Oct. 5th, 2014
There are two things you can’t mess with: a woman’s kids and a woman’s hair. For a split second I truly couldn’t figure out what I was most unhappy about; the fact I may lose my life or the realization that this newly developed “Sugar Mom” was going to have to live her immediate life without her hair!
I never realized the importance I put on what I looked like until I heard the words, “Yes, you’ll need chemotherapy and yes you’ll lose your hair.” You may as well have slapped me twice across the face because the first slap didn’t register. As a women who tries to look my best, this is the most humbling experience I’ve ever encountered.
I used to be able to get ready for work in 15 minutes; makeup, hair, dress, heels and I’d be as good as I could get! Now, I notice it’s taking me longer to make myself look even close to normal, let alone a “head-turner.” Lately I have been doing TV appearances to promote my book, you know, those “Good Morning Charlotte” type TV shots where one must be on the set by 6AM. I lay in bed at night or wake up in the morning just trying to figure out how to piecemeal myself together for the camera. Who would possibly help me with what’s left of my hair and makeup at 6am?
I used to say to my publicist “bring me all you got, I’ll be there with bells on!” I now fear that she’ll be bringing me something too big for me to handle. Since when did hair and makeup become too big to handle? From the neck down I still have the moxie, but it’s above the neck, in my head, that makes me falter. So the first swipe of the brush through my thick auburn hair shortly after my first chemotherapy treatment was devastating to me. Perhaps I thought that maybe, just maybe, I’d be that woman, you know, the one who might beat the odds;
Maybe just a little of my hair, or none would fall out;
Don’t let me kid you though, I’m mortified to lose my hair. Now when I brush I can’t believe there’s any left when I see the sheer volume of my hair loss. It’s down-right scary! When it first started, all I could utter was, “Oh no…please… not me.” That’s when I became afraid to straighten, dry or even wash my hair for fear of disturbing the ebb and flow of waves that are threatening to desert my head, without my permission, for the first time in my life.
The pieces that I thought were the most secure, the most important, are the very ones at risk. In fact, I am shedding the less important superficial facets of my life faster than the Chemo is shedding the hair into my brush. My point is, we think we know what we want; our goals, our dreams, and the fine line between the two, but when something life-altering happens to us, everything changes. It’s all up for grabs like a cartoon of your life with every dream and reality on a tight-wire, where some stay balanced and some fall by the wayside.
I thought life was simple, and that I had finally figured it all out. Then, in walks “The Big C, like a smug, “in your face” ogre with a swagger and purpose unlike anything I’ve ever conjured up. It’s an unforgiving disease that springs up out of nowhere.
My legs! My hair! My face, My body!. All the things that I thought mattered so much, are mattering less!
It seems cancer has a way of altering life’s priorities.
PS. Please be proactive. Have your annual checkups, watch for staining after menopause, cramps out of the blue, spots on your skin, and if you feel something is out of whack, you are probably right! No one knows your body better than YOU, so please, trust your instincts and call your doctor. You are NOT being a PEST!
Love, Hugs and Kisses!