Tag Archives: hair

And it starts. Again.

So I completely lost it tonight.  I wasn’t expecting it and I didn’t think it would happen.  Why should it?  Its not something I haven’t been through before.  I promised myself that I would not cry when I started to lose my hair again but the tears came anyway.

It happened at home after the most perfect night out with my husband and family.  We ate dinner out on the water in the most beautiful weather and walked downtown enjoying live music.  I held hands with my husband and laughed and laughed with my family.  Meanwhile, in the most windy city on this earth, my hair was literally blowing away off my head.  Nobody could see it but I knew it was happening and I managed to put it aside all night.  At home, I went into the bathroom to stand next to the trashcan and began to run my fingers through my hair.

It’s astounding how much hair I was throwing into the trashcan.  Clump after clump.  Little bald spots here and there taunting me about the inevitable.  “You’re gonna be baaa-aaald, na na na na naaaaaah!”  I’d gone into the bathroom with the plan of ‘helping’ my scalp shed any loose hairs in an effort to avoid hair all over my pillow in the morning.  Instead I emerged from the bathroom with what had to be the most sourpuss look on my face because my husband took one look at me and wrapped his arms around me.

As he first hugged me, I thought to myself, ‘What is he doing?  I’m perfectly fine.’  As he kept me in his embrace those feelings melted away and gave way to how I really felt.  My face got hot and I kept telling myself to grow up and not be such a baby.  ‘Its JUST hair!’  Over and over.  My eyes welled up and I fought the tears but they came anyway.  They came like a flash flood, both unexpected and unwanted.

But it didn’t stop there, oh no.  As the tears flowed, the sobs joined in.  I began to sob like I hadn’t done so since I was diagnosed almost a year ago.  It was almost a sob of mourning.  In fact, it was. While I’ve learned and gained much on this journey, there are also things I’ve lost that I can never get back.  I’m not only mourning my hair but I’m mourning what it represents.  My husband asked me what I was feeling as I sobbed and I told him I felt tired, I felt afraid, and I felt angry.

I am mentally, physically, and emotionally tired.  My brain feels fried, my body has been run ragged, and my heart has scar tissue from multiple heartbreaks.  Just as I’m losing my hair, I’m losing things I’ll never get back.  I’ll recover but I know I’ll never truly be the same emotionally.  I’ve permanently lost that innocence, that naiveté that comes with never having had to go through something like this.  Unaffected simplicity is gone.  I’m afraid of what I have to do next to live.  I used to think I was fearless and now fear is a constant struggle.  Chemotherapy, nupogen injections, stem cell transplant; its all so overwhelmingly frightening.  Most of all, I’m angry.  I told my husband it would have been better for my hair not to have grown back in between treatments. Its hard enough to see your hair fall out once, but TWICE?  Give me a flipping break!  This is so unfair.

Its difficult for some to understand why its such a big deal when a cancer fighter loses their hair. After all, its just hair right?  Wrong.  While my hair grew back and as I gained weight, I was told time and again how healthy I looked.  Some said they couldn’t tell anything was wrong with me. That’s just it.  I’ve been able to lead a fairly normal life over the past couple of months because I have hair again.  Nobody gawked.  Nobody noticed me.  I was just another person at the mall or on the street.  A bald head is a big red flag that says, ‘Hey everybody, I have cancer!”

I’m in mourning for that ‘normal’ that I’m so quickly losing my grasp on again.  AGAIN.  Hair loss is the first outwardly physical confirmation of ‘I have cancer.’  Losing my hair makes me think of that every time I look in the mirror.  Its a symbol of what I’ve gone through and of what is yet to come. And that is HARD.  That is one jagged, little pill.

My husband held me in his tight embrace, wiping my tears until they stopped and telling me he loved me, hair or no hair.  I think sometimes he knows me better than I know myself and yet he hasn’t run away screaming in the other direction.  In an act of solidarity, he shaved his head bald before mine has had a chance to fall out.  Tonight as I go to sleep waiting for my hair to leave me again, I know I am loved.  “Buh-bye hair!  Na na na na naaaah, he still loves me!”

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Hairy dreams…

So, I’ve been having some pretty interesting dreams lately.  The interesting part about them is not the talking dogs or even the conversations with them.  The interesting part is that no matter who I’m talking to, the subject is ALWAYS about the glorious mane of hair that’s appeared upon my head.  It’s always long and shiny and has miraculously grown in overnight.  I always pull on it to prove to myself and to whoever I’m talking to that it IS real.  “Check it out (tug tug)!”, I say.  “Wow, it grew so fast!”, they reply.  “I told you!!”, as I shake my hair like I’m in a Pantene commercial.  It’s always a miracle in my dream and I even think IN my dream how I hope I’m not dreaming. 

Of course, I always end up waking up with my hands going straight to my head to check for my long hair.  But alas, no luxurious locks to be found.  These dreams are so REAL and I can almost swear my dogs talked to me too although Coby does sound like he says ‘no’ sometimes.  I have this dream at least once a week (not the dogs, the hair part). 

Dreams are so funny.  Hair on my head is what I want the most right now so my brain decides to play this mean prank on me every week.  It’s ok.  My scalp will catch up to my brain soon and then it will have to come up with something else to trick me with.   

I’m so tired of these wigs I have to wear to hide my baldness.  South Texas weather is not exactly conducive to wig-wearing.  I asked my friend Chris something I never thought I would ask EVER.  “Am I hairy enough?”, I asked.  After she stopped laughing, she said yes.  Halleluyer!!  Hence I have come to a decision:  I’m done with wigs!  I have officially grown my hair to about half an inch which is good enough in my book for me to chuck my wigs.  Good riddance.  Vaya con Dios. 

I’ll let you know when the hair dreams stop.  I gather it’ll be soon.

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