Hair loss from chemotherapy: don't EVER say it's just hair

Hair loss from chemotherapy: don't EVER say it's just hair

For the past six weeks I have found it very difficult to write. Actually, it’s just been very difficult to write about subjects other than the fact that I have been dealing with CANCER. I have thought about other subjects, written short drafts but I just haven’t been able to focus. So, rather than force myself to write about something else, I am going to write about my hair. Yes, a whole blog will be devoted to my hair. Because in about four weeks, it will have all fallen out

Write only about hair you say? HOW BORING. IT’S ONLY HAIR, it will grow back. If you know me do not ever say that to my face. Because it is not only hair. And if you really believe that, I want you to shave your head the day I do. Which will be the day I wake up with a huge chunk of hair on my pillow. The day I will run my fingers through my hair and a handful will just come out. You see, for those that don’t know me, I’ve already been there once. I’ve already done that.

I have twelve days until I start the poison drip. Because that’s what it is. Yep, it will save my life. And in the process I will become bald and sick. So strange that right now after I’ve had my surgery that I feel great. Now I have to feel and look sick to get healthy. I do believe that everyone that experiences this has a right to some self pity. A right to feel sorry for themselves. Right now, I do.

The first time I went through chemo I did not know what to expect. Now I KNOW what to expect. On the upside I only (I say only like it’s a huge deal) have to endure 4 treatments v 16. This is a huge plus. So rather than having absolutely not a stitch of hair on my entire body (yeah, there too) for nearly a year, I may have some growth by the end of 2013. Yippee!! But I have to lose it and that is making me sad, angry, crazy and depressed.

You see, my hair has always been a symbol of who I am. As a nerdy child in grammar school, my mom always insisted that I wear my hair in a short pixie cut. Basically, I always looked like a boy (totally flat chested). As I got older, I finally let my hair grow. And grow. And grow. No longer dictated by my mom’s strange desire to keep it short, I just let it go free.

Over time, I did cut it and went from short to long to short. But ten years ago, just before I had my first bout with cancer I was starting to grow it out. Then BAM. Chemo followed by baldness followed by years of trying to grow it out again. When it first came back, it was quite similar to a brillo pad; thick and course, curly and a strange ashy tone. I kept is short despite wishing for long hair again. In 2008, I decided it was time to go for it, let it grow long again. I felt superstitious but I wanted my hair back.

So since then I have let it grow ( I wanted long hair once more before I was deemed “too old”). I’ve gone through the pain in the ass of evening out layers and the waiting. Waiting for it to get to my shoulders. Waiting for it to hit my back. Now it’s halfway down my back. And in four weeks it will be gone. And I am not dealing with this well. Bad hair days are bad enough. No hair days just plain suck.

On the upside, I sprung for a killer wig. A “virgin” human hair wig. No, not a virgin girl with great hair, hair that has never been color treated silly. But I don’t sleep in the wig. So, when I wake up in the morning and catch my reflection, I don’t recognize the person staring back at me. I don’t want to be her. I’ll want to be the woman with the hard earned, well fought for head of long hair.

Just wait until I start writing about my boobs.

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