I’ve been accused in the past by other warriors/survivors for being attention-seeking when I talk about my hair. I had trusted three, who I thought were friends, so took the insulting words to heart. That’s why I permanently left one local breast cancer group and took a three-month break from a national one. I came back to that national one because it’s too fabulous of a group to allow certain people’s insulting views keep me away from the support I need.
Now, I’ve always been a tad extra. That’s my natural and dramatic personality. Even when I’m sad or depressed, it’s done with flair.
It’s why I took ballet and always wore my hair in buns, French braids and twists.
It’s why I basically lived at Macon Little Theatre and Theatre Macon in high school and minored in Theatre at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.
It’s why I had special outfits during my salsa and swing dancing days.
It’s why to this day, I want to be an actress.
Losing my hair was even more traumatic than I could’ve ever imagined. Not only did I lose the hair on my head, I lost all the following as well:
That’s why I get so infuriated when people say, “it’s just hair.”
So, losing my hair and being beyond upset and devastated has been genuine. It’s why when my hair came back that chia pet curly I always reference was so difficult to process. That’s why it’s especially hurtful when those in cancerland question my feelings.
It’s never been about vanity. I know I rocked the bald look. I also rocked the chia pet curly look. That’s called style. The anger and just utter disbelief came from not physically recognizing my image in the mirror. I’ve dealt with and continue to deal with so many issues post-cancer like weight gain, more surgeries, more scars, and don’t recognize my body at all. None of it is even remotely the same. I just wanted the hair that I had known my entire life to grow back the way I remembered it — straight and super thick.
So, I made a video to show all the different looks of ME past and present (also posted earlier on social media). It’s MY hair story.
I didn’t post it to reel in compliments. I posted it for myself, to see the progression of my hair pre- and post-cancer and see the different looks as I’ve tried to adjust to my reflection. I see the pain in my eyes masked with a smile in the ones starting in 2015 thru present.
I know I “look healthy” and all should be right with the world, but that is not my reality.
My friends continue die by the hands of the cancer beast — two died this week.
My mother’s treatments for her rare blood cancer continue to wipe her out.
My chronic pain continues to be a challenge to manage.
My career in the corporate world is stagnant.
So, don’t come at me with insults or how hair isn’t important to you. Every single person’s cancer journey is THEIRS and extremely personal. I just want to claim some part of me that hasn’t been devastated by breast cancer.
I want to see ME again.
I deserve to see ME again.
Until next time,
This post originally appeared on Life on the Cancer Train. It is republished with permission.