I’ve been through so much, I thought losing my hair would be the least of it. I figured I’d rock some cool hats from my huge collection and have some fun. A couple months and it will grow back! I think bald heads on dudes is super sexy and Sinead O’Conner pulled it off so beautifully. No biggie, right?
But it sucks! It’s this horrible external reminder of what I’m going through. EVERY TIME I LOOK IN THE MIRROR, I’m being reminded that I’m a CANCER PATIENT CANCER PATIENT CANCER PATIENT CANCER PATIENT.
I know that it shouldn’t seem like a big deal. I would think that if I wasn’t the patient. I mean, really, who cares? It’s only temporary. It will grow back. But it IS a big deal. I feel ugly and weird looking. I’m crying as I write this. And I know I shouldn’t complain because my eyebrows and eyelashes are still intact! When I have a hat or scarf on, I look pretty normal! And it’s STILL really upsetting.
I still have SOME hair but it keeps falling out – and it’s so thin that there was no point in keeping it anymore. The little hairs everywhere were driving me nuts. So, it was shaved away. I feel so exposed. I feel odd without color on my head after being a redhead, and then brunette, my entire life. I feel like I can’t hide what I’m going through. Before, while running errands, I could pretend to be normal. Not anymore. I know that I’m still getting used to it – it’s only been a couple of days since the shaving. And I WILL get used to it but it’s been a lot harder than I anticipated. I literally gasp every time I look in the mirror. I think the hardest part is that I don’t feel like ME. Who is this person looking back at me?
On the upside, my body is feeling strong on my Non-Fatigue days. Fatigue Days are tough – your brain is awake but your body feels like lead. You can’t do anything but just stare at the wall, incredibly boring. But I do feel like I turned a corner with my digestion and overall strength. I put on a couple of pounds and have decent energy on my precious good days. And I am slowly starting to engage with the world, which feels amazing after being in lock down for so long.
My bald head conflicts with the growing strength of my body. I know I need to suck it up because the reality is that my hairless head is the only way you can tell I’m sick. Wait, that sentence doesn’t even sound accurate. That’s the strange thing. I don’t FEEL sick. Just realizing this…maybe that’s why the bald head is so hard for me. I felt pretty healthy before the surgery which is bizarre if you think about three cancers growing at once. But I haven’t felt “sick” this entire time. Now, I LOOK like a sick person. Makes sense that it would be upsetting. In my face, literally.
Overall, though, I’m told I’m lucky I’m holding up so well for being halfway through. I start my fourth cycle next week. Most people are super beaten up by now. I don’t know why I’m doing okay. Good diet? Acupuncture? The supplements? Greek genes? I have no idea. But I’m grateful for it. I need to get my wig cut and styled. I think that will help. And get the hang of scarves. But the whole thing is pretty shitty and shocking. Somehow I will get through it. I can do this.