Archive for May 30th, 2012

I cried a lot today. I guess a lot of things hit home. Now that we’re not at the hospital every day with Grampa, and the planning and service is over, I have been alone for the first time practically since before the surgery. I began getting somewhat back to normal during the weeks with family at Grampa’s bedside. I weaned myself off the painkillers and naps. I began physical therapy. I started walking more and more. Much of my strength has returned, now it’s working on endurance and regaining full range of motion in both arms. And so I got everyone to agree I can return to work next week – I can’t wait!

On the top of my to-do list is dealing with the issue most nagging me: my hair. From the moment I heard I had to have chemo, I knew I would cut it all off before it began to fall out. I said I’d have fun with it. Try something I hadn’t done before. I was gung-ho. Let’s do it! Then the day – today – arrived. And I wasn’t quite so eager…

Luckily, my favorite hairdresser is my friend Leane. She’s given me my best haircuts ever. And she was so sweet when she heard I was doing this and said she would be honored to cut it, under the condition that I not pay her. An incredible gift! So I knew I would be in good hands. And timing-wise, I wanted to do it both before Alivia left for London (tomorrow) and before my parents went back to Tennessee (Thursday). And before I started back to work.

But when we finally confirmed a time early this afternoon, I burst into tears. (Of course I was in a public place – Brigham and Women’s for PT – surrounded by strangers. Thank goodness for large, dark sunglasses!) I was so angry and sad! WTF?!?! First I lose my boobs and now my hair??? How unfair is that??? I finally, for practically the first time in my life, actually like my hair – not a normal thing for a woman. I waited a long time for this hair. I almost had it to where I liked it in November 2010 when I got a call for an interview at Genzyme. The career adviser I was consulting with told me I HAD to cut my hair short. That I looked much too young and no one would believe I was as experienced or trust me without a more polished, short ‘do. So I listened to her and had my hair cut at an expensive salon in Atlanta (where I currently was on my road trip). And I hated it! I did get the job, but I have the feeling I would’ve still been hired had my hair remained long.

Now a year and a half later, my hair is just the right length, with layers and body (and yes, a few more greys). And now I’m going to go bald. F@*$! Yes, I acted nonchalant, searching through magazines, asking other’s opinions, talking a good game. Really, I was stifling the screaming girl inside. And she busted out today.


Proven fact: Men prefer women with long hair. Oh, and boobs. I think in this case, two strikes means you’re out. What guy would want to be with a bald, boob-less woman???

But yet again, I don’t have a choice, do I?

I know psychologically I won’t be able to handle seeing my long strands falling out. And I don’t want to be one of those people who clings to her hair and attempts to comb over bald spots. So off it needed to come. And tonight it did.

I cried most of the drive to Tara’s house, where Leane was to cut it. Tina and Nicole (Tara’s friend from high school – not to be confused with my Nicole from high school) joined for moral support. We looked at a few hair styles and Leane asked which I preferred. “My hair. Long hair,” I whined. “Oh, I know honey…” all my friends chimed in with soothing voices. That made me realize I was acting like a child and had to just suck it up and do it. I took a deep breath and told her to do what she thought was best and chop it off. And she did.

And I love it. I really do. I knew she was the best woman for the job – thank you Leane! If I can’t have my long hair, this is the absolute best I could have in the interim. And best of all, I had exactly 10 inches cut off: the minimum amount needed to donate to Locks of Love. So my hair will be used to make a wig for a disadvantaged child who needs one. That’s way more important than being on my head!

So now it’s time to start looking at hats and wigs because in about a month, all this short hair will be gone, too. But I think I’ll go back to my denial and forget that for a few days and just enjoy my new ‘do…

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