Hair !! I have hair.
Ok it’s not much but it’s growing. It’s 9 weeks post chemo and I am actually amazed at how much it has grown.
I shouldn’t care so much really. It shouldn’t have mattered so much when I lost it … maybe. It was just hair after all but….. It did matter. Losing my hair did matter. It was a change in identity that made being ill even harder because I looked so unlike myself.
So while it should be a small thing that my hair is growing back it’s actually a really big thing.
There are days I feel better and more like me again. Then there are still days I wake up wishing it was all a bad dream because I’m not sure I will ever feel like me again. There are moments I still feel fragile and a long way from healed and then moments like today when I looked at my hair growth and felt so happy.
It’s just hair but it’s also so much more. It’s a symbol of healing.
Loosing the hair was hard. The loss of identity of old me was hard. I suddenly became really aware of how much we judge by appearance. I suddenly became aware I no longer looked like corporate business me or even mummy me or just me. A friend sent a scarf. I tried it on. I looked like a cancer patient and not in a good way. I realised I didn’t want people to see cancer girl. More importantly I didn’t want to see cancer girl. I realised I needed to be me. To fall in love with me as me for who I am inside. The person this year kicking cancer’s arse who is a person I should be proud of.
So I embraced the bald me. I became braver and bolder and loved myself more. I got to know me a little better now that my image of me was stripped back. Now I was just me and learning more about the person I was inside than I could imagine.
It’s been the toughest year of my life. I have spent much of that just surviving and not really thinking about it too much. Now the tough bit should be over and it’s time to get healing and yet there are moments I feel swept away by the emotion so I have to remind myself of life lessons cancer taught me no 3. Breathe.
I am proud of the person that survived all that. Now I have taken time to breathe and be me.
Now it is time to heal.
Now I am more me than I ever was.
Now my identity is no longer just about how I look its about the person I am inside.
I will always want to look nice. I will always like clothes, fashion and style. But I will worry less in future about that appearance. I will worry less about my wobbly knees or chubby thighs. I will worry less about if an outfit makes me look fat or short and more about just being happy being me.
I have found a new style. The one where I am just happy being healthy and cancer free. The one where I am braver and bolder and have no hair.
We all of us need to love ourselves for what and who we are a little more.
I am pleased it is growing back but it won’t go back to corporate brunette again. I will have some fun.
I now know for sure I shouldn’t be judged by my hair or outfit but by my actions and words. By how I live.
So for now I plan to put the kettle on, brew some good tea and reflect on time to heal.
I now know my hair growing tells me I am doing ok at the healing thing. Which makes me feel good.
Perhaps there will be more photos of me with my feet up with a good book – healing !!