Part I: My Grief is Real – The LOSS of Self

Grief…such a small word but can be utterly heartbreaking, overwhelming and palpable. I understand grief in terms of losing a family member or friend. I never thought of grief in terms of battling a critical illness.

I have lost so many pieces of ME throughout my cancer journey. I haven’t wanted to face it or deal with it. I’m struggling to keep my head above it and not drown in sorrow. So, I’m going to write about my grief in parts because it’s too difficult for me to think and accept all the losses at once.

I’m seriously grieving over the loss of my HAIR. Yes, I have this naturally short, curly hair that people think is cute, but I detest it. One of the most hurtful comments people have said and still say to me is “it’s just hair.” I want you to know it’s NOT just hair. I no longer recognize myself in the mirror. I managed to get through losing my straight hair, eyebrows, lashes and body hair. In fact, that two-year cancerversary of losing the hair on my head is tomorrow, 11/3. I knew there was a chance it could come back totally different but didn’t really believe that would happen. Yep, still can’t believe it…

Many of the people I know now have never seen me with longer hair. I actually liked playing with my hair and putting it ballerina buns, French twists, French braids, up or down, etc. I liked being able to change my appearance. Now…I have no idea how to deal with this curly madness!!! It takes so long to blow dry straight…I don’t have the strength to do that every single day.  I wear headbands or one of my tiaras to tame it down. There is no real styling of it. How do I grow this out?! Make that, how do I find the patience to grow it out? What will it look like? How long will it take? Why do people always want to touch it?

Most importantly, I do NOT feel feminine with this short hair. Period. I’ve officially become the girl with short hair and big earrings. I cannot get used to my reflection in the mirror. I keep thinking of the lyrics from the song Just a Girl written by Gwen Stefani & Thomas Dumont. It really reflects some of my grief quite eloquently.

Take this pink ribbon off my eyes
I’m exposed
And it’s no big surprise
Don’t you think I know
Exactly where I stand
This world is forcing me
To hold your hand
‘Cause I’m just a girl, little ol’ me
Well don’t let me out of your sight
Oh, I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don’t let me have any rights
Oh, I’ve had it up to here!
The moment that I step outside
So many reasons
For me to run and hide
I can’t do the little things
I hold so dear
‘Cause it’s all those little things
That I fear
‘Cause I’m just a girl
I’d rather not be
‘Cause they won’t let me drive
Late at night
Oh I’m just a girl
Guess I’m some kind of freak
‘Cause they all sit and stare
With their eyes
Oh I’m just a girl
Take a good look at me
Just your typical prototype
Oh, I’ve had it up to here!
Oh, am I making myself clear?
I’m just a girl
I’m just a girl in the world
That’s all that you’ll let me be!
Oh I’m just a girl, living in captivity
Your rule of thumb
Make me worry some
Oh I’m just a girl, what’s my destiny?
What I’ve succumbed to
Is making me numb
Oh I’m just a girl, my apologies
What I’ve become is so burdensome
Oh I’m just a girl, lucky me
Twiddle-dum there’s no comparison
Oh, I’ve had it up to!
Oh, I’ve had it up to!!
Oh, I’ve had it up to here


Stay tuned for Part II this weekend…






2 thoughts on “Part I: My Grief is Real – The LOSS of Self

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I pray things get better for you. Very inspiring. I can definitely relate on how our hair makes a big difference & holds a meaning–so no it’s just not hair!
    You’re brave and strong and beautiful!


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