Updated April 17, 2022
I’ve lost my hair rendering me bald, not once but, twice in my lifetime.
Going Bald The First Time…
The first time my hair fell out, I was 15 years old and getting chemo treatment for bone cancer. I lost every hair on my body, even the fine hairs on my face that give it definition. I had that recognizable look; it was easy to spot that I was getting chemo.
I don’t have many pictures from this time in my life because I was so self-conscious that I didn’t allow pictures to be taken. I cried for months that I was bald. Yes, months. It was such a blow to my sense of identity and at a crucial coming-of-age moment that I didn’t cope well. I was also bullied. A kid tried to pull my wig off while riding the bus. It was honestly a traumatic event and I never rode the bus again.
My Hair is Falling Out…
In my mid-30’s my hair started thinning and failing out. I had congestive heart failure (due to that chemo I had as a teenager) and was on the brink of death. My hair just started slowly thinning and I was worried that I would have bald patches, like I had seen others experience. I didn’t feel pretty. I was worried I was going to be bald, then just before I lost everything I was spared. A heart transplant saved my life and with steroids and anti-rejection meds, my hair grew back with ferociousness. I even got a mustache out of the deal. 🙄
Full Head of Hair…
I had breast cancer right after my heart transplant. Yes, you read that correctly: I had breast cancer 3 months after my heart transplant. I discovered it from a routine screening. While I lost both of my breasts due to a double mastectomy, I did get to keep my hair out of the deal, so there’s that.
At 45 years old, I’ve been diagnosed with lung cancer. My prognosis is good, so don’t fret. It was discovered early from a routine screening. This is my THIRD separate cancer in my lifetime and the second time I’ve gone bald or near bald, you tell me.
Why all this cancer in my life, you might ask? It’s because G-d has a sense of humor. Sigh, I don’t know why I have fought so many cancers (and a friggin’ heart transplant). No rest for the weary. Well, I do know why I’ve had three cancers. Simply put, my cancers are the result of genetics; late effects from my first round of chemo and radiation; and, because my anti-rejection medication is known to cause cancer. So basically, I’m the perfect storm of cancers. Luckily, I’m a badass warrior whom perseveres and overcomes (with a few tears along the way).
Going Bald The Second Time…
Today, I got a pixie cut. I’m ready to show you my picture, so here goes.
Each time my hair grows back in after chemo, it comes in baby fine. My hair is super soft and I suspect in the next month or so, I’ll have soft tendrils again. I remember this feeling as a teenager. I like my pixie and baby soft head.
As a woman, I would describe my new, virgin hair growth as sweet and feminine. It’s also growing in black/ash and grey in color, which is not so sweet. Wearing grey hair is new for me, because I would cover it with color in the past. Now, I’m letting it all hang out. I hope it grows on me.
I’m not sure if I’ll keep the pixie or grow it out, but regardless I’ll remain a badass survivor.
Thank you for taking the time to read my little blog. I read all of your comments. Please message me with any questions or concerns. I’ll listen.