My Cancer Story

Actually Losing Your Hair

I had gone to several websites (OK, more like hundreds) to find out as much as I could about what I was going through.  I went to some sites that were about cancer, in general, (not specifically breast cancer) and read that not everyone going through chemotherapy loses their hair.  That statement did not pertain to breast cancer.  The common treatments for breast cancer are drugs that WILL cause your hair to fall out.  So, while I wanted to hold out hope that I would escape that, the truth is, there was no escaping it.

I thought about some of the women I had seen sitting in the waiting room at the Cancer Center with big chunks of hair missing.  That thought was sad and disturbing.  So, decided not to wait for cancer to take it from me – instead I was going to control the situation (yeah, I am a bit of a control freak).

So, right after my first chemotherapy treatment, before my hair actually started to fall out, I got my beautiful curls cut off.  I went to a wig shop so I wasn’t in sight of a dozen other people gawking at me and wondering what I was doing.  The woman there cut my hair to about three quarters of an inch long.  I thought I would be depressed but the act was actually incredibly empowering.  I went home and wrote an email to a couple of friends with the tag line, “Right now, I am the bravest woman in the world!”

About two and a half weeks after the first chemotherapy treatment, my hair really started to fall out.  Even though it was cut short, soon, there would be spots where my scalp would be showing.   Wanting to control the situation again, I asked my husband to just shave my head.  While it was empowering, I missed my hair and I hated looking at my reflection in the mirror.  But at least it was on MY terms – this disease was NOT going to control everything.

I never actually wore a wig.  I wore cute little hats to cover up my lack of hair – I was fortunate that I went through it in winter!!


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