For Caitlin Kiernan it was a year when she had it all – her dream job as a beauty director at a top magazine, and an impressive haul of celebrities coming to the new season launch.
Working 12 hour days, she rubbed shoulders with Hollywood’s finest, organising shoots and events with some of the world’s top celebrities.
And she organised the party to celebrate the fall issue, an event for the ‘beautiful people’ that would include the entire Kardashian clan she suddenly had something far bigger to contend with.
Caitlin had breast cancer .
“I was about three chemotherapy treatments in and everything was starting to happen to me,” said Caitlin.
“And no one knew I had cancer.
“I was thinking ‘they are going to notice where my hair is starting to thin’ – my hairline was starting to go back a little bit. I had hives on the back of my neck. A woman critiques her looks anyway, then you add sickness, then you add secrecy. You are fighting yourself just to stay in the present moment.
“I was so frustrated. I had recently been named beauty director of the magazine and I felt like I had some momentum in my career. It was a real kick to me. A kick to my career and a kick to the momentum of my life.”
Before the party Caitlin was able to call on the army of experts she had used for work to help her conceal her battle with a disease that would rob her of her energy, skin tone, nails and her sense of self. She followed their advice, calling on the best of the business in her arsenal to cover up her hives with concealer, style her thinning hair and style on her missing eyebrows.
And not one person noticed.
“I was surrounded by some of the most beautiful people,” said Caitlin. “It was nerve wracking. I had really amazing experts on speed dial who were advising me what foundation to use and how to do my hair. I wasn’t trying to look…