My long hair is now short. And by the time I get used to seeing myself with this cut, my hair will be gone.
I haven't had short hair in 13 years. The fear that I wouldn't like it, knowing it would take so many months to grow back, always holds me back.
One of my strongest memories of my first mom is the day she cut her hair. She had long, straight, beautiful golden hair. When she came home from the salon with a shoulder-length shag cut -- it was the early 1980's -- I sobbed. Big, heavy sobs.
Losing my hair is the part of this whole cancer saga I've dreaded the most. The doctors try to reassure me, "This isn't your mother's chemo!" (Note: I think when they say this that they momentarily forget my mom was a real person who was treated with chemo) -- but they are quick to add I will still lose my hair. And based on some ill-advised internet research, the other side effects aren't fun, either. Body aches, BONE aches, fatigue, nails falling out...
Nope. This isn't my mom's chemo, but it won't be a walk in the park, either. Of course, after reading this Los Angeles Times editorial (and necessary critique of breast cancer awareness trumping investments in research) by Laurie Becklund, I'm more determined than ever to get my A in cancer recovery. Because wow. While chemotherapy, treatment and diagnosis may have improved in the past 30 years, there's still a heck of a lot more to do before we can keep women truly safe.
This morning I told my kids I'd be getting a hair cut. "No, mommy! But you won't look like you!" M said. Fortunately he recovered by the end of the day and proclaimed the cut a success. And just as he's getting comfortable with the new mommy, we'll talk about the next mommy: bald mommy. Kids are resilient, I know. It still sucks.
I admit, it feels nice to have short hair. And while it will take many months to grow my hair back to this length, it will take a lot less time than it would to grow my long hair back.