Complaining about hair may seem vain, but when you are dealing with losing it because of cancer, it is more than vain. I always thought my long, thick hair was one of my best features. When the follicles started dying, it caused my hair to fall out. I ran my fingers through my hair and a clump of hair would come out. I may have been doing it in the privacy of my room, alone, but I still felt embarrassed. It came to a point where showers were annoying because the hair would stick to my body and hands as it fell out. I would just sit in the shower and cry. I would pray to God that he would get me through this and to help me tell my heart that it was all a part of the process.
First Step: Shorter Hair
Eventually, I decided to cut my hair short hoping it would help. Tyler and I headed to the salon and got our hair cut. It was a shock to cut so much hair. I didn’t even have time to get used to it before I had to shave my head.
Time for the Clippers
On Halloween Day, I made a decision because I was dealing with a very painful scalp for almost two weeks. When the follicles die, they cause your scalp to be very sensitive. Have you ever worn your hair in a really high ponytail for 24 hours and then take it down? That sensation on your scalp is what I felt times ten. It was that afternoon after crying from not being able to lay my head on a pillow, that I walked next door to my father-in-law’s house and asked him to shave my head.
Did I have a bumpy head, a lopsided head, a nice round head…who knew? Though those were the least of my worries, they were nonetheless thoughts that were running through my head. As the clippers came down on my hair and I saw the first of it fall to the ground, I just pictured all the movies I had seen where someone had cancer. It just didn’t seem real. It was heartbreaking. As my father-in-law put the clippers away, I was trying to muster up the words to say, “thank you.” What I really wanted to do was just scream at the top of my lungs.
Losing your hair is not the end all be all, but it is traumatic. It did give me a chance to find a love of hats though!
Has there been a drastic change in how you view yourself? Leave us a comment below!
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