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Posted by TurbanDiva on 7/6/2015 to Chemo Hair Loss
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the beginning of March. I had a lump for 1 1/2years that I was told not to worry about. It was in an area of scar tissue from a lumpectomy that I had when I was 18.
When I started hormones to help with the insomnia and hot flashes of menopause that lump started to grow and fast. By the time I was diagnosed it had grown to a stage 2 and I needed chemotherapy.
My reaction was one of disbelief. I was so healthy and had always taken care of myself. All of a sudden people were saying that I was sick. But I wasn’t. I just had a “thing” that needed to be taken care of. My treatment was going to make me sick which is so contrary to the idea of medicine.
The hardest thing to wrap my mind around is the fact that I am allowing people to pump poison into my body. The body that I treat well with good nutrition and moderate exercise and that has never betrayed me before.
The most talked about side effect of chemo is the hair loss. I had always worn my hair really short. So short in fact, that when I decided to let it grow and discovered that I had a full head of curly(!) hair. My mother told me that she was glad that I let my hair grow because it always looked like I had just finished chemo!
Anyway, I knew that I looked good with short hair and I was familiar with the ease of not having to style my hair. I had recently gotten my my hair to almost shoulder length and it was beautiful but labor intensive.
So when I knew that I was going to lose my hair I made 2 decisions: to shave my head at the first sign of hair loss, and to look for great head coverings so that I would feel beautiful. I knew that there were going to be a lot of side effects to the chemotherapy and how I dealt with my hair was the one thing that I could control. That control was the most important thing to me.
I got online to look for head coverings and found Turban Diva. I wanted to learn more about the turbans and so I called the phone number and met Laurie who walked me through her different turbans. I ordered a few before I even lost my hair just so I could be prepared.
I went to an American Cancer Society class called “Look Good…Feel Better”. I sat with other women going through chemo and was taught how to put on makeup to minimize the impact of lost eyebrows and lashes, circles under my eyes and pallor. I was given beautiful makeup and taught how to apply 4 eye shadow colors to bring out my eyes. I changed my glasses to rimless glasses for low impact and combined with the turbans, I feel gorgeous.
I am also meeting other women because of the turbans. I am approached at chemotherapy by women who want to know where I got my head coverings. That is really nice because now I have friends at chemo too!
So the truth of it for me is that the hair loss was not that big of an issue. In exchange for my hair I have gotten self confidence and new friends, including Laurie and countless other strong women with whom I am now a member of this dubious club of cancer.
I am stopped at work and on the street by strangers telling me how much they like my scarves and how pretty I look! I am going to come out of this stronger than I was before. And I stand and say F&*K cancer along with my sisters and brothers in arms!