I know I am using this forum as my own personal diary to chronicle my experiences with breast cancer, and thank God for it. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't just let it all out here, in a way that I prefer not to burden friends and family with.... but believe me, I share plenty with them, I just want to cut them a break sometimes and not share every tidbit.
Yesterday was a very emotional day. A lot of stressful things unrelated to cancer were weighing on my mind, and so the appointment with the oncologist struck me particularly hard. This was the appointment they had labeled "educational". After I checked in, I waited for just a few minutes before a nurse I'd never seen before led me back through a maze of hallways that I didn't even know existed, until we went through a pair of doors that
opened into a very large room filled with rows of chairs with patients hooked up to IVs. Everyone was in a different state of decay. People so sickly looking -- from nausea, or bone pain, or severe fatigue from the chemo--and either bald, or with an ugly wig, or worse yet, women my age (approximately) with a man's haircut. I never wanted to be one of those ladies who get to be 40 or so and then suddenly never do their hair again, they just get a man's cut- or close to it - and give up. I know I can wear a wig, but it devastates me to know I will be bald under that wig for 6 months, and then when it does start to grow, it takes 2-3 months to even have as much hair as a Marine fresh out of boot camp. I sound so vain, but it's only partly that. A woman having longish hair represents something--that she hasn't given up, that she's still active in life. And the reverse is true, at least in my eyes. To be my age with a man's cut (AFTER months of complete baldness), feels like anything fun in life is over.
I literally burst into tears when the nurse walked me through that room. I know I sound horrible, and I honestly and sincerely apologize to all women who choose to wear their hair short, and I truly DO know that it's only a hair choice and doesn't really reflect they've given up on life. Something about
how I was brought up must have planted that notion in my brain when I was young and I've never gotten over it. I'm sure the majority of women with short hair find that there's more time to enjoy life since they aren't wasting so much time on styling and managing their hair. Obviously I have hair "issues", and for me personally, having long hair represents something to ME.... and entering that room and seeing my future that is now very close (I start chemo in just a couple weeks), just pushed me over the edge. Like I said, my day had been extremely stressful from non-cancer related issues, and so my reaction was exaggerated.
Yikes, I am really going on and on about
this. The truth is, out of all the things in my life right now, cancer is the LEAST of my problems! There are heartbreaking issues going on with my husband, one of my children, and also severe money problems, as well as other, lesser problems. So I entered that room with all of the other issues having been at a boiling point that day, and well, I just fell apart.
However I am glad to have a date when chemo will start. Having information and moving forward is a comfort. If I could afford a psychiatrist I know I need therapy to deal with my negative reaction to short hair.
Again, I truly apologize to anyone with short hair, or who is bald, that I have offended. The negative feelings I have are all MY problem and based on God-only-knows some traumatic childhood experience or whatever. At least the fact that I will BE bald, and I will HAVE that short, man-ish hair for a very long time, as my hair grows EXTREMELY slowly, and I will have to deal with it, and the experience will surely change my outlook.
I have to add something about
my "hair outburst". The same day I posted here how emotional I felt about
the inevitability of baldness followed by short hair for a long time--I also shared those same emotions with one of my sons who's away at college. He was quite sweet and said he understood how emotional it will be to lose my long hair that I've always been proud of, but he disagreed about
how I relate the look of extremely short hair on women as a symbol of them "giving up". He said I should see it as the opposite, because when I go bald, and then eventually go through months of having extremely short hair, it will be because I specifically have chosen NOT to give up. I am choosing life by going through chemo, and the hair loss is like a badge of courage confirming this. I am paraphrasing him, but his words were just what I needed to hear.
Post Edited (exqualls) : 11/3/2016 9:07:13 AM (GMT-6)