It’s started. 2 weeks to the date after my first chemo treatment my hair is starting to fall out. Like every other girl out there I shed like Chewbacca in the shower and have even been known to stick the hair on the shower wall with the good intention of throwing it away after (but leaving it there instead). This is different. Since yesterday, every time I touch my head there’s a shower worth of hair in my hand. I can run my hand through over and over and have fists full of hair each time. I am afraid that it’s starting to be like when your Christmas tree has been dead for a while and even sneezing in the same room causes the needles to fall off. My head is now officially a dry Christmas tree.
So instead of having mini panic attacks every time I shower or take out my hair tie I am making a decision that I don’t feel like I’m really ready to make. I am shaving the sucker. Taking control of the situation and taking the decision out of chemo’s hands and putting it back in my own. So in honour of the departure of my hair I write this open letter of apology:
I want to apologize. I haven’t treated you well over the years and now that you’re about to be scattered all over the floor I am full of regret. I am sorry for that time when I was 9 and I went to Camp Latona and I didn’t brush you for 5 days. Then I got home and mom was so mad that she threatened to cut you off because of the giant rats nest that a week at summer camp had created. I’m sorry for letting grandma cut 6 inches off of you when mom and dad went away on a cruise for a week, but you were so long that I had to throw you over my shoulder when I went to the bathroom or else I’d pee on you. I’m sorry for the Sun-In (and the lemon juice when the bottle of Sun-In was empty), I saw the commercials and thought for sure that a few spritzes and 15 minutes in the sun would make me a blonde bombshell…it didn’t. I’m sorry for all those times I accidentally ripped you out of my head when my ponytail got caught in my hand as I was throwing the ball at softball. I’m sorry for hating that first grey hair that my hairdresser found when she was doing you up for my high school grad. I’m also sorry for hating the hundreds of grey friends that have shown up to the party since then. I am sorry for those times I used a regular elastic band because my hair tie broke.
But mostly I am sorry for 1000 years of the same hairstyle and not appreciating you or learning how to deal with your frizzy, wavy, kind of curly but not really, thick, knotted craziness in any other way.
PS – It’s Probably not going to get any better when you grow back.
All jokes aside, I’m not going to lie, I am not looking forward to being bald. Up until now if you look at me it’s tough to know that there’s something going on. I look like myself and I can hide my lopsided, tissue expanded chicken cutlets pretty easily. It’s harder to hide a bald head and people associate this kind of baldness with cancer, chemo and illness. Yes I could get a wig, but I won’t. I’ll wear hats, toques and scarves (maybe) but people still know. I don’t want to see the pity in other people’s eyes. I feel like those looks have the ability to wear down my positive resolve so if you’re reading this and you see me bald don’t you dare give me sad eyes. I’ll cut you.