26 years on Earth

I’ve prided myself for being pretty strong throughout this whole experience. I only cried a couple of times, mostly back when I got my diagnosis. But these past two days have been extremely hard and I can’t say that I feel very strong at this moment.

I didn’t think losing my hair would be this difficult. But as I sat in the bathtub this afternoon and watched what little was left of my once long, brown, curly locks swirl toward the drain I just broke down. Getting out of the bathtub, I reached for a hair tie to put around my wrist and then put it back, feeling stupid. I have no hair to tie. I just have a patchy head with tufts of hair that are refusing to quit until the very last second. I wish they would go away so I could just be completely bald and not look like what I imagined the velveteen rabbit looked like sitting in a trash heap waiting to be burned.

I’ve been out in public but I don’t know how to act. All day yesterday and today I had a lump in my throat that literally made it hard to breathe. I thought my throat was swelling – allergies, maybe – but I think instead it’s anxiety. I don’t know how to be bald in public. What if someone pulls off my scarf? What if little kids laugh at me and ask their mommies why that woman is bald? What if people pity me? Make fun of me? Laugh at me? Look away from me, embarrassed to stare?

Today is my actual birthday and I want to celebrate and feel good about another year under my belt, but I’m terrified to leave my apartment. I know I should walk with my head up and not care what people think. It’s all about confidence and inner strength. But it’s easier said than done and I can only hope that, in the days to come, I find the strength I need to get through the summer like this.

 

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7 responses to “26 years on Earth

  1. Yep, you have every right to feel the way you do. Hope it does not last to long.
    The wig is not solving anything is it?
    dad

  2. You have every right and reason to feel as you do. Give yourself some time.

    Cara, you are truly beautiful inside and out and that is revealed to the people who take the time to notice. We’ll keep on reminding you…

  3. You are beautiful and I am thankful you are celebrating another birthday! It is so normal to feel the way you do right now. It is hard, but you are strong and will get through this. You have so many praying for you and admiring your strength and willingness to share this chapter of your life.

  4. Please keep this beautiful young (26) BRCA positive woman in your prayers. She is battling breast cancer and needs all of our prayers.

  5. First of all, happy birthday and congrats on making it another year! I know it is of little consolation right now but just wanted you to know that my sis in law lost her long hair to chemo about 5 years ago and presently it is well past her shoulders again. It will take time but you will get it back. You are not always going to be strong and that’s ok. Why not take some strong, confident people with you when you are scared to go out. Once you get used to it, you will be ok.

  6. Just found your blog and wanted to let you know I am about 6 months ahead of you in treatment. I’m also BRCA (1) positive. I have been getting my hair back through Taxol. I am about 1 1/2 weeks from my last Taxol treatment.

    I want to add that some of the anxiety you are feeling could be effects of the medications you are getting. I too had a great deal of anxiety about the hair thing and much of it evaporated after I switched from Adria/ Cytoxan to Taxol. Mention it to your treatment team. They can help.

    Hang in! If you have questions, etc…please let me know.

    • Hi Leeza,

      Glad you found my blog and thanks for the advice! I did mention it to my nurse and she prescribed me some Ativan because, in her words, on top of all the stress of chemo I shouldn’t have to be dealing with anxiety. I was grateful! I hope you are doing well and congratulations for finishing your treatment! Can’t wait until I am at that point.

      Best,
      Cara

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