It was an amazing summer, but I am definitely happy to be back! However, I am not so excited about having 8:30am classes 3 times a week! In my attempts to get myself ready to go on time, one thing continues to make me stop and think. I have a LOT of hair now and it takes me forever to brush through it all. I often resort to putting it in a ponytail to get it out of my face. I find myself actually missing that feeling of weightlessness when I had little to no hair on my head at all. That brings me to my realization that I have yet to make a post about the hottest topic in dealing with cancer treatment, especially for girls: NO HAIR!
I will give you a little bit of a background on my hair experience. I lost my hair multiple times during my relapse treatment. When I was diagnosed with my relapse, I had very long, thick, dark hair; it was about two feet long, well past my shoulders. Before my hair began to fall out, my mom cut it short, so that the hair I did lose would be shorter. The scariest part of that first experience with hair loss is waking up in the morning and finding more hair on your pillow than on your head! When that happened to me, I knew it was time to shave it all off!
The unfortunate thing with chemo though is that it comes in cycles, so, like I said above, the hair can come and go over a period of time. As you see in the lovely photo I put above, my hair did grow in some nice peach fuzz, but then it promptly decided it didn’t want to stay and began leaving my head in a rather awkward fashion. For quite some time, I had some fascinating patches on my head! But, especially at the beginning of my treatment, I was as hairless as one of those hairless, siamese cats.
I was initially really uncomfortable with being bald. I wore hats all the time, even when it was warm outside. But, as I got further into my treatment, I began to take my hats off more often and enjoy the cooling freedom of a hairless head. I realized that it was actually quite comfortable to have no hair, especially in the summer! Rather than wearing hats all the time, I turned to big earrings to make a statement. After all, some awesome looking earrings REALLY stand out when there is no hair on your head! Also, I personally think people’s faces stand out much more without hair on their head than with it.
Somehow, being bald turned into something that made me feel good about myself. It was proof that I was beating the unbeatable. Now, with a head full of heavy hair, I sometimes miss the cool softness of my bald head. I sometimes miss the ease in which I could wake up and start my day – no hair to clean or brush. Most of all, I miss that feeling of strength being bald gave me, as a constant reminder of what I was accomplishing.
When you lose your hair for the first time, my advice is not to mourn the loss of it but, rather, relish the fact that you have a chance to showcase your strength and the fact that you are surviving the unsurvivable. Don’t hang your head in shame for having no hair. Let your hairless head be a symbol of your perseverance. And realize, that one day in the not so distant future, you may actually miss that bald head of yours and all that it represented!