Losing my hair
When I first got the news that I might need chemo, what concerned me most was losing my hair. Of course, I didn’t like the idea of poison coursing through my veins killing off my immune system (that I had ironically worked hard to get strong over the last few years since my dairy allergy diagnosis). However, the one aspect of chemo that brought me literally to tears every time I thought about it, was the idea of losing my hair. I’ve been dwelling on this lately and looking at why it is so emotionally charged since it is pretty much a given at this point that I will indeed lose my hair.
I really like my hair. I have played a lot with it over the years, Short, long, curly, straight, even asymmetrical in college. I’ve always felt that you could tell a lot about a person by their haircut. So now my lack of hair will say something about me. It will say “cancer patient”. This is hard to be with. Of course I know that I can wear a wig. But that seems false in a way because people can always tell it’s a wig. And what does that communicate anyway? “Cancer patient who doesn’t want the world to know.” I don’t really care if people know. I think basically I just don’t want to be a cancer patient.
Vanity plays a role as well, of course. I have never thought I looked good with short hair (don’t have the cheekbones or something) and I am pretty sure that will be true for me bald as well. So I’ll have to get over that. I’m not a scarf person except around my neck, but I do like hats. I will wear stylish hats. And it will even be appropriate since it will be Fall and Winter when the chemo happens. Now that I think about it, I’ll probably need to get some beautiful earrings as well. They will stand out a lot more on a bald head so they’ll need to be beautiful. It’s amazing how I can turn even the most dire circumstance into a shopping opportunity!
It’s interesting to note that there have been artists and actresses who have intentionally gone bald for a look or for a role. Think Sinead O’Connor or Natalie Portman. That would be a positive mindset shift. Maybe I’ll just walk around as if it’s a statement I’m making and not the effects of chemo. Confidence would be key in this regard. I think I can do it. I think I can rock my bald head! And then I’ll grow my hair back.
I’m learning there are multiple levels of bravery to this cancer thing. And there’s certainly nothing easy or fun about it. But I will make it through. And that is because I have to.