Holy crap, losing my hair has been hard, even though we’ve now reached the point where my sense of humor about all of this has returned and I’ve started joking (and writing) about the loss. With the loss has also come a dawning of personal reflection, laughter, and some important lessons. Since I’m a pretty public person, much of this discovery has been chronicled via the Facebooks, but I figured I would share them here, as well, for the masses to enjoy.
7 Truths I’ve Learned from Losing my Hair to Cancer
1) My identity has been intertwined with my hair for as long as I can remember. I could not have imagined the toll its loss would have on me. Okay, maybe on some level I could. I pretty much love my hair. It’s always been there; it’s always done whatever I wanted. From color to cut, I’ve always found a way to express my individuality through my hair. I’ve rebelled, I’ve conformed, and I’ve had fun. No longer having this form of self-expression has forced me to take a deep look at why I do what I do with the hair and has pushed me to find new ways of self expression. Fun toe nail colors anyone?
2) Your hair or scalp or whatever (does it really matter?) hurts when the hair starts falling out. No one ever warns you about this…or at least they didn’t me. Maybe it is just me, but the entire time my hair has been falling out (we’re going on 3+ weeks now) it has felt like I just took my hair out of a ponytail after having had it up, tight, for days at a time; that prickly achy pain.
3) While my body hair (ew, that sounds kinda gross) hasn’t fallen out per se, I am happy to report that after a thorough shaving, nary a hair has grown back…which is great because I stop shaving in the fall anyway. This way Jon doesn’t have to spend the next 3 months with Grizzly Adams. Total husband perk!
4) The public world is only as freaked out about your hair as you are. (This also goes for your kids, so own it early.) Mostly. Actually, there are some serious douche canoes out there, but we don’t let them stop us, do we? I’ve been called disgusting (by a freaking kid) and I’ve been told that I’m an inspiration. Neither would be how I would describe myself, I’m simply doing what must be done, hair or no hair.
5) Blonde hair is more resistant to falling out. While the rest of my hair is making a mass exodus from my scalp, the naturally blonde hair has shown much more gumption and has decided to stick it out a bit longer.
6) Halloween is the best time to go bald. The costume options are seemingly endless! Pirate? Aye! Zombie? Braaiiinnsss! Cancer patient? Check!
7) Twisting those damn scarves is hard!! Despite hours of YouTubing and arrangement practicing, I am still a novice and am SO THANKFUL my aunt is a crocheting queen. She’s made me 5 hats already, so my little bald head will stay warm this winter without my needing to be scarf savvy. This is good, because I’ve never been very stylish and trying to style a scarf is harder than trying to figure out what to do with long hair!
So, obviously, no Earth-shaking revelations here…just a collection of truths I have found to be self-evident over the last 3 weeks. Have you ever lost your hair or part of your identity? How did you cope?See y'all later!