So cancer is back. And, with my case, cancer means chemo. This chemo will, once again, mean no hair. Of course, everyone says, "It's just hair." They mean well, they really do. They are trying to help cheer me up, help me cope with what I have to deal with. What they don't know is what the hair means to me.
When I first started chemo back in 2010, I donated 20" of my hair to be made into a wig for someone else with cancer and still had hair to my chin. I always had long hair. After all this time, my hair was finally to my bra line. Now I'm losing my hair once more. What was my hair? It was recognition of time since chemo. I had grown that much since the cancer was evicted from my body, and I don't just mean the hair. I had taken that much back from all that cancer and the treatments took from me.
My hair was a trophy. My hair was a badge of survival. My hair was a sign of what I was trying for in a post cancer life. My hair was a revival of the past. Now, I lose it. It will take me years to get back to this stage. I might never get back to this stage, and that's another thing that non-cancer people will not understand. I might be stuck on drugs and treatments that will never let me have any semblance of the appearance I have become accustomed to. I might never look like I do now ever again.
Yes, it is just hair. Yes, I might be able to grow it back. But I might not be able to. And, for now, I will be looking in the mirror and seeing someone with no hair. Someone that all her life up until 2010, had had long hair. I will find a way to cope, but it doesn't make it any less difficult to deal with.
But deal with it I will. I might be living with cancer, but I will be living.