I think one of the biggest physical signs we associate with cancer is baldness. Chemo attacks the fast growing cells in our bodies, which includes our hair and nail cells. Last time I had cancer, my hair hung on for quite a while, and I never went completely smooth, just all the way down to a few wisps, tactically redistributed! Since the majority of my hair stayed this far into transplant, I had settled into a pleasant anticipation of keeping my hair (a few BMT patients have kept all their hair!)
As a girl, I always enjoyed trying new hairstyles, finding new accessories, or even simply washing my hair. So it is incredibly tough to go bald. While I can't say that I experience any raw emotions, I know that there is a very subtle, yet intense inner emotional component that gnaws at me. For instance, the inner pain compounded into a major meltdown at 2AM last night! Every time I see a pile of hair, my hair, I feel a sharp twinge of emotion. Sometimes I just feel really sad that I'm going bald; other times I feel stabs of loneliness of being in the 'exclusive' bald club. But one of the hardest elements overall is watching my parents watch me. Their faces convolute with incredible emotions, including sadness and helplessness. I have a therapeutic habit of
A bit of the hand-picked deluge...more pictures in the next few days!When I entered college last fall, my head was completely shaved. It was extremely difficult at first, as I saw hair color, style, and lengths of all sorts. One of my biggest coping methods was wearing loud or big earrings that made a statement. I figured that since I didn't have the privilege of choosing different hairstyles, earrings were as close as I could get; they also filled the feminine gap I felt. Sometimes I hid under a colorful scarf. As the semester progressed, my hair started to grow. Understanding and supportive friends complemented me on the baby hair bows, glittery headbands, and teeny barrettes I started putting in my hair; thank you college friends, for supporting me and helping me regain some of the self-esteem and confidence my hair stole from me.
A little help to hasten the departure...Joseph and Daniel pulling my hair when no one else was around to stop them :)Last time I faced the bald challenge with the help of handmade crocheted hats from a dear friend, a bear hat from my dad's coworker, and other whimsical hats. All in all, I think I'm ready to face this new "bald battle" again! I know I'll get through this with the help of my dear family, wonderful friends, and "ever present comfort in time of trouble" the Lord.
For the hairs of your head are numbered [by God]...Matthew 10:30 He cares enough to count them, and so He will take care of me!!
Starting to see my scalp...
I've gone 'smooth' in the back!
P.S. This post feels really awkward and disconnected to me, and I'm sorry. I just wanted to write something down now, before the sharp pain dims to a dull ache. I feel this is just a diary of a few of the thoughts that have been swimming in my head today.