread the pain of waking up to the shredding everyday.” Eventually she decided that it would be less painful to shave her head than to slowly lose her hair. She wrote, “I’ve not been able to take control of this journey so far, but as you can see with some of my loved ones I took the courage and CONTROL.”
Being completely honest, Dowden shared that she is not quite loving her new look yet, but she doesn’t have any regrets about shaving her head. She explained, “It’s going to take some time to get use to and learn to love and embrace but, I’m now focussing-not on the hair I’m losing but the hair I’m going to get back and the happy dancing, tea lover who talks way to fast whilst rolling every rrrrr who is still there inside with or without hair!”
Shaving her head represented “taking control” to Dowden, and she claims that now she can “see the finish line.” She added, “I’ve also crossed the half way chemo line!Im feeling empowered and positive!”
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