This was me. Before cancer. Long hair, relaxed, loving life – oblivious to the cancer that was already growing inside.
And then everything changed.
My wigs have been a godsend. I really couldn’t have got through the last year without them. They’ve allowed me to feel almost “normal” throughout some very abnormal times. I ended up with 5 beauties, each with their own personality, and I have definitely enjoyed having choices when it comes to dealing with the hair loss.
But I’ve had enough now. I have a full head of curls beneath these wigs which makes for a hot, uncomfortable day! Whilst each one brings out a slightly different version of me, I can only truly be myself when they’re gone.
So it’s time. Time for me to sort my hair out. Time to show the world who I really am. Time to get used to the new me. Time to move on.
Nothing will ever quite be the same again and I’ve spent much of the last few months quietly grieving for the life I had and the person I was. It will take time to fully come to terms with everything that has happened, but part of that recovery is accepting that my long, sleek hair is no more and learning to manage the the curly, unruly replacement! The final hurdle; ditch the wigs.
Losing my hair was the hardest part of cancer treatment. I know how vain that sounds but for me, it’s true. I lost part of my identity when I lost my hair. I also struggled to “brave the bald”, always choosing to hide beneath a wig, scarf or hat, not wanting to show everyone the real me.
So in the spirit of full disclosure…
Today, almost 9 months after my last chemo infusion, I went to get my hair cut. I was nervous and apprehensive. It felt like such a lot was riding on this cut. Like it or hate it the wigs were going. It was probably the most stressful haircut I’ve ever had. Apart from the buzz cut that Ad did for me of course!
This is my “before” photo.:
I was quite prepared to have most of my new hair cut off despite wanting to grow it longer. But my lovely hairdresser convinced me to try to keep some of the length – at least for now. It doesn’t mean I won’t end up with a Jamie Lee Curtis cut in the future though.
So this is what I ended up with!
Do I like it? That’s a hard question. I like it more than I did when I went into the salon. I like it more than being bald. But it’s not a look I’d have chosen before cancer.
But it is what it is. I need to stop hankering for what once was and face up to who I am now. My new cut means I can be “out and proud”. The wigs are going!
It is quite a moment for me. I’m definitely feeling emotional. And scared. I still have to do “the walk” through the office which will be at least as difficult as walking in wearing a wig for the first time. I hope I can do it. I guess I just have to channel my inner Keala Settle*….
*If you’ve seen The Greatest Showman you’ll understand the reference, if not then go see it!