On losing hair

I’ve had a love hate relationship with my hair for years and I have written about it in the past. Heck, I even dontaed my hair to Pantenes Beautiful Lengths program 2.5 years ago. My hair is was thick. Insanely thick that I would waver growing it long, keeping it short and even thinning it out so much so that it would be easier to handle. I don’t think of myself as a vain person but the thought of losing my hair made me so upset. I never thought I would bald in my life. Ever.

The doctors and nurses told me that the chemotherapy that I would be taking would kill the hair on my body and that I will eventually go bald. In the intro the chemotherapy session I attended at the hospital, the nurse spoke to the group about going to find a wig and when you should expect to eventually lose all your hair. She had said the majority of people lose their hair between chemo sessions 2 and 3. I was shocked that I lost my hair between sessions 1 and 2. Two weeks to the day of my first chemo session my hair started falling out. Falling out by the garbage can full. Seriously. It was insane. And before I knew it I had bald patches. It was so hard to see but I was able to take some of my other hair and cover it up and pull it back in a pony talk. But as fast as a few days later my hair was a horrible matted mess.

I knew I had to cut and shave my head. I was heartbroken. I didn’t feel right going to a salon to have my hair shaved by someone else. I decided I wanted to do it at home and enlist The Hubster to help me. He’s not exactly a very gentle,  detailed oriented person so we both laughed at the thought of him cutting and shaving my head. I went and bought clippers.

A few days after my hair started to fall out it was time for it to go. That decision really broke my heart. I would now have a very obvious side effect of chemotherapy- hair loss (aka baldness). When I decided it was time I cried. I really wept. But I knew I had to do it and move forward. The Hubster was with me and we both cried and hugged and then I cut a few chunks of my hair off. And then we laughed together through our tears because the thought of the two of us doing this together with no previous hair cutting or clipper experience was funny. It was a long process cutting and the clipping. Hair covered the entire bathroom. It was a mess. But I covered my head with a beanie immediately so I looked more like me.

To this day I don’t like looking at myself in the mirror without my wig or a hat on. It just doesn’t look like me. I don’t think it ever will and I’m ok with that.

The wig I chose looks like my hair just better. I’ll never have a bad hair day when wearing it!

Me sporting my wig

Me sporting my wig

Princess Peach understands that my hair fell out and thinks it’s funny that I am bald. Her attitude about this has made me easier for me too. We often talk about what we think my hair will grow back looking like. Princess Peach thinks it’s going to grow back with rainbow colours. I’m ok with that because once my hair grows back in we will celebrate by colouring both of our hair rainbow colours (wash-out only! Don’t fret).

Losing my hair is now a part of my cancer experience, but it will not define who I am. It’s one of the hardest parts of this entire journey and I can say that through my tears and laughter I have become stronger because of it.

Comments

  1. Jill says:

    I’m just behind you in this process :) My hair started falling falling out about 10 days ago, the day before my second treatment. I got it cut into a cute pixie, and let the hairs fall where they may. I’m going to shave what’s left tonight. The silver lining is the fabulous wig I bought; it looks great every day, with no maintenance! You look great!

  2. mom2michael says:

    You’re gorgeous and awesome with or without hair. But I do love that wig! And I’m looking forward to rainbow hair pics :)

  3. Loren Lieberman says:

    Renee you’re brave and beautiful. I like your trendy wavy wig!

  4. karin says:

    Can I just say that I think your husband is soooooo awesome??? Keep it up, you are so strong!

  5. MultiTestingMom says:

    You look gorgeous! You are truly a beautiful person and SO, SO strong!!!

  6. LinkedMoms says:

    You are very strong to do that together and I am sorry for this shitty diagnosis. I am sending you all my positive thoughts right now.

  7. Love your attitude, you are such a strong and positive person!!! And I want to see you and Sloane with rainbow hair!
    Ps: you should have come here, Thibaut is kind of obsessed with cutting hair. He cut mine because he thought the hairdresser did a bad job (I was not so impressed by his skills…), and he wants to cut Camille’s hair even though she hardly has any…

  8. Jessica says:

    Honestly, I can’t imagine how you must feel. We don’t want to put too much emphasis on our hair, but we just can’t help it. It’s a part of us and our personality. Thanks for sharing your journey…and now I want to go back through your posts and read about your diagnoses. My mom was recently diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer that’s now in her liver. She will likely lose her hair as well…I’ll be sharing this with her. Thank you!

  9. Jenna Em says:

    I’m so sorry you lost your hair. Until scientists find a cure to cancer, or at least an alternative to the chemotherapy, this will sadly be a reality for many patients. I think you look adorable with your temporary locks, and you can tie a scarf around your head on hotter summer days. I once pondered what it is that makes us human and makes us “us”, and I concluded that it is not any one of our physical attributes, either individual or combined.

  10. Darlene S. says:

    Ah you are beautiful in every way. I understand though. Maybe not totally completely, but I can get it. Yes hair grows back, yes you’re saving your life.. but, it’s still a loss.

    This is a difficult part of chemo, in all honesty, I’m glad you had your little break down.. it’s really important to get that out.. express yourself…

    My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you as you fight this battle. Stay brave girlie, at least, stay brave when you’re feeling strong enough <3

  11. Lauren says:

    You are absolutely amazingly positive considering what you are having to go through. You don’t sound vein at all about your hair. My hair-do is sloppy bun 99% of the time and I would be devastated if I lost my hair. Your wig looks amazing. Kudos to wig makers they really have an important art skill. Hope everything works out. Illness is hard enough without hair loss and other side effects. I had cancer when I was 16. I only had to do radiation but it really drains you. I can’t imagine doing it now that I have my daughter. You really are an amazing mom. Stay tough and know you are stronger than most. Good luck :)

  12. Roz K. Walker says:

    I love your attitude in all of this. You’ve found a way to see the rainbow through the mist of rain. You look beautiful in your wig and you sound like an extraordinary woman. Your daughter is blessed to have you as her role model. I pray that all continues to go well for you.

  13. Cheryl @ KidsOnAPlane says:

    You look great and you’re 100% right – hair (or lack of) does not define you. You’re a strong and beautiful woman, Renee and I’m looking forward to seeing this rainbow hair Princess Peach is talking about. She must know something we don’t ;)

  14. Tara says:

    What a great post. Looking forward to seeing rainbow hair. I think it’s brave and valuable that you say you are not happy without hair or a hat. I think your honesty is encouraging!

  15. stacysb says:

    Thank-you for sharing this process with us

  16. Meghann says:

    Your wig looks great! You are brave for sharing this!!

  17. Thanks for sharing. Losing hair leaves you feeling vulnerable, I am sure, but you are so brave for sharing your story!

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