When I started chemo they told me that two weeks after the first infusion my hair would begin to fall out. They could not have been more accurate. At exactly day 14 I was able to very gently pull or brush my hair and it came out in patches.
I knew that I eventually wanted to buzz it off, but I also knew it was still too thick in the back. Throughout the morning I continued to manually pull it out. That sounds so brutal but there was no pain. It just came with ease. After running a few errands we came home and cut the rest off.
I thought I would be more emotional through this process. There were tears, but in talking about it with Chris and other family members, this is temporary. It WILL grow back. And the fun part is we don’t know what it will look like. It could be a completely different color or curly. Who knows! Below are pictures of my amazingly supportive husband shaving my head along with the after picture.
Through this blog, I have tried to be as real and transparent as possible. I may be smiling but I hadn’t been the whole time. It was hard. The hardest part is more what my kids will think. How will Eli react? As the oncologist told me, this is the most visible sign that you are fighting a battle. Everyone you see me from here on will know.
There have been some fun experiences since shaving my head. I am so much cooler! I seem to be always hot and not anymore. I will save money on shampoo. I can get ready in the mornings much faster.
I also find coordinating my outfit to match my head wrap and earrings are fun!
Through this whole process, I am trying to find the good in every situation. It is weird to put a shirt on and not have to pull my hair out of my collar. It is weird to reach up to twirl my hair and find nothing there. It is weird to lay on the pillow at night and feel the cold fabric against my head. It is all different, but this time next year will hopefully be back! Honestly, I may never go back to long hair. The short hair before chemo was great!
As with the discussion on reconstructive surgery for my breast, cancer has changed me. I always knew that beauty is what is inside, but it’s hard to see that clearly when you’ve lost two things that define you as a woman. A breast and hair, but on the inside, I’m still Carrie.
Some may be wondering how the kids reacted. Isaac did fine. He plans to get his head shaved this evening to match dad and me.
Eli saw the shaving process happen, but when I got down to show him he was a bit overwhelmed. He couldn’t look at me. He wanted away from me as fast as he could. This hurt. I tried talking to him and saying it’s mommy, don’t be scared, but he was. I excused myself and cried a bit more. Once I put my wrap on he changed. He realized it was his mom! By the end of the evening, he was crawling in my lap for cuddles.
I haven’t had a chance to talk to Jordan in great detail yet, but at 18 he’s old enough to comprehend what’s going on. He’s a very strong young man and has jumped on the deep end at college and is rocking his first term. We can’t wait to see him and have him home from Thanksgiving to New Years!