Strictly Come Dancing star Amy Dowden said her second round of chemotherapy treatment has had a “heartbreaking” effect as she begins to lose her hair.
The professional dancer, 33, announced in June that she had undergone a mastectomy after discovering that she had stage three breast cancer.
Caerphilly-born Dowden later said doctors found another type of cancer and has since been documenting her experiences, hoping it will raise awareness and encourage others to check themselves.
On Sunday, she wrote about her second round of chemotherapy treatment in a series of Instagram messages: “What I’ve found harder this time round and the last few days is the hair shredding.
“Even though I’m cold capping you hope to keep 50 per cent of your hair and there are also many benefits to the hair growing back quicker too.
“But as much as I prepared myself waking up everyday gently combing my hair with a wide comb and seeing what comes out, it is just heart-breaking personally for me.
“I’m only washing my hair once, max twice a week, not using any heat on my hair or styling it so I just don’t feel like me.”
Dowden shared a video of the hair that had fallen out, writing: “The reality when I gently comb”, with a broken heart emoji.
She asked her almost 500,000 Instagram followers to suggest a name for her new wig, which is mid-length, brown and wavy.
The dancer said: “I know this won’t last forever but during this time and knowing normally these few months are my favourite time of the year and I feel myself wishing these months away just hurts so much.
“I know and telling myself the way you look hasn’t changed Amy who I am inside…I’m still Amy!
“Some days last week I’d wake and for the first few seconds you forget and then suddenly it all hits you, the day and challenges ahead and your new reality and it’s tough, had a few morning cries and learning that’s OK too.”
In an effort to be “open and honest” about her cancer experience, Dowden also described how she has been feeling throughout the treatment.
“So this cycle, I started feeling sick soon as second lot of ‘red devil’ was going in,” she said.
“Got home very tired and started being sick (even with all the anti sickness), by Friday afternoon the sickness stopped and just waves of nausea.
“Still taking anti sickness now. Hardly any sleep due to steroids and insomnia they bring with them. Didn’t have any last cycle but some lovely mouth ulcer friends this time round.
“But I’ve managed some walks, lovely homemade soups and smoothies and feeling even better today. The little wins!”
She also thanked her friends, family and fans for their supportive messages, which she said are not taken for granted and mean “more than you will ever know”.
Dowden, who married fellow professional dancer Ben Jones in July 2022, previously said she had found a lump in her breast the day before she planned to go on her belated honeymoon this year.
She joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 and was a finalist four years ago with presenter Karim Zeroual.