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Hair, Part II

My hairdresser, who as many of you know is my friend and neighbor first and my hairdresser by happenstance, cut off more of my hair last night. A lot more. I went to see her intending to have her give me an intermediate hair cut…a little bit shorter than it was but basically the same style…as part of my plan to transition into short hair. But I didn’t really love the intermediate cut, so I had her cut off more of it. And it’s really short. I’m not sure I was ready for it to be quite this short. Every time I walk by a mirror or a window and catch a glimpse of my head, it kind of takes my breath away.

It’s an odd feeling because I didn’t sit down in the chair excited about getting a new hair cut like I usually do, but instead I felt resigned to taking the next step. Although I like the cut, I’m not feeling that confident just-had-your-hair-cut feeling that usually follows a new style. And it turns out that there was a part of me that thought that maybe this wasn't really going to happen and that maybe it was all just a surreal dream or something. I think I was kind of hoping that one of these doctors would say, "You know, you're okay now and you're not going to need chemotherapy." Each time I see my hair this short, it makes me realize that this is really happening. The shock of it also makes me keep thinking about what’s next. I can’t help but wonder how much more difficult it is going to be when it’s all gone.

I'm considering putting together a photo gallery of hair pictures so that you can see the evolution. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to be able to post them here, but I'm thinking about it.

Comments

I'm sure your hair looks just fine the way it is. Whether you post your hair styles or not, you are probably looking more like Katie Holmes after she cut her hair shorter to look like Victoria Beckham. And what about Mia Farrow, who made a career out of having short hair?


Speaking of haircuts, I've seen some terrible names for salons. Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow; O'Hair; The Best Little Hairhouse, and A Cut Above. Why do barbers or hair stylists do that to us?

You're lucky to only have to go next door to have your locks shorn. And I bet your neighbor doesn't have a goofy sign up advertising her services.

Hey! I just found your site, and read this entry...and when I got down to the part about your haircut being because of chemo, I had a moment of Deja Vu. I went through breast cancer (stage II), chemo, mastectomy during my second year of law school, and I wanted to stop and say hello -- to tell you to contact me by email if you want; I am now 3.5 years post-treatment, my hair is back (past my shoulders), my health is good, and yours will be too. Hang in there. I'm going to read the rest of your posts.
-Deb

Kim, just keep telling yourself that your hair is not the MOST beautiful thing about you- it's true, you know? Your spirit is what people love about you! Tell yourself that your hair is (temporarily) a small price to pay for such a huge decrease in recurrence percentage. I wish I could pay it for you- my hair is always a mess anyway! I was very, very glad to hear from Suzy about the lowered recurrence rate with the "newer" chemo you have selected. You are going to win this thing- cancer may get your hair for a very little while, but just remember- that's ALL it will get!!

Kim,

It's so strange to read your post, because I still can't believe you have cancer. Can you believe it? Do you say it outloud? I have cancer?

This is really happening. You aren't going to wake up and have it go away or in the next episode find out you were misdiagnosed -this is real. With all the scary thoughts that come with it.

The great news in all of this is that in a year or two it will feel like a bad bad TV episode. You and your kids will smile at each other at the hiccup in your life this will be and give thanks for finding it so quickly.

I love you. You are strong and you will survive. In the meantime - all of those feelings and fears - they are real, they are scary but they are just feelings. They are not reality.

The reality is that you are strong, and brave, and scared, and wonderful.

XOXOXO