Why can’t I just accept this “new” hair?! Here it is two years later, and I still feel surprised when I see my reflection in the mirror. Of course, I’m happy that my hair grew back thick and healthy, but try as I might; the acceptance is just not there for the curls. I still grieve over so much on my cancer path, especially my hair.
It’s a dual struggle because my upper body is covered in scars and my hair is a constant visual reminder of why I have those scars. I’m tired of being reminded of the chemo trauma. I had so many side-effects happening all at once on top of losing the hair on my head, body and face.
I was in Target on Friday, and a woman asked how I got my curls to look so soft and pretty. My immediate response to her was “chemo.” The look on her face was shock. I tried to keep myself from tying it to cancer but just couldn’t.
I still feel like an imposter, just like I did with my cancer wig. I keep thinking I will one day recognize myself again. I still have to watch YouTube videos on how to style naturally curly hair. I’m still trying different products that are “safe” but also define the curls. I don’t want an Afro!
What will my hair look like by the end of this year? Will there finally be some length when curly to pull it up or back? I have never wanted curly hair. I always liked my bone straight hair. I get comments like, “it must be so quick to do” or “you look so cute.”
The last thing a 41 year old woman wants to be called is “cute.” Period.
I recently bought a diffuser because that’s what some people with naturally curly hair use to dry and define their curls with low heat. I tried it yesterday morning. It was awkward and frustrating. I need to watch more YouTube to master this new hair tool.
A Facebook memory from two years ago yesterday popped up. It was a week after my breast cancer surgeries (lumpectomy/reconstruction/reduction). My hair was coming in white and fuzzy. I was looking like Albert Einstein. I put that same hat on in the picture below and it won’t fit my head anymore unless I wear my hair straight.
I know I must sound like a petulant child about my hair. I am trying so hard to mentally and emotionally heal from this nightmare, but my hair figuratively gets in the way. I have lost so much thanks to cancer and my treatments. Why couldn’t my hair come back the way it was before? That would’ve been comforting for me. Instead, the only thing that has come back like before are my eyelashes. It took them coming in and falling out three times before they came back to stay.
Will I ever get to a point of full acceptance or will I continue to view myself as an imposter?
Until next time,