Thursday, March 12, 2015

Losing My Hair, Cancer's Final B**** Slap

The other day as I drove my Bean home from school, she looked up to me and said, "Mom, when the sunshine comes out your hair is red" I laughed and looked in the rear view mirror and paused; Holy crap, I think I am a red head!

It has been a loonnngggg time since I have had my hair colored because I was afraid of the chemo turning my hair some crazy color, so it is returning to its natural color, a color I have not seen in a very,  very long time. I mean I am not a full-fledged ginger but the strawberry highlights in my blondish brownish mess are certainly taking the lead in this return to its natural state.

Last week, I called my hair dresser to schedule an appointment to get it colored but 2 days later,  I called back and cancelled.

I cancelled because my hair is falling out.

It has gone from a a few extra strands here and there to handfuls whenever I touch it.  It is at the point where I am afraid to touch my head. I am afraid to lay my head on the pillow.  I am afraid to pull it into a ponytail.  Sadly,  I have been growing out my last impulsive short haircut for 2 years. My hair is finally at a length I love and here I am, afraid to blow dry it, afraid to wash it, afraid to brush it.

I cry in the shower because when it comes right down to it I am just a girl, that is a bit vain and perhaps too caught up in the superficial but I like my hair, and I really,  really like having hair.

Additionally, I am almost certain that beneath my hair, I am a certifiable conehead.

I know this because every time I try to wear one of those stretchy hair bands that hold my bangs off my forehead, it shoots off the back of my head like a sling shot. So you head is not meant to be bald.  My head is meant to be covered in a thick unmanageable horse tail amount of hair.  And Yes,  I am sure that everyone that loses their hair unwillingly feels this way. 

Alas, it does not change the facts. The fact is, that my hair is coming out in handfuls and seeing it pull out in large dark clumps makes my chest constrict till I feel like I cannot breathe.

I was prepared to lose my hair eight months ago.  Eight months ago I was prepared to buy a wig. I scouted pixie cuts and collected photos of all the bad ass hair cuts I would have, as I grew out my hair.

 I would try all the hair styles I admired but never had the balls to try.

I planned for it,  I went Wig Shopping and it wasn't pretty,  feel free to read about it here!
Dear American Cancer Society,  Man Up

I prepared myself,  and it never happened. My hair didn’t fall out.  I waited for it.  Some days I cautiously gave a handful a little yank,  but it didn’t budge.  Maybe it thinned slightly but it was not noticeable. I chalked it up to a victory.  

Seven months later, I. BEAT. CANCER.

 I let out the breath I had been holding. I walked out of the cancer center that last time and stepped into the sunshine and into the rest of my life with a fortunate full head of hair.  Two weeks later I was washing my hair and ran my fingers through it to detangle a knot.  A handful of hair came out. I panicked and then I slowly convinced myself it was a fluke. Over the next few weeks, one handful became a hundred.

Now, luckily I started out with a hella head of hair. Hell, in college I paid hard earned waitresing tips for my hairdresser to "thin" it with one of those razor comb thingy's.

So as strands of hair slipped into my hands, I figured my head could take it, everything I read said it would only last a few weeks.  A few weeks have passed and now my balding spots are starting to show.

 I have tried only wearing it down  to avoid pulling it but it is long and every time I cleared a tangle, it ended up in my hand. Now I am trying to only wear it up so I don't touch it. I have heard that long hair falls out more easily because it tangles and because it is heavy.  I don't want to cut it, it is finally the length I love but alas, I think it's time.

So I am returning to Pinterest with tears in my eyes as I try to convince myself that I will love cutting my hair. I am searching out photos of short hair and praying that this hair cut will grow out and not fall out. I didn't plan to be such a moody baby about it all but plain and simply this is one of the most devastating parts of the experience so far and the fact that it is happening now, after I "WON", well, it is a kick to the balls that I simply  was not expecting. Still, it is just hair,  it is just hair and perhaps if I repeat that enough,  I will start to believe it. 

Today's Mantra

1 comment:

  1. Some common myths have arisen concerning hair loss. Because of medical advancements with alterna many of these myths are being addressed and good products have been introduced. It has been established that pattern baldness is genetic and therefore can be hereditary.


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