My apologies for not writing sooner–as you can guess, it has been an overwhelming few days. I’m going to start with Tuesday.
I started my final prep work for my chemo infusion the following day. I took my first dose of steroids that gave me lots of energy, despite the fact that I didn’t sleep well the night before. The steroids help destroy cancer cells and make chemotherapy more effective and reduce an allergic reaction to certain chemotherapy drugs.
“I would say that hair is a woman’s glory and that you share that glory with your family.” -Maya Angelou
The next event on the docket was a haircut. While not all chemotherapy drugs make you hair fall out, one of the drugs that I take will more than likely make my hair fall out. As I have mentioned before, the doctor suggested shaving it off before I started treatment because it would be traumatic to see it fall out.
Many people have asked me why I wanted to cut it despite the fact that I don’t know if it was going to fall out. It was a personal choice to shave my head.
I’ve always had an on/off relationship with my hair. As a child, growing up in a very white, suburban neighborhood, I always struggled with the texture of my hair. I have very thick hair and didn’t look like all of my other friend’s hair. I tried different haircuts, but never found anything that I particularly liked. When I finally made it to college, was when I figured out my hair was actually curly! Yes–college is when I figured it out!! After my hair awakening I tried a ton of hair products and found my current stylist who is the only person in the world who I will let cut my hair now. I make special trips to LA to see her and get a haircut–that’s how much I covet her haircuts. I’ve had my hair short and I’ve had my hair long. I’ve grown to love my hair.
So, after many years of not loving my hair and now being at the point that I have a good relationship with it and we have settled into a routine, made my recent haircut very difficult. I love my hair and I love that it is curly and will do what it wants, when it wants. I like that no day is the same and my curls have a plan of their own. I truly believe that Maya Angelou’s quote about a woman’s glory is her hair and she shares it with her family is true. My hair is my glory and I was sad to see it go.
I didn’t want anyone to cut my hair because of the emotional and physical toll it would have on me. I wanted to go to my stylist in LA, but there was no time for that, so I found a salon on the American Cancer Society website that listed giving haircuts to cancer patients.
Annie, the person who cut my hair was very sweet and I can’t imagine if anyone else cut it. She was helpful when I needed help and quiet when I needed it to be quiet. She divided it into sections so that she could donate my hair to someone else who is in need. I cried, a lot. I didn’t look at myself in the mirror until she was done and I was shocked. I cried some more. She washed my hair and made me feel better and I walked out with my newly shaved head and a hat to cover my new cut.
I follow a lot of other cancer patients on social media and they say bald is beautiful. I’m no where near that yet. I am still worried about the hair that I do have will become patchy as it falls out of my head in the next couple of days. For now, I’m just trying to get comfortable with my new normal.
My brother also cut his hair for me. He usually shaves his head, but he cut it shorter for me to stand with me. He is very sweet and now he’s my twinsie.