Welcome to Hair Week over here at Nora’s Cancer, Inc. Aminatou Sow refers to herself as the CEO of her own cancer, and with so many random things to manage, I’m calling myself that as well. It also makes me feel like I’m somehow in charge of the cancer, which is 100% not true–but an empowering lie to tell myself.
After a ton of interwebs research on the chemo hair loss process, the overwhelming consensus was that it’s best to cut your hair before it falls out. One author just cut hers to a long bob, and she describes a “rat sized” handful falling out in the shower. Fuck that. In addition to lots of other accounts, this was disgusting enough to fully convince me to get this hair gone on my own terms. Right now, it’s at full lion mane status, longer than it’s been in years. So I’m cutting it this week to give myself a few weeks to get over the shock of looking in the mirror and not seeing 10 inches of blonde. By Wednesday night, it will be super blonde and super short with a Michelle Williams/Twiggy inspired pixie cut.
There are lots of changes to come with chemo, and I feel like this is claiming control over the most visible one. I know the actual moments of finding hair on my pillow will be upsetting, but otherwise I’m not that distressed about not having it for a while. I’m going to have some fun chopping it off, and it’s just part of the whole cancer thing for me. So please don’t tell me that it’s okay and it’s going to grow back. I understand the process of hair growth, and I know it will grow back. But if you’re not forced to be bald for 6 months and then (also against your will) dealing with the outgrowth of newly curly hair for a year, I’m not terribly interested in your opinion. It sucks, but I’m okay. And I am one of the those annoying girls with straight hair who always wanted curly hair, so I’m excited to see what happens post-chemo.
Back to hair week: first on the agenda is a wig appointment this afternoon.
My cousin Rachel found a company that specializes in cancer wigs that submits for payment through insurance—they categorize it as a type of prosthetic, rather than calling it a wig. Who knew that was a thing?? As part of their process, I sent a few photos ahead of time, both of my current cut and my former long bob. That way they can pull wigs to match your color and style ahead of time. I’m excited for this more fun item on the cancer to-do list.
My unofficial big brother Andy Edwards (we refer to the Edwards as our #familynorelation) is in town today, so he’ll come, and my double threat close friend/hair stylist Lisa will join us too. I’m sure it will be kind of sad to talk about losing my hair, but mostly I want to have some fun with it. I’ll post tomorrow with a recap and some photos of us in wigs!