Let’s really talk about losing hair… (or click here to watch the video)
When I was told I was going to have chemotherapy, they walked me through what each drug is and what each one does. In one of the R-CHOP chemotherapy drugs, there’s one particular one that causes your hair to fall out, personally I call this drug the evil one, because it is a red colour and I felt like it was pure evil because of the side effects it causes. Anyhow, the nurse looked at me and said, “with this particular chemotherapy, you will lose your hair, very most likely on the second round of chemotherapy.”
And… I felt a huge pit in my stomach. In my head, I kept telling myself, if losing my hair keeps me alive, then so be it. But you can’t help feel sad and upset, it’s part of your appearance and who you are. I didn’t want to be bald. I would never choose to be bald.
Fast forward to the chemotherapy, the first cycle was fine and I was only losing a few strands of hair and it didn’t faze me at first. But I was dreading the second round of chemotherapy, I didn’t want it. Inevitably, the second round of chemo came quickly.
I decided to cut my hair short first, just below my ears. My nurse told me that it would help with the process.
More and more hair would appear on my pillow every morning, followed by a round of streaming tears. I refused to wash my hair because I couldn’t bring myself to look at my hair falling out. People will know I have cancer if I lose my hair, people will stare with their sympathetic eyes and I will look sick. This broke my heart.
As the days went by, my scalp started feeling sore and it always felt like someone was pulling on my hair. I couldn’t take the pain anymore. I really didn’t want to shave my head but I knew it was the right thing to do.
The day came, I made sure I had a back up wig, and back up chemo caps. I remember my sister asking, are you sure? And all of me wanted to say no, but the word yes came out instead. It was time.
My dad shaved my head, even though throughout my whole life, he has always joked that he wanted to shave my head, the time actually came. So at least I fulfilled someone’s dream, right? I don’t think he ever wanted to do it though.
I held my breathe throughout the process, I laughed and I cried. I felt the air on my scalp, which was an unfamiliar feeling. And I could barely look in the mirror.
I braved the shaved because I didn’t want to feel the pain when I woke up in the morning, I wanted to have a shower without worrying and I didn’t want my scalp to feel so sore anymore. Those are my reasons why I shaved my head, and I can honestly say, I haven’t looked back since.
Don’t get me wrong, I found it very hard to look in the mirror for weeks but eventually, you do come to terms with it, you do learn that it’s only temporary.
If you are ever in a position like mine, my advice is for you; you will be scared and that’s okay, but remember it is only temporary and it’s something that needs to be done to save your life. So try and take as many positives out of it as you can because hopefully you won’t be in this position again.