When I heard India Arie’s song “I am not my hair” I remembered the year my sister had cancer. One of the most visual effects of cancer is the loss of hair from the treatment. The first image that comes to your mind when you think of someone with cancer? No hair, bald as a bowling ball, right? That might be cute for a baby, but not so cute for an adult, especially a woman. At the risk of being politically incorrect and perhaps even sexist, it’s often more difficult for women than guys. Blame it on societal norms and expectations!
I still remember when my sister started losing her hair about 2 weeks after she began her chemotherapy treatment. She started noticing hair on her pillow, in her comb. In the shower, her hair floated down the drain.
Things got kind of messy at that point! Her head was itchy and when she scratched, chunks of hair come out. We had this long discussion about her next step. Cut or buzz her hair?
At the same time, we went out shopping for wigs, baseball hats, scarves, turbans, cool caps. She never spent so much money on accessories!
I am glad we went shopping. It really did help her go through the transition of becoming bald. We could joke about it and do a home fashion show with all the different wigs.
Eventually, 6 weeks after her treatment stopped, her hair started to grow back. Coarser, thicker, darker.
Let’s raise awareness for Breast Cancer – follow BoobieWed on Twitter. Donate your hair for wigs!
Photo: Credit – Flickr – Common Creatives