I knew that there would be changes. At first I cried. I mean, I identify with my long hair. As a little girl my dad would tell me we couldn’t cut it off. We had to have long hair. It was just the way it was. And I love it. And I had even been trying to grow it out so that I could donate it again. I had put some color in it 4-5 years ago with highlights, which has literally taken me this long to grow all the color out and I am getting close to donation length, but just not close enough.
But now, there’s no choice. And I’m embracing it. After Chemo 1, I was told it would start coming out in about 2 weeks- and definitely by my 2nd treatment. The nurse practitioner told me that if there was anything crazy I ever wanted to do with my hair, do it now.
I’ve been given ballcaps, crocheted headpieces, scarves, Asheville Marathon buffs… I’m getting ready.
So my friends set up an appointment to get our hair colored pink! Ok, so I did the most, they did the edges- This awesome mom of one of my athletes (April Tweed) told us she really wanted to do our hair, so we set up an appointment the Tuesday after my chemo to get it done. And I love it!
More and more hair came out over the next few weeks. But the length was still there. I made it work. I eventually moved to wearing ball caps more. By the time I got to my 2nd Chemo treatment, I felt the need to wear something on my head all the time due to the patchiness on the top, but the length was still there so I could still get away with not cutting my hair. Many others said that by the time their hair started to look like an ‘old man comb-over’ it was time. But that wasn’t enough for me. I just didn’t think I was ‘there’ yet. But I knew it would come.
People noticed I was wearing hats and buffs all the time. I haven’t talked myself into a wig yet. I hear they are itchy. I feel vain thinking I need to wear one, although I have seen some absolutely beautiful ones on others that do wear them.
One of the girls at work point blanked asked ‘Crystal why do you want to worry about a wig versus these cute hats?’ I responded ‘More for their comfort is the only reason I’d consider it’. She pretty much echoed my thoughts that what I do should be what I’m comfortable with, not what others are comfortable with. And not to say that anyone along this process has ever suggested that I get a wig, but I just worry about how comfortable they would be. I am confident that anyone I know will be comfortable with what I do. Maybe I just needed to hear someone else echo that it really was ok.
Over the following week, my hair started thinning more and more on the top of my head. Moreso if I washed my hair but also it seemed to just be coming out anyhow just in a day. I made it through one of the busiest weeks I’d had in a while, all while still on ‘chemo brain’ at that. But at least things were clearing some by end of week.
It finally got thin enough. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized it. So I told my husband, sisters, mom, and some of my closest friends… it is time.
Its like the most amazing things happen randomly … 30 minutes before the time we had designated this ‘event’ when Melissa sends me a message and asks if she can take some photos for me sometime. Then she asks if we are shaving my head tonight… if so she will come document by photo!
So, with a bottle of wine, some upbeat music, my family and friends present… off went the hair. This was a special situation for me. I am blessed to have such wonderful people surrounding me as I go through some of the hardest situations that a woman could. However God is Forever Faithful.
And now I’m ready to rock the multiple hats, buffs, scarves, bandanas that I have been given!
1 Peter 3:3-4
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.