V is for very bald
Friday, October 12, 2018. I think following my initial post, this is my most anticipated update! So without further delay ...
I've had a love/hate relationship with my hair over the course of my life, but when I heard the word "chemo" suddenly my hair was my best friend. I could not imagine my life without hair. Hair is such a huge part of femininity and for me, it was something I loved experimenting with. When I was younger, I had hair all the way down my back. In fifth grade I got a perm. In middle school, I had my sister dye my hair shades of reddish/purple. I chopped it off a la Victoria Beckham. I highlighted it, curled it, straightened it. You name it, I tried it. I may not have worn makeup until I was 18, but I was all about expressing myself through my hair!
Then add on the fact that I would be losing my eyebrows and eyelashes ... It was a devastating blow.
So on September 21st, I went to a local cancer support shop to try on wigs (see this post for more info/pictures on that experience). The woman (I'll call her M) who was guiding me through the process was a wealth of information (not to mention such a sweet person). She informed me that about 50% of cancer patients experience pain with hair loss, which is something I had never heard. We discussed shaving my head preemptively and purchasing a wig but she encouraged me to take my time and make these decisions on my own.
I ultimately decided I would shave my head before my hair started to fall out.
Fast forward to Thursday, October 11th. I wanted to cut off a good amount of length in preparation for shaving my head the following day. I knew it would be too hard for me to see my long hair shaved off.
My mom asked her good friend, Iris, to come to her house and cut my hair. She was such a sweetheart. I don't mind cutting my hair but because all I could think about was the following day, I kept crying while she was cutting my hair and I felt completely sick to my stomach. It was a much harder experience than I anticipated. I could only imagine how much of a mess I would be when my hair was being shaved off!
By the way, Iris did a fantastic job and I would HIGHLY recommend her to anyone! I wish I could have kept this hairstyle for more than a day.
My sisters and my mom offered to go with me the following day, but I started to panic and think I was going to be sick the whole time. I decided I'd just have my mom there. But then Ricky came over that night and he encouraged me to have my sisters go. The next morning I woke up feeling much more of a lightness (no, not because half of my hair was gone) and I decided to tell my sisters I would like them to be there.
We arrived at the support center and met with M. She told me she had fully intended to try to talk me out of shaving my hair if I hadn't started losing it yet. She was worried that I would feel angry if I lost my hair before it was necessary. I took some time to talk it over with my family but I felt a peace about shaving my head. It was day 12 post chemo and so at most, I'd probably have five more days with my hair. My scalp was already starting to feel tight, which indicated it would probably hurt when my hair did fall out. And I knew if I waited until after the second round of chemo, I would be feeling physically sick and therefore, I knew my emotions would be even more heightened. Shaving my head felt like the right choice. M told me I was one of the bravest women she had met.
She asked if I'd like to watch as she shaved it and I said yes. One of my sisters documented the event on video and my other sister took pictures.
It was definitely a weird feeling! M shaved half of my head first and I couldn't believe how cold that side of my head got! We also couldn't believe how much hair I had, even after having cut it the day before.
Someone who was present (name withheld to protect her identity haha) said, "Sorry, but for lack of a better term, you look bada**." It really was an empowering feeling!
My mom, my sisters and M were so encouraging throughout the process. It truly was such an incredible experience. It was another one of those moments where I realized I was stronger than I thought I was.
I finished the morning off by getting a wig (thank you to my Aunt Alma, Uncle George and Courtney for your incredible generosity) a wig/hat combo and a sleep cap (thank you, Mom and Dad!!). It was hilarious when I put the cap on because we realized it looked almost exactly like the haircut Iris had given me! I decided to play a little trick on my Instagram followers ... I posted a video of myself in the hat and said "Sooo, I couldn't go through with it."
Sorry guys! I couldn't resist!
Today is October 16th- day 16. The hair on my head is still growing but I can tell hair growth is slowing down. Eventually, I will become full on "shiny bald", as M said. That will probably be harder for me to see but for now, I am feeling very comfortable with my new, temporary look.
So there you have it! One bald, bada** chick! Thank you guys for being so very supportive during this huge transition for me! I love you all more than you could imagine!
All my love,
P.S. Anyone pick up on my play on words in the title of this blog? I'll give you a hint ... as my head was being shaved, everyone in the room kept trying to figure out who I looked like. If you figure out who they thought I resembled (and/or the title) leave me a comment!
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