The hardest thing I am going through right now is a battle with my own mind. Every night I have been having the same dream. Every morning I wake up feeling a sense of loss and sadness. Every night I have a dream about having my long beautiful hair back, I dream about running my fingers through it and brushing it. Last night I dreamt about curling it and straightening it. Just the simple things most people find as a nuisance to perform, I miss doing myself. I miss being able to do these things.
"My cancer is beat, but the mental stress it created is still something I deal with every day."
I don't think many people realize the mental impact losing your hair can have, especially for a girl who has always taken pride in her long hair. People are more concerned about the health aspect of cancer, as they should be, but there were a lot of days I would wake up in tears because I had another dream where my hair was long again and it felt so unbelievably real. Waking up and remembering I don't have that hair anymore is the worst way to start my day. It's hard for me to get out of that mindset and power through the rest of my day and be okay.
I rarely talk about how much I miss my hair because a lot of people say its only hair and will grow back, but wouldn't you freak out if you woke up one day to see all of your gorgeous locks stuck to your pillow and none on your head? I always wondered why I had such a strong attachment to something that grew out of my head that was essentially dead, but I did. When I cut it all off everyone said I was so brave. They said I was amazing because I cut my own hair off before chemo could take it away from me. I did it to empower myself, but it did not help the sense of loss of losing it.
People often tell me that they don't think they could ever cut off all of their hair and that I look great with short hair. I understand it is all meant as a compliment, but I did not get that choice. For me, it was either cut it all off or wake up every morning with more and more hair on my pillow. I chose the less traumatic route. It is so nice when people tell me I look good with short hair, but it's hard for me not to sigh with sadness because I don't want this hair. I want my own hair that ran all of the way down to my butt.
A blog all about hair may seem pointless to some, but it has been something that has been greatly impacting me for awhile now. Talking about it on this platform and letting people know will, hopefully, free my mind a little bit so I can stop waking up feeling that sense of loss. I am slowly learning to push myself through it and focus on how lucky I am to still be alive. I am so thankful, please don't think I am not, I am so thankful that chemo saved my life. But it doesn't change the scars I now have to deal with for the rest of my life. My cancer is beat, but the mental stress it created is still something I deal with every day.
I hope that you reading this will be able to say to yourself - "I had no idea" - because that is the point. I don't want people to see the weakness, so throughout the day, I push myself to be strong and put on a smile to make not only myself feel better, but to make the people around me feel better as well.