I made a decision today. A decision many women before me have made to empower themselves. Taking control where so much was taken. I like to always remind myself that I am not the first person to get cancer, I will never be the last.
I have been made quite aware that one of the side effects of the chemo would be hair loss. I don't know how much resolve you can give to this issue its a bugger. I have been growing my lovely locks for the last year and a half after cropping it a while back. I just got it where I wanted it and bam! Freaking breast cancer, with a dash of chemo. I knew I was going to lose it. I talked about it, I thought about it, I bought the tee shirt and ordered the wig. I am prepared! So I thought. I had read the info, knew when it would happen, it seemed the same for everyone. Okay I am ready. Maybe!
So on day 13th since my first chemo ( not 14-17 like the book says) I am pulling into the hospital parking lot for an appointment. I am currently, like other patients financing a new wing in the hospital somewhere with my parking costs. Alright so I parked in the $2.00 lot the wing may take a while. I went to turn of the car and something drop across my face. I knew in an instance it was my hair. It was weird because I never thought a strand of hair could have such a presence. I think that can't be my hair, please tell me that is not my hair. No time to ponder I have an appointment with the social worker at the cancer clinic. I arrive and get called in by a very pleasant woman. I am completely preoccupied and as she begins to speak to me, I look at her and say " my hair just started falling out" and then in front of a complete stranger I start to cry. None of my preparation worked. She is completely empathetic, hello social worker what a better stranger to be with. I get through the meeting only bringing up my hair a half dozen times and running my fingers through it constantly as we spoke. I leave and walk through the clinic and look around thinking " don't you know my hair is falling out what is wrong with you people". I go to my car and text my husband and a few friends. Gotta tell someone cause I feel like screaming. Why am I so upset I knew this was coming?
I proceed to buy hats for my self and call the salon for the wig status. We book an appointment for a day and a half later. The next day my fears are not realised as the hair on my head is departing slowly, but not true for all parts of my body. I realised that when you lose your hair it is not just on your head, its everywhere. Now I never did have a Brazilian but lets just say I won't have to anytime soon. Now talk amongst yourselves on that one. I am hoping it leaves my eyelashes and eyebrows, but one can only hope..
I awoke today, a little slower than others, a little tired and with my head extremely sore and tender. Just like the book says my head would feel. I think my heart was dragging on the ground cause I knew what was coming today. I thought I was ready, I wasn't. I kept putting my fingers through my hair, thinking its not that bad, really. Maybe I will keep my hair a few more days, although I did not want it to get to the point of coming out in patches, that might challenge my self esteem a little too much
I arrived at the salon at noon with my faithful friend waiting. I am lucky to have many of those, willing, ready and able to help me go through what ever it is I need to go through, to get through. I sat in the chair and Robert my hairdresser ran his fingers through my hair, a lovely parcel of it came as he pulled away from my head. He asked me what I wanted to do, his action had been my answer. I knew it had to go. I did not want to go through the hair falling out process since its sad and by the way falling everywhere. I said he could shave it off. He politely left to get his clippers. This was it decision done. I asked him when he returned " will it hurt" he said " no, it might be weird but it won't hurt". I had a little cry to grieve the moment. Perked up and got it started. He was quick and very gentle and soon it was over. He left a small thin layer of hair, enough to make me feel covered somewhat. Nothing a good scarf and a great pair of earrings can't rock. Keep telling myself that and I might believe it.
Turns out I got a nice round head with not too many dents, and a great hair line although there is some evidence of a scar, maybe dropped on my head as a baby not sure. Would explain a few things. He placed the wig on my head and cut it to shape it up..I think the wig feels weirder than the shaved head, its going to take some getting used to. I know soon even the darker layer that remains will be gone, but I think I can do that now. I understand the attitude of take it before the chemo does more now than when I cut my hair short a few weeks ago.
My illness is a little more evident now, but for some reason I believe so is my strength. I still marvel that I am on this journey, its as surreal as it gets. Each event chipping away at my fear. As I lose something, I learn something not only about myself but about everyone and everything around me.
Once again I am grateful.....