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Being Bald

In the summer of 2018 I went from a full head of salt and pepper hair to a completely bald head. I was having chemo for a rare and aggressive uterine cancer. I had discussed my pending hair loss with my hair stylist. She gave me a pixie hair cut and would do more depending on the progression.

My oncologist, a remarkable woman, could tell me little except that I would lose my hair. So, I found an online discussion group. English, actually. Health Unlocked. They had what I needed.

My hair loss was sudden, rapid and painful. My hair follicles were inflamed. My pain was horrific.  And then, as suddenly, it was gone. I became totally bald, no hair on my head, no eyebrows, no eye lashes, no hair anywhere.

The effect of chemo is like that of radiation, cumulative. I was fine at first. Then I lost my energy. There was no nausea or vomiting. During the infusion I was given a cocktail of medications to keep the side effects at bay. They worked. I plodded. I got through it. My son drove. He cooked. He was my support.

Chemo started six weeks after major gutting surgery. By the end of chemo I had very little left. When we went out,  I wore a head covering. At home I didn’t. I was about to give up the head covering all together but I didn’t.

This issue with Jada Pickett-Smith stirred up difficult memories. Many of the commentaries seem to forget that she has an autoimmune disease that is very difficult. The situation was a woman with a disease being the butt of a joke. She wasn’t in a nightclub. She was at an awards show.

My hair loss lasted a long time. It didn’t start growing in until the next year. I was weak. I was scared. Would my hair come back? What would I get? I would have been crushed if someone had ridiculed me.

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