Seen better times than right now
But I’m not runnin’ away
No nothing’s gonna bring me down
It’s just been one of those days…
This past week, I was able to put my hair up in a ponytail for the first time in over 2 years. That’s progress!
Someone at work commented on my hair the other day. “Wow it’s getting long!” Flashing her my boyish photo on my work ID, I replied “you could say I’ve come a long way from this”. She smiled, and asked the million dollar question. “What made you cut it so short?”
I could have just said something like “well I was going through a phase” or “wanted to try something new” but I have a hard time lying. So I fessed up and told her about my treatment.
I remember that part of my journey through hell vividly. It was the worst part for me, worse than surgery and treatment itself. Everyone with cancer handles this differently. Some people I know proudly showed off their bald beautiful heads. But not me. I think for me, it was officially telling the world I was sick. And I didn’t want people to know.
Grab a handful of your hair. Give it a firm tug. Kind of hurts when you do that, right? Now imagine taking that same handful of hair and pulling it, but instead of feeling an ouch, the hair just comes out with ease and no pain. You never think you will experience that. You never think you will know what your head looks like without hair.
I remember when I started wearing the wig, I still had hair underneath. My long thick hair had been cut very short by my stylist in preparation of the big day it would start falling out. When I came home after work, I could not wait to remove the itchy wig and let my head breathe. Every day, I would give my hair a tug to see if it was the day. I remember the first time I pulled and didn’t feel the usual resistance, it was still shocking even though I knew it was coming. Once it started falling out, I would just sit down at night and pull out clumps, just wanting it gone but not ready to shave it.
One day, I pulled the wig off and it was really bad. I had hardly anything left, and what was there was really thin and limp. There was no reason to hold on anymore, so I asked my husband to get the clippers. I cried, I laughed at his bad jokes. But we got rid of it.
Here are some of my wig looks and the first time I went wigless in public when it was growing back. That was rough, but I was on a cruise so no one knew me. Not ready to share the bald look, but I will eventually. It is still hard to see myself like that.
On Halloween, I was trying to put together a costume. I thought a wig would make the look, but the thought of wearing one again gave me the chills. No thanks.