As scheduled, I’ve been noticing that my hair was beginning to fall out these last few days. Not in massive clumps or anything, but just in subtle ways. I could give a light tug to a single strand and it would come right out with little to no effort. While washing my hair, I noticed a significant amount in my hands as I ran my hands through.
“I don’t want to lose my hair!” I said to Sasha when I finished my shower. He didn’t really know what to say to help, but I could tell he thought it was silly to be so worked up over losing my hair….and I agreed, but I had to wrap my head around this.
Was it about the hair, really? No, not at all. It was the significance of it….how the lack of hair symbolizes being a cancer patient. With my hair, I could be having a great day and walk by the mirror and never think twice. I could feel “normal”. My fear was that if I were feeling great and walked by that same mirror without my hair it would overpower what I was feeling and give me a big reminder of my reality. Even though things aren’t so bad, some days I just desperately need to feel like a regular 33 year old woman who is gearing up to have her first baby.
Another thing that was bothering me was the lack of control. Control over losing my hair and control over who knew about the cancer. I wasn’t choosing to be some bad ass girl with a shaved head…it was happening with or without my consent. And with hair, I could still choose who knew about what what I was going through and who didn’t.
Those were the choices being taken away from me and I needed to find a way to change my perspective on the whole situation.
I’ve ready how many women choose to shave their heads before the big clumps start falling out to give them a sense of control. So that was a quick decision to make. But I needed more importance to attach myself to. I thought about animals who undergo molting/shedding. In some animals, it is very subtle, while in others it is quite extreme. The definition of molting includes, “the manner in which an animal routinely casts off a part of its body (often, but not always, an outer layer or covering), either at specific times of the year, or at specific points in its life cycle.” As I read that, I absolutely related to it. I am going through a sort of transformation/rebirth process (as most people do during trying times), where the chemo is letting me start over from the inside and the losing of hair lets me start over from the outside.
So with all that said, on Sunday afternoon, I shaved my head. Well, my two favorite men (Sasha and Eric) shaved my head. We started with me giving Sasha a much needed haircut. He offered to shave it with me, but I said, “No! I have to look at you all day.” and “I’ll be wearing a wig…what will you have?”
Then it was my turn
Sasha needed a little assistance, so Eric jumped in
Of course we tested out a fun look
And then went for the whole thing
I’m not sure how often I’ll go out in public like this (primarily to avoid the unnecessary casual cancer talks) but I gotta say, I was happy to know that I could pull off a shaved head if necessary 😀 I’m interested to see what I’ll look like when the stubble falls. So in the meantime, as I adjust, here’s the wig
I had to cut slits in the elastic band around my big head because wearing the wig for more than an hour gave me bad headache! Now I need to shop for some more soft hats to wear around the house.
So far, I’m feeling pretty good about the head shave. I’m glad I took it into my own hands and did it before the chemo did it for me. Like a changing animal, I will continue to embrace this transformation into a healthier, stronger, woman filled with endless amounts of love.