I spent a lot of 2009 worrying about my hair. Yes it seems specious and petty to some, but for me, the growing back of my hair signified a return to health. Every inch that grew on my scalp meant I was that much closer to being normal. I started this year with merely a wiffle and I end it with my hair pretty much back to where it was before chemo began –albeit a little shorter and curlier but with help of a flat-iron it looks almost the same.
When I was bald, I wrote the following excerpt one day about my head:
My bald head is shiny and prickly at the same time. When I run my hand from my forehead to the back it feels as silky as a baby’s bottom but when I rub my hand back upwards to the scalp it feels as scratchy as a cat’s tongue. It is ugly and beautiful and embarrassing and empowering. It screams to the world that I have cancer and it whispers to me at night that I may not survive. It is shapelier than some and tinier than most. There is no hiding under my bald head. Every wrinkle, line, acne scar stands at attention on my face.
I am so glad I wrote this at the time because if I had to think back and write it now, I don’t think I would remember how I felt so vividly. It’s all just a distant memory now, and even looking at these pictures makes me feel oddly removed from the whole situation –like it happened to someone else.