Thursday, March 21, 2013

Let's Talk About Hair: Short and Sexy

Photo credit Hiedi Hays Photography

Let's talk about hair.  You've all seen the picture.  It's great isn't it? There she is, taking the bull by the horns, controlling her destiny, giving cancer the middle finger by shaving off her hair.  Well as we learn in those "celebrities without makeup" sections, photos aren't always what they seem.  

Loosing my hair was a slow process, one I had a lot to time to think about and get used to.  Still, nothing really prepares a woman for losing her hair.  But if it had to go, I am glad it went the way it did. In phases, with love and support and just a few tears. Here is phase 1. 

Let's Talk About Hair: Short and Sexy

When we first made the decision to go with chemo, the only side affect they said they couldn't control was hair loss.  I asked Lisa, my nurse practitioner, if it would just be easier to get my hair cut shorter and she said yes.  So I took matters into my own hands, was a strong independent woman, took control of my life and went to my regularly scheduled hair appointment. 

My hair dresser Amanda is a friend I went to elementary school with.  She asked me what made me all of the sudden go short with my hair.  I told her the truth.  That is one thing that really sucks about the whole cancer thing.  Sometimes, people asked me innocent questions like "Why are you getting your hair cut short?" or "What brings you to Boston?"  Life goes into slow motion for a minute as I decide how to answer.  I decided from the beginning to be honest, it wasn't a secret. But it really sucks to answer a basic question people are expecting a "I just want to do something new" or "I'm in town to check out colleges" with "I have cancer."  Watching their reaction is heart wrenching, why add this to their day? Why add to their burdens?   Still, I opted for the truth and told her I had cancer, was going to lose my hair and thought I'd just get started.  Amanda didn't miss a beat.  She told me she understood, she told me that she had other friends she helped through it, she said come back anytime, whenever I needed or she'd come to me.  But for now, she was going to give me a kick ass cut.  This is what I ended up with....

I LOVED it.  Was sad I was going to lose it and definitely going back to it. 

Jewelry made by my friend Kim
As I've said before there was a delay in chemo, even an uncertainty that I would need it.  So I kept quiet to most of the world while I waited for more information.   I thought it would be a dead giveaway when I returned to work after my second surgery and before chemo. 

This hair cut gave me a new spring in my step and was exactly what I needed after weeks of recovering on my couch, wearing sweat pants and t-shirts and feeling all around unpretty and of course unsexy.  It was a good first step, the right first step in this whole losing my hair thing. 

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