Diane Estrada



How can you have the time of your life when you are fighting for your life? 

Well, this is my story. On June 7, 2012, during my morning shower, I lost my identity. As the wet clumps of hair came out in handfuls, I sobbed uncontrollably, I couldn’t deny it — I really had breast cancer. Lucky for me, my husband Robert rescued me and wisked me away, that fateful morning, to the Huntington Beach pier where we made the decision that this was too big an event to “just get through it”. That we never know how long any of us will be on this earth, so now is the time to savor the beauty of life, even be playful if possible. It all started with a short, artsy wig I received from the hospital’s brighter image program. Robert insisted on taking me out on a date, and viola, that evening, Babette was born. When I was wearing Babette I felt playful, adventurous and self-centered and soon she opened the door to a new way of looking at my life and circumstances. 

When they found more cancer than expected, after my surgery, rather than let fear win, I went out and bought two more wigs – Nikki and Gigi. Nikki long swinging brunette, meditative and intuitive and Gigi even sang and danced for 2 hours while auditioning for a role in a musical despite being on my 24th radiation treatment – when most are at home hardly having the strength to get out of bed. People would never know who I would show up as and I began looking forward to each day, delighting in deciding who I felt like being that day. And then I got Lola, an outrageous long red wig adorned with copious curls. And whatever Lola wants, Lola gets! Everyone loves Lola. She is the ultimate vixen who emerged to help me (and everyone she meets) remember to savor the sensuality of life, despite circumstances. 

My vulnerability, openness and resulting freedom to be all of me through my playful personnas- to “Let Your Lola Out” zest for life while going through a devastating illness changed my perspective about the “C” word and about living my life. I never would have thought it possible that I would get cancer – but I did. Cancer treatment is brutal, barbaric and annihilating. Yet, I found a way to still have fun in my life. And so can you! As Epictetus said “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”