Haircut day dawns. We’ve been chatting to Tilly for a couple of weeks about me cutting my hair short. I say it’s because I like her short hair so much and I want to look like her. Who knew that her lack of flowing locks, and the resulting (annoying) many, many times she’s been mistaken for a boy would actually turn out to be a good thing! She is delighted and is very excited. Yet another way in which she has lightened our mood recently.
I’ve been told categorically by the docs that with the treatment I’m due to have I will definitely lose my hair – all of it. That didn’t stop me checking with them twice – I didn’t want to cut off my hair for nothing!
As for me, am I bothered about the prospect of losing my hair? Yes. I’m bloody pissed off. I like my hair. A lot. But the way I’m looking at it, and I’m well aware this is with the luxury of it not having happened yet, is that it is pretty much the most minor side effect I’ll experience. It will eventually start to grow back, though not for at least 6 months. It will take years to grow back to the length I’ve got it at the moment, but I can’t do anything about that. My eyebrows are likely to go, along with my eyelashes. Still at least I’ll have hair free legs for the summer so it’s not all bad!
Would I have chosen to cut my hair short? No. If I wanted short hair, I would have short hair. But none of this is about my choice – and that’s the bastard thing about it all. You get a diagnosis, you’re very strongly advised to follow a certain route. Someone puts the ticket in your hand, you get on the train and you have to stay on it until someone else tells you that it’s time to alight. Hopefully with the trip having been worthwhile.
When your hair falls out with chemo, unfortunately it doesn’t all fall out at once to give you a billiard ball smooth head. Rather it goes brittle, breaks, falls out in patches resulting in what is charmingly referred to as the ‘orangutang look.’ What a style statement. I’m told that once it starts to be affected your scalp hurts and itches, but shaving off the remaining hair can bring blessed relief. So with the knowledge of all this, a shorter cut seems the most sensible first step. After all it’ll be bad enough to deal with without long strands left on the pillow in the morning.
So the fantastic Tracey came over this morning. Tilly was out, Dan was working, so in the privacy of the kitchen we began. At first Tracey was suggesting to go for a shortish bob rather than a short do. I was tempted, and I think if this was on a whim to change my style I would have. But there is no option – this hair is going so let’s not pussy foot around. It’s got to go.
3 hours later Tracey had worked her magic. The kindness with which she handled the situation I’ll always remember. Not in a salon talking over loud music about holiday plans, but at home, gradually, without rush, sensitively and with great care. And the haircut is great! It suits me, I think and so others tell me, and it is a really really good cut.
Not usually a fan of facebook, it was surprisingly uplifting to update people with my new look and their (possibly overtly kind ?) comments made me feel better about it all.
And good has come of it too. I found a charity which makes wigs for children affected by alopecia or cancer treatment etc, which otherwise are hard to find. I’ve donated the ponytail’s worth of hair initially cut off and it made this step a more positive one for me.