- Created: Thursday, 15 August 2013 10:05
Most of my fellow breast cancer survivors can relate to my experience the other morning. Overnight, my new sprouting hair was suddenly too long to spike up across the top. I had curls that would pop out on the sides, too short to blow out but too long to contain. I shared my feeling of panic with my husband, wondering how I was going to walk around, looking unkempt with crazy hair. I didn’t have a plan...which is never how I like to exist.
This particular day, however, was not supposed to be about me. It was about my eight year old friend, Linzi, who had been growing her hair for the sole purpose of donating it to a company that makes wigs for kids with cancer. This day had been long coming and I was excited to celebrate this day with “my little girl”. I’ve known Linzi since the day she was born and she is extra special to me. She lets me play with her hair and talk about girlie things with her when the level of testosterone is too high in my house between my two boys and husband.
We gathered in Linzi’s kitchen as her hairdresser carefully cut her beautiful long ponytail. She was excited to get a new, sassy haircut and feel the freedom of swinging her shortened locks like a diva. It was a fantabulous event and I’m so very proud of Linzi for donating her hair in my honor!
Once we prepared Linzi’s long ponytail for the donation, I asked Linzi’s hairdresser, Lisa, if she had any ideas for my hair as it continues to grow. Her face lit up and she informed me that she is the queen of growing her hair long, cutting it into a pixie cut, then growing it back out. Yes, she had a plan and would love to cut it for me...right at that moment!
I was so excited to get my first haircut after chemo! The camera was clicking as Linzi’s mom captured the moment for me. She cut the sides and back very short and shaped the top for me, telling me that we would continue with this process until the top grew out enough to cover the sides. Now I not only had a sassy new cut, but also a plan to continue my journey through growing it all out. I was so excited!
She assured me that now, instead of looking like I just got new hair, it looked like an edgy pixie cut. I was a bit skeptical but it boosted my confidence for later that night when I went to my boys’ open house at school...my first time around a big group in Missouri without my wig. I got a lot of compliments, which kept me smiling.
Yesterday, I was even more delighted when I went to a Back To School Celebration lunch with 20 other moms. One of the moms was unaware of my journey through breast cancer and told me she assumed that I was ultra trendy. She also pointed out that many celebrities are getting their hair cut very short. She told me she loved it and asked if I was going to keep it short. What a rainbow in what has been a difficult journey of hair loss and regrowth!
Imagine my surprise when after lunch, a random stranger walked up to me and told me she loved my hair. Needless to say, the days of my wearing a wig are gone. This short hair is not my favorite look, but I no longer feel the need to hide under a hat or wig...this is my new look and I’m rocking it!
To my fellow breast cancer survivors who are still going through chemo, hang in there! My last chemo was March 25th, a little more than four months ago and I am confident and proud of my trendy, sassy new hair! Your day will be here before you know it!
I would love to see pictures of your hair re-growth. Post them on our facebook page so we can share inspiration for our fellow survivors. Remember we are ever alone in our journey through breast cancer.
Thanks for reading!
Beverly McKee, MSW, LCSW
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