A year ago this month I stood in my parents’ kitchen and chopped off my mom’s hair. What was once flowing locks was now a choppy pixie cut. It was emotional to say the least. Some may think it’s just hair but to those people I ask you to consider this.
Cancer had inhabited my mother’s abdominal cavity. It had taken away her ability to watch or even hold her grandchild. It didn’t allow her to travel or even water her flowers. A body that was once hers was now being dictated by her disease. And her hair loss was its way of taking away a piece of her identity and revealing to the outside world she was sick. It was another reminder to herself when she looked in the mirror that she was sick.
She had lost a majority of her hair before her surgery at the end of September and mostly wore scarves. Because of her surgery she had a 5 week break between her first course of chemo and her second course.
And then a miracle happened. While she was on her second course of chemo her hair began to grow back. Of course initially this caused us concern. Did this mean chemotherapy was no longer working? Logically one has nothing to do with the other. Her chemo was killing rapidly dividing cells in general. So just because her hair stopped responding to chemo doesn’t mean the cancer did. And obviously that was the case for her because as her hair began to grow, her cancer continued to shrink.
As her hair grew it helped her confidence. It helped her claim a piece of herself back. And while when she saw her reflection it was continuously a shock to see bright silver hair where her brown hair once was she has always maintained deep gratitude that her hair has continued to grow back while receiving chemotherapy. Today she took another piece back. She went to the salon and her silver hair was transformed to a beautiful brown.