Hair Regrowth and Identity

I have a fluffy head.

This has been one of the toughest things about chemotherapy treatment. Loosing your hair. It feels a bit like loosing your identity.

You are more than your hair that’s true but it’s still a part of how you look to not just the world but yourself. Especially I think for most women. I know I am one of those women who looked after her hair. Had it styled and coloured and after a trip to the hairdressers would feel great.

So it’s not who you are but without thinking it’s still a part of your identity and for me loosing my hair as well as the chemo bloat changed how I looked so much that at one point I struggled looking at myself and seeing the change. It took a while to mentally accept that change.

I remember a day that I looked at myself in the mirror and did not recognise myself. I could not see me. I found that so hard. It reduced me to floods of tears.

I didn’t hide it though. That might sound odd. That I found it so hard to not see me that I couldn’t stop crying for what seemed like hours but at the same time didn’t hide it. I think part of that was being angry that Cancer could do that. Angry at Cancer.  I decided right at that point that I would not be ashamed of what cancer could do. I wasn’t to blame for having cancer. I would not allow cancer to bring me down. I would not let it beat me. I  could not be that cancer scarf girl. That is not everyone’s view. We all take our own personal journey through Cancer, its treatment and the effects of that treatment. This was my decision. It will not be the choice everyone makes. Others will feel very differently. This is just how I feel. I felt quite strongly that as part of my journey I had to stand up for me and reclaim some strength, reclaim me. Or claim a new me. Forge a new identity out of this. A stronger bolder me. I was never a wilting shy wall flower but now I will shine brighter. I will shout louder. I will be brighter. I will never diminish myself again. I won’t ever suffer from fear in the same way. I won’t ever suffer from lack of motivation. I can and I will. So I embraced the bald. I threw out the scarf, I decided against a wig unless it was for fun.  I embraced the bald. In a way I grew to be very proud of it as part of the battle and me kicking arse. A warriors bald !!

That said I am also really pleased to see it growing back. It is growing back because my body is recovering from the Chemotherapy. It is a sign my body is regaining some of its energy. It is finally healing not being destroyed. The hair growth now has its place in this journey.

I am proud of getting to this point. It hasn’t been easy. I found a new identity. I rocked the bald but now I am loving that my body is starting to heal.

Here we are 4 weeks post chemo and I have a fluffy growth. I am going to have to start doing weekly photos to track the hair journey. That will be fun.

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