Cancer-related hair loss the second time

When I started Enhertu I was told that the chances of losing my hair were slim. The chance of thinning hair was much higher, but thinning hair or hair loss didn’t really interest me. I already lost my hair once. My hair had grown back into luscious long curls with thick locks – something I had never had before in my life, and I was so much more grateful for it. I fell in love with it and learned how to take care of it.

However, around my third week after my first round of chemotherapy, the telltale signs of my hair falling out started happening: My scalp started to burn, tufts of hair fell out on my clothes, and strands of hair were constantly falling out on my keyboard while I was at work. Devastated, I knew it would happen again. It was all too familiar and I couldn’t stop it from happening. Watching my long locks patiently grow out after four years was the ultimate slap in the face from my own cancer. I chose to get this treatment to fight my cancer, and now my hair was falling out – the very same hair I fought so hard to grow back.

I sobbed hard that night, knowing how angry I was with myself and my stage 4 cancer. I felt stupid because it’s hair, and something I’d lost before. I mourned this loss because it was so unexpected for me, and I lost all my gumballs from my internal safety gumball machine. That same night I mustered up all my courage and ordered a bunch of hats online in preparation for shaving my head. As soon as they arrived I told my husband we were cutting it.

When I lost my hair the first time, I went to get a pixie cut to get used to short hair for a week before we buzzed it. This time I wasn’t going to waste time. I cut off all my long locks before my husband took the buzzer. Then my husband gave me a Mohawk and we laughed for about 10 minutes. Finally we had my buzzing head finished look.

For the past month, I’ve made it a point to take bald selfies and photos with my husband. The first time I lost my hair I didn’t take that many pictures because I wasn’t comfortable. Looking back, I wanted more of those pictures because I actually look pretty bald (not great, but not bad!). I learned to accessorize with earrings, makeup, hats, scarves and jewelry. I learned that my head gets very cold when I sleep, and I have to wear a cap on it at night.

Above all, my biggest achievement of losing my hair is that I feel freer. I don’t need a wig to define myself or any hair to define who I am this time. I feel comfortable in this skin, proud to be so, and don’t look back. Cancer does not define me and will not define me with it, and that is the strength I have found so immensely in my loss.

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Cancer-related hair loss the second time

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