For the last 8 months, since 7 August 2017 when I heard the words, ‘You have cancer,’ I have been dealing with a journey I never, and I mean NEVER, thought I would take. As many of you know, it has been an incredibly difficult time. There is light at the end of the tunnel though. I am currently undergoing radiation as an additional preventative measure to (hopefully) keep any reoccurrence at bay. I’ve done 5 weeks and have 2 more to go. Yea!
None of this has been fun and it is my deepest wish that no one reading this will ever suffer through anything remotely similar. Bottom line is, it sucks! Cancer sucks! There’s no other way of putting it. And silly though it might be to a lot of people, losing my hair was HUGE for me. As much as my hair has driven me crazy over a lifetime, not having it was worse. My last round of chemotherapy was 12 December 2017, so, in theory, my hair has been growing back since then. Let’s just say that all the other hair on my body has returned (one ‘benefit’ of losing it all is no shaving) and the hair on my head is taking its sweet time returning. I am definitely growing a rug up there. It’s thick and super soft. My oncologist, who happens to be half black, says it is coming in straight! That’s what I am hoping for.
A couple weeks ago my therapist gave me an assignment…to stop covering my head. She actually has been trying to get me to lose the hats and bandanas for even longer than that, but I just couldn’t do it. Then last week after leaving the bandana I was wearing with her so that I would have nothing to put on my head when I stopped at the drugstore and grocery store on my way home, I thought, this isn’t so bad. Nobody laughed at my hair, of lack thereof, at least not as far as I could tell. Then the following morning the 21-Day Meditation series I was doing with Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey resonated with me in a way that nothing else had. It was titled “Taking Back Your Power!”
It suddenly occurred to me that I had lost my power and I realized that Beth (my therapist) was right. I could come out of the closet (so to speak) and show other women that it is possible to survive and to still be beautiful (honestly, I am still working on this) even without hair. That day when I went to my radiation appointment, I got nothing but compliments and praise for going au natural. And the day after that, I was crossing a street in Ventura and a woman opened her window and yelled out, “I love your hair!” Okay, so maybe it wasn’t so bad after all to be close to bald. I really am not bald anymore, I just have super short hair.
So this is me now:
And while it looks like my hair is totally white, that’s just around my face. It actually starting growing in dark. My friend Lisa Michelle mentioned that it’s interesting that my baby-black hair has come back. I was born with a head full of black hair:
This is me at 3 months. When I was a little older it started growing in blonde. I never lost the original hair, it just grew in blonde. This is what it looked like before I was completely blonde:
Now I’m ever hopeful that at some point the dark hair will stop and it will begin growing in blonde just like when I was a baby!
Will I keep my hair short? Probably not because even though I almost always wear my hair up, I like having enough length that I can put it on top of my head and forget about it. So although this is me now, it’s not what I consider the ‘real’ me. It is much easier to take care of…oh, yeah, I don’t have to do a single thing. It’s even too short to comb. I am also counting on the warmer weather to speed up the growth process.