Hair Today...Gone Tomorrow
I decided to shave my head on Sunday. I wanted to have some control over losing my hair. Key word here - control ; -cancer seems to steal that away from you so you grab control whenever you can get it. Losing my hair was one more visible sign of dealing with the Big “C”. Debbie Bonich, my beautician, had graciously offered to come to my home to shave it for me. What a gift! I originally scheduled it for Thursday, but Bob looked at me earlier in the week and said "Your hair looks fine, why not wait until the weekend?" I, of course, wanted to have my hair as long as I could, so Sunday it was.
I was told that I would begin losing my hair 14 days after my first chemo treatment. They were correct. On day 14 I would thread my fingers through my hair and large strands would come out. By Sunday, it was coming out in clumps. I was ready.
I won't lie to you, I was feeling sad. Having my hair, I still looked like I didn't have cancer. I can cover up the loss of my breast with a prosthetic but having no hair - not so easy. This was another cancer wake up call - another reality check.
How would I feel not having hair? Would I embrace my new look? Would I be the hat queen (I can answer that with a resounding NO! - I have always look horrid in hats!) Would I wear a wig every day? Would I go au natural? How would it physically feel? Would my head be extra sensitive? Will I have a pinhead as I've always referred to shape of my head? What will my head be shaped like? So many questions running through my brain.
I wash my hair for the last time that day. I embrace the moment knowing it will be a long time before I'm able to wash it again. Moments that's what cancer gives you. Moments to store away and relish.
I originally wanted to shave my head before Riley came home to spare her. Alas, that was not meant to be. Riley came home on Sunday - so no matter what was happening to me that day - it was a great day. My daughter had just spent 6 glorious weeks in Barcelona and embraced it. She was able to forget about life for a while and that was a wonderful gift. I told her of my plans and she asked to be a part of it.
Debbie came over that afternoon. Bob, Riley, Debbie and I sat outside and visited. It was exactly what I needed. I was able to relax before we began. I was losing my hair, this was a big step. She asked if I wanted to cut it short first then shave it or just outright shave it. I was undecided. We finally decided to cut it first. I'm so glad we did. It was another precious moment. Getting my hair cut for the last time. Feeling Debbie's fingers through my hair felt normal. I was given a little bit of normalcy and I was grateful. Haircut complete - on to shaving. I asked Riley to video it for me - I wanted my sons to see that I was fine. Debbie turned on the trimmer and I hear the buzzing. It’s time to let go of my hair, it’s time to start the next phase of my dance with the Big “C”. Debbie begins by giving me a kiss on my cheek. How loving was that? I feel the trimmer move up and down my head and see the hair fall to the ground. I'm not going to say there wasn't any tears because there was. We all had tears but what stands out to me was the love I felt. Cancer can try to take away so much from you, but it can't take away the feeling of love and unconditional support you feel from those around you. I was going through something heartbreaking, but I was feeling nothing but love. What started out as something horrendous turned out to be a memory of pure love. I am so grateful. Bob, Riley and Debbie gave that to me. How can I not feel blessed?
My hair is gone but I have a precious memory that cancer can't take away from me. I am supported during this journey. I am loved. I am grateful. Cancer can try to take things away from me but it can't take away love, it can't take away precious memories, it can't take away me. Because deep down even though my body has been through hell, I no longer have a breast, I no longer have hair, I'm still me. A little altered but still me. I am living my life, not the disease. I debated on whether I should share the picture of my new "do" as it's as raw as it gets. But when I began this blog I told myself to keep it real. No holds barred. I wanted to let you in on my journey - warts and all. The picture I'm sharing is not one of a cancer patient who has just lost their hair but a picture that shows what unconditional love and healing looks like and I think it's beautiful.
Thoughts on not having hair: I feel cooler. I actually like the shape of my head. My head was sensitive the first few days. I still look horrendous in hats. I forget sometimes that I've shaved my head until I walk by a mirror - and look and say to myself - "Who are you? lol!" Taking showers is much quicker. My children have all seen me and are fine with it. My husband constantly kisses my head and tells me I'm beautiful. I'm creating a new normal and you now what? I think I'm going to rock it!