A story of Breast Cancer Chemotherapy and A woman’s Hair.
In regards to hair loss and breast cancer treatments, I was ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED at the thought of losing my shoulder length hair. I had worn my hair relaxed, long and straight my entire life. I was a one month newlywed who was still beaming over my wedding pictures with a beautiful updo and now I was facing news that I would lose my eyebrows, eyelashes and glorious crown?
For weeks, I tried to come to terms with the treatment and I honestly thought that I could NOT live as a bald woman. I had decided on how I would inform my family that I chose not to undergo chemotherapy and that I would enjoy the quality of my life and see what happens. When my teenage daughter got wind of this, she told me bluntly that she would never forgive me if I didn’t do chemotherapy and died. That is all I needed to hear.
Within two weeks of my first chemo treatment, my pubic hair fell out. I found that to be a bit refreshing. But when my hairline started receding and my hair began to fall out in clumps, I knew that the hair loss was inevitable. One afternoon I drove to a salon and requested they shave my head. It was even hard for the Black stylists who kept asking me if I wanted a short “Halle Berry” style instead of shaving it. But I needed to shave it so I could move forward with the treatments bravely.
Once the deed was done, I didn’t cry. I looked on the mirror and actually was taken back at how beautiful my head was! For sentimental reasons, I took the bag of hair home with me. I remember studying it and noticing how dead and unhealthy it looked. As I held the bag of hair in my hand, I thought about how silly it was for me to have passed up chemo treatments out of fear of losing what I knew would grow back.
I wore wigs mostly through treatment but there were days I opted for scarves and/or hats. When my hair began to grow back, I was amazed at how pretty and soft it was! It was like newborn baby hair and then when it turned curly, I felt so beautiful! I enjoyed swimming and being in the rain without worrying about “the hair.” I actually received more compliments when my hair was short and natural.
Well I am a creature of habit. I have decided to grow my hair back long and relax it. For me, that is what works best and that is the hairstyle that I prefer. I did enjoy my time as a natural sista’ and learned to appreciate our God given hair. Hair is what is on top of our head. Don’t let it cloud what’s inside your head…clear thinking.
Crystal Brown-Tatum, President
An Award-Winning Public Relations Consultant
Crystal Clear Communications