I think the whole experience of losing your hair is not just about changes in your looks. I feel somewhat exposed, I can’t hide the fact that I’m sick, that I have cancer. I can’t be ‘normal’ anymore; everyone knows you have cancer when you lose your hair, everyone knows your going through chemo. There’s no hiding, not that I was hiding it but I didn’t necessarily want to declare it to everyone that sees me. Hey look at me I have cancer. What’s more people see it as an opening line to ask why you’ve lost your hair, that you’re ok with openly taking about your cancer. Strangers come up to you and just want to share their cancer stories. This is not always bad but sometimes you want to just ‘be’ and not be reminded you have cancer. You just want to go shopping, or watch your child run, or just be yourself.
I miss my hair, I really miss my hair. I guess it’s a bit of a grieving process losing something. You’re not the same without it. I miss my hair, my breasts, my old self. Where did I go? You do lose yourself, you look in the mirror and what’s staring back at you is not you anymore. I see my cancer staring back at me. At the moment I feel like the cancer is winning by a margin. It’s robbed me of my confidence, even my femininity. It’s hard to feel womanly when you have no hair. I hate the cancer look of no hair, no eyebrows, no eyelashes, no confidence; the only consolation is that I get a free Brazilian whether I like it or not.
I decided that my way of getting control back was to get my eyebrows tattooed. I was sick of drawing really bad eyebrows on every morning and I’m not one to put make up on everyday. I also thought I would be losing my hair for longer this time, could be indefinitely if this drug works for me. Apparently there’s no limit on how much you can have of abraxane. So I was thinking long term, whatever that means. The tattoo experience was just that an experience, I was petrified not with the pain involved or the needles but the permanency aspect, what if I don’t like it and I’ll be stuck with it forever there’s no turning back. Lucky for me I found the right people, I feel like I’ve made the right decision getting the tattoo.
I don’t think it’s vanity having concerns about my appearance. I love how people say it’s just hair it’ll grow back. I don’t see many bald women out there shaving off their hair. My beautiful daughter wanted to cut her hair to show her support for me, how lovely was that? My daughter is nine years old and it took her a long time to grow her hair and she was willing to cut her hair for me. How beautiful is my girl. When I first wore my wig out she also wore a wig. I sometimes worry that it might be embarrassing for her to have a mum with no hair but she’s fine. She’s not concerned at all with what I wear. She’s not phased by it at all, so sometimes when I pick her up from school I might have hair on or a hat or scarf. I wonder how she’s feeling seeing me change like this? It still feels odd that I have to think about what I’ll do with my head, do I put hair on? Wear a hat or scarf? Or go commando. I must admit I’ve not done the commando too often, you get too many looks and stares.
I bought a few more wigs this year and I’ve even bought human hair as I’m going to be bold longer this time around I thought this would be a good investment. I’ve had loads of issues with my human hair wig let’s call her Carrie. Firstly Carrie had loads of flyaways, the type you get after childbirth and you’ve had postpartum hair loss. I was not expecting flyaways with my wig. Secondly Carrie had a slight wave in her hair. I was expecting Carrie to have straight hair because when I went to try her on she was dead straight. So flyways and slightly frizzy hair after a wash; not what you would expect your hair to look like leaving a salon after spending several hundred dollars. Thirdly Carrie’s monofilament lace front looks obvious and her part looks almost balding! So let’s just say I was disillusioned and disappointed with my Carrie purchase. I did manage to fix her somewhat by giving her a keratin treatment, so no flyaways and straight hair; I’m so lucky I found the best hairdresser who looked after wigs. Your normal hairdresser is not enough they need to be wig experts too. So now I can have hair again!
It’s odd wearing a wig because you get all paranoid, especially when you’re meeting people for the first time. You’re not sure if they know you don’t have hair and you’re wearing a wig, can they tell? Are they wondering whether you have a wig on? Is my hair in the right place? I’m always adjusting my hair and touching it when I have my wig on.
I do miss my hair but it’s just hair, right?