RIP hair April 15, 1985- October 24, 2014
Well it finally happened… I shaved my head. When I started this blog, this was one of the topics that I thought about writing. It has been the one thing that has been haunting me since the beginning. I have read many other peoples’ stories about their hair loss and how they coped to prepare myself. Anyone who knows me knows my hair was always pretty important to me. This sounds and is so incredibly vain. How can you care about something as silly as your hair when your life is being threatened by a real a- hole cancer spreader named Dave? But I’ll tell ya what, it is very painful to watch your appearance change so drastically. Not only do you feel like shit but now you feel like you look like shit? I gained about 15 lbs from the steroids and started going bald. I felt like I was starting to look like Peter from Family Guy. It is absolute torture to feel like you have no control over your body.
I cut my longer hair to a bob in the beginning so it wasn’t as hard when it started falling out. I actually liked the cut and it did help in the end. I started researching wigs and was pretty set on getting a real hair one. They are very expensive and I am so incredibly fortunate to have gotten the one that I did. The men that made “Clarice” (Kyle named my wig of course) were amazing and very professional. They did it in a rush anticipating my hair would be gone long before it actually was. The day I went to pick my wig up was a real mind f***. My cousin was in town and took some pictures of me during the appointment. When the wig was placed on my head I had such mixed emotions. I thought it was amazing and perfect and I was so lucky. It also hit me like a ton of bricks that the real reason I was sitting in that chair with that amazing wig on was because I had cancer, needed chemo, would be completely bald soon. My tears were both happy and sad that day. After we left, I wanted so desperately to feel normal. I felt like people could see through the shopping bag in my hand and see the wig and know I had cancer. We walked down and road and into an ice cream place where I cried in my sprinkles and then tried to switch the mood by going to Zara. I purchased a faux fur coat and black jumpsuit. Normal again. The mood was lightened and as we walked with our purchases, a nice group of young boys spit a spit ball (who does that in 2014?) and it hit me right in the neck and slid down onto my chest. I was horrified and wanted to cry. I have thought about it since and decided it was simply a reminder that the world didn’t stop because I have cancer. People can be idiots and annoying things still happen. I am not above that, I am still part of the crazy world. It was a good spit ball reminder.
In the end, my hair lasted for almost four months, though five rounds of chemo and two and half weeks of radiation. It stayed with me for two amazing weddings, my bestie’s bang up 30th birthday and buying my own wedding dress. Speaking of the wedding dress, it officially started falling out the day I got my dress. What was such a fun day was sprinkled with a little sadness.
Wedding dress purchase! The beginning of the hair loss
From then it was slow and painful, literally painful. Your hair follicles actually hurt. The day we went to look at our wedding venue I noticed my first big bald spot. I stared at “Clairce” daily, tried her on a few times and cried often. I could cover the bald spots by pulling my hair back. After a while there was no covering it.
My biggest piece of advice to people going through this is don’t shave your head until you are completely ready. It took me a long time to feel that way. I was encouraged by a few people to just get it over with and that it might make me feel more in control. This may work for some, but I needed to feel totally ready. The day I decided to shave it, I was there, almost looking forward to it. I did not cry like I thought, I was excited to send out my picture and post my video. I feel proud to be a part of this journey. It is hard and there are many days when I cry but I am so excited for the life that I have ahead and I know that this will just be a bump in the road for me. I know the hair loss is temporary and I am grateful for what this bump is teaching me.
Post head shave by Kyle My Uncle Kurt shaved his head to let me know I wasn’t alone!
Thanks hair. Love you chemo. Shut up Dave.