The day we found out I had to do chemo was devastating. We all cried, Pat, Tina, Cindy and I. We were stunned. “It’s too soon”, I thought. First you told me tamoxifen would last for 5 years, not 6 months. Then the belly shot was supposed to do what tamoxifen failed to do on it’s own. Now we have to do chemo!! Chemo happens quickly for most stages of breast cancer but for stage IV, we start with lighter artillery. Hang on to the big guns until they are needed. The goal: try and control it, not cure it.
Aside from other pleasant side effects of chemo, I prepared myself for the hairloss. Gave myself a cute cut. I was beginning to really love that cut until 2 weeks after starting chemo, my hair started falling out, falling out in clumps. I cried as I sat outside pulling my hand through my hair and looking at the strands all tangled through my fingers. That was a time, I find hard to forget.
It didn’t take long to become a patchy balding mess. A few clumps here and there mixed in with baldness. Pat called me his baby bird lol At that point we decided to just shave it completely. So we sat outside, and Pat pulled out the hair clippers, and my husband shaved my head on a warm summer evening.
I was sad and paranoid with a bald head, felt vulnerable and exposed. Until now, my disease was hidden from the public. No one knew what was happening, it was our own private fight. Everyone will now know I have cancer!
Everybody look at this woman, she’s bald and she has cancer!!!
My sister and Cindy came to my rescue and took me hat shopping. I was so happy to have them there with me. They made me laugh and we had fun. Most of my hard days involve these two women and I love them dearly!! Pat’s Aunt Linda and Uncle Donnie offered to purchase a wig for me. I was overjoyed! I could put it on and not be a cancer patient for a while, what a blessing. It took some time for me to be comfortable with the baldness. I started to not care about what people thought or how they looked at me. I left the house without a cover up! I began to think about it more positively. In a strange way it was empowering. Hey!! yeah I have cancer and look at me! I am living my life and staying strong! It was a bald badge of honour and I was proud!
My observation of other bald men/women or growing out hair was heightened. I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Are you a chemo brother/sister?”, “What’s your story?”, “Is that a choice or not?” There should be a national acknowledgement of some sort. Like a secret club member or respectful nod you know like bikers do when they pass each other. A gang sign of our very own “Cancer represent!!!” Then we will know in that nod, sister/brother stay strong! I get it! Respect!
Here is my suggestion
Get it, it’s a cancer ribbon!! lol
Not wearing makeup, just headed out to see Tash. Thought a lighter post after yesterday’s dark one would be uplifting! Sun is shinning enjoy the day everybody!! Peace out! xo