Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hair Today, Not Gone Yet!

My hair isn’t falling out. It’s not. I’m paranoid about it though. The doctors said that it could thin. So now I watch it like a hawk. A lot of people are shocked that not all chemo patients’ hair falls out. (Quote from real people “your hair actually looks good!”) If I was being honest - and not modest in the least - I think this is the best it’s ever looked. I spend more time conditioning and taking care of it than I have before. Again, hawk. 

You’d think I’d be happy about this lack of female balding right? Well, it’s a mixed bag of emotions. I’m happy to look normal on most days and hair falling out can be trau-mat-ic. Ask anyone who’s been through it. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for others. There is this small part of me however that was let’s say, “interested” in the idea of my hair falling out. 

I look healthy, which we all know I am not. The insides don’t match the outside. My mom is bald – and totally owns it. She hardly ever wears her wig, but usually dons a chemo cap (if you’ve never seen one, think cotton beanie). My mom is strong and you can see that. People smile at her, go out of their way to open doors for her, and I’ve even seen random strangers come up and ask to hug her. It’s inspiring. Everyone knows how tough she is. 

I guess that’s my problem. I want everyone to think I’m tough and strong. I want strangers to know. I’m on a train right now heading to New York (yay!) and I feel like telling the random dude taking the tickets “You know I have cancer, but I’m still living my life” or “Even though I did chemo last week and have been in crippling pain, I still went work.” If I was bald, they would know. They would know how tough I am - how determined I am to beat this, get married, have kids, and live the rest of my life happy and cancer-free.

In pain, and crying on Monday, I asked Jacob if everyone knows how tough I am. His response, being the pragmatist that he is was “Who cares? We all know you’re tough.” Of course, it helped that Jacob added “Just beat up anyone who doesn’t think you’re tough!” So that’s the answer. I need to be more secure in knowing that I’m strong enough. That should be enough for me. I’m working on it. Most days, I’m pretty self-assured. There are some days though that I wish random strangers would hug me.

 As long as they’re clean and don’t smell like pee.

I watched this show about branding and how you should have a word that defines you. If I had to pick a word for myself to embody, it would be “survivor”. That’s what I want everyone to know about me. That’s I’m a survivor. I think I’ll dress up like one for Halloween somehow. That or a slutty cat. (joke – I would make a horrid cat.)

I should give a hearty thank you to the friends that I cried at for a week when I thought my hair was falling out. I think I threatened to drag Kelly to the salon every day for a week to serve as emotional support if I shave my head. For emotional support, Kelly, my sister, and my PA cousins get an A+ or gold star, whichever they prefer.

Also, if you’re life isn’t full of cancer blogs already, I’d highly recommend reading this one: Rachel is a strong, tough woman I met in the hospital and she’s much better at blogging than one otherwisehealthy person I know. Sometimes, I feel slightly sorry for the random people my mom and I ambush. We are a lot to take. However, Rachel seems to be handling it in stride. I really enjoy reading her blog and thought I would share. She’s inspiring. That’s her branding word I'm giving her. 


  1. Silly Patti! We know how strong and determined you are! I don't know how you can pick just one branding word - survivor absolutely fits, but those strong and determined words need to be in there too. Along with something about a great sense of humor, wonderful attitude, and of course, amazing hair.

    It is Halloween time, I bet you could buy a balding cap for cheap on days you need those free hugs from strangers. :)


  2. Just had a chance to read this blog from a few days ago. You are amazing sis! Amazing that you put yourself out there and share with everyone your insecurities and fears. I love you so much and am so very proud of you, survivor;)