I am Not my Hair

When I first told my kids that I had cancer, one of the first questions they asked me was if I was going to lose my hair. I think, for my oldest daughter especially, this was one of the most devastating effects. I’ve never been terribly vain, and was not too worried about losing my hair, because I knew it would be temporary. However, I am raising kids who are into hair, make-up, fashion and all things girly, and they were worried about me losing my hair. I’ve heard it over and over again, it helps to shave the hair off before the chemo makes it fall out in an effort to have some control over it. If that is the case, then I figured that I could involve the kids in the hair cutting to let them control the part of this that concerns them.

Phase one was about 2 weeks ago, shortly after the first round of chemo. I made a ponytail close to my scalp and divided it in half. I let each of my daughters make a braid and cut it off. That was it. Two snips. We never evened it up or anything, and it was the best haircut I’ve had in a long time! I told the girls about Locks for Love. They thought it was cool that another kid could get a wig made out of my hair, so we shipped my two braids off to Locks for Love. After that, I let the kids dye my remaining hair purple, electric blue and crimson red. It was a fun look.

People kept asking me if I really wanted to cut my hair before I knew it would fall out. My doctors and nurses were pretty confident that it would, since it was a big side effect of all three of the drugs I was getting, so I felt it was a safe bet. My physical therapist was the one who was spot on. She explained that around day 17, I would start seeing more hair shedding on my brush and in the shower. Then a few days later, it would start coming out in clumps. She explained that at that point, people usually shave it off. Sure enough, it started on day 16, as I ran my hands through my hair in the shower, hair was getting everywhere. Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore, because, if I pulled on my hair, big clumps were coming out, and that part of it did freak me out a bit. So, last night, I put the electric razor in the kids hands again and let them shave the rest off. Right now, I match my hairless cat, Gizmo, with peach fuzz covering my head. It’s still actively falling out and driving me nuts, like when you just get a haircut and the hairs get in your shirt and itch like mad. Tonight, it all goes.

4 thoughts on “I am Not my Hair

  1. I read your post as they come and look forward to seeing new ones. I miss you guys. You look beautiful with no hair, it fits you nicely. The kids are doing a great job. Stay strong Sue!!! Muah xxxxxx

  2. Hey Sue–I like the look! You can see all of your lovely face. Keep writing. Let me know when you need help. Chuck

  3. Sue – I wish I had known you 30 years ago. I could have used your wisdom and your strength. I don’t remember the many portions of that time, but I do recall the feeling of seeing my hair in other places than where it had originally been. Hugs!!

  4. I couldn’t help but keep reading your blog!
    I love how you approach these “milestones” of the chemo process; again you have made things fun, included your girls, and made light of the situation for their sake.
    So you know, you look great with it all cut off!

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