I was first diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago at 31. I remember hearing that the chemo would make my hair fall out and rumor had it that it would happen EXACTLY at the 2 week mark. And that rumor was confirmed. It is actually one of the few things I do remember from my experience 10 years ago.
I was in my bathroom, had my hair in a pony tail and took the rubber band out. I shook my hair and remember thinking…wow! My hair looks good today…and then I looked down, grabbed the counter, and sat down. Because while my hair looked good, there were HUNDREDS of hairs that had fallen to the ground when I took the pony tail out. It was disturbing, and yet the true trooper that I am, I quickly stood back up and went to look for a razor to shave my head. The hair was coming out on MY terms!!!
Fast forward 10 years. I found out in February that I had stage IV metastatic breast cancer, where the cancer had spread to my lungs, liver, and lymph nodes. With chemo being the only option to get the cancer to go smaller, I knew what the future of my long hair would be. I got it cut short for my sons 1 year old party on March 30, 2013. I only prayed for it to stay “cute” for his birthday party pictures, and I was not let down! I have great photos of his party and I look good in them :-)! The next day I went and got a wig, and promptly shaved what was left of my hair off.
To me, losing hair is not really a big deal in the big picture. It is such a small sacrifice to make to try to keep the cancer from growing. My son actually doesn’t like me to wear my hair (wig), because I think he thinks that means I am going to work. I don’t typically wear a wig at home, just a bandana so that I don’t get cold.
I would say the only thing that was disturbing, is truly that the hair does not hurt when it comes out. When you brush your hair, you feel the tug, and the hair comes out. With chemo hair loss, you don’t feel the tug. You brush, hair comes out. You brush again, and more comes out. And it just keeps going. You have to stop brushing, so the hair stops coming out!!! Or do as I did, and shave your head!
Fashions by Will Stiles, Palm Springs
Photography by Stacy Jacob Photography, Makeup by Michael Strauss, Styling by Debbie Green