Since I originally wasn’t going to have chemo, I hadn’t given much thought (aside from major relief that I wouldn’t need to face the issue) to losing my hair. When my oncologist strongly suggested I have the chemo to increase my long-term percentage of success, she told me that I would lose it all. Even knowing it, doesn’t keep it from seeming surreal once it starts to happen. Day 14 of my first chemo round, every time I ran my hands through my hair, 2-3 strands would come out. By the next day, it was 6-12 strands every time. We stopped at Great Clips on the way home from my blood draw and I had my medium bob cut into a very short pixie. It didn’t slow down the hair loss, but it was somewhat less unnerving simply because it was shorter. By the end of the week, I looked more like a plucked chicken, and Jess shaved the rest of it off. Although it was traumatic, taking the week with it more gradually, made it a bit easier.
One of my survivor friends had strongly suggested I get a wig, something she had not done in her earlier bouts of cancer. She said, and I agree, sometimes you just don’t want to be the cancer patient. When people see the hats or scarves, they know you’ve got cancer. And some people really can’t cope with it. They don’t know how to react, what to say, some are frightened by it, etc. Several people had told me that my hair is likely to come back gray, so I asked for a short and sassy gray wig. I haven’t worn it that often, but it’s nice to have the option.
I'm learning more about my art, and from my art, every day. It's not so much a matter of skill or practice... mostly it's a shift in perspective, a way of shaping how I look at and exist in the world.
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