Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Saying Goodbye To My Beautiful Hair

     Losing my hair was so traumatic for me. As a teen I HATED my hair. I always wanted straight silky hair like some of my friends. I relaxed, flat ironed, blow dried and of course the infamous wash and set. It wasn't until my mid 20’s I started to embrace my beautiful curls and let them flow freely. I began learning to accept me. In my 30’s I actually fell in love with my hair. I learned how to care for the curls and was able to keep it long, beautiful, free and wild. Just writing this makes me miss it so much.
     After the initial shock of having cancer I freaked out at the thought of losing my long beautiful locks. My oncologist said I would most likely lose my hair because of the type of chemo I would be taking. Oh how I cried. And I felt silly! I mean, really, I have cancer, I’m starting a battle to fight to live. TO LIVE!!! When looking at the big picture hair is the least of my problems. But I couldn't help it!!! I was so embarrassed to have these feelings. Am I really that vain and superficial? I started reading blogs written by other cancer survivors and it helped me so much to deal with these feelings. They all felt the same way! I came across an article written by an oncologist who wrote that one of the biggest stressors when a woman is diagnosed with cancer is not the diagnoses itself but the thought of losing their hair. I learned I wasn't alone. It’s just one of those things you wouldn't understand unless you have gone through it.
     Since I knew it was inevitable I decided one day to just head to the salon by myself and cut off the locks. I had the stylist chop off my waist length hair up to my chin. It was kind of cute, I can rock short hair, but I was sad to let it go. Around 2 weeks later I was washing my hair and it began. Chunks of my beautiful curls were felt falling from my fingers in the shower. I could feel that it was a lot of hair and it took me a minute to actually open my eyes and take a look. It was my biggest fear coming true. I saw chunks of my hair all over the tub. I couldn't believe it was actually happening. After my shower I started to brush my hair and more started to fall out. I called for my husband and said “look babe” He saw all the hair balled up in my hands. He was so calm. He said it was ok and that we knew it would happen. His calmness kept me calm. This went on for a couple of weeks and became so bad that I eventually stopped brushing my hair. I was basically pulling it all out myself with each stroke. Finally I had had enough. I told Phil I needed him to shave my head. So he gathered up the supplies, draped my shoulders with a towel and began giving me my first and only Mohawk! He shaved one side of my head then passed the clippers to our son who shaved the other side. It became a family bonding activity!! We laughed, took pictures and eventually shaved the last of my beautiful curls. I was sooo scared to look in the mirror. Phil stared at me, laughed and said you have a perfectly round head! Haaa!! I built up the courage, looked in the mirror and with a sigh of relief said “oh my god! I do!...Thank god!!!!