(cross posted and edited from Coffee and Chemo)
I was hoping that I would be lucky this time too.

Despite a few days of hair loss, most of my hair remained on my head during the past year or so of chemo. So, when my hair started falling out this time, I hoped that it would stop after a few days. (Never mind that my doctor said it would probably not fall out last time and that it probably would fall out this time — feelings are not rational)

It has already been two weeks, and every day I comb out more hair.

A few days ago, I posted here about losing my hair. Mary Beth Volpini, commented on the post:

I read a great saying a long time ago …
”If you don’t know what to do…don’t until you do.”

The simple truth of those words touched my inner soul.

I was not yet ready to say good-bye to my hair.

I was torn. Though I was not yet ready to “cut it all off,” I wanted to save part of my hair. I wanted to save my braid, which was getting thinner and thinner every day. I did not want to wait too long.

The other night, I watched several YouTube videos of women with cancer who shaved their heads.

Several mothers chose to involve their children in the shaving/cutting. I thought this was a great idea. When I first suggested it to my girls, they were appalled by the idea. I let it go. Not every good idea is good for every family.

Today, after swimming, I had to ask a friend to help remove all the hairs that fell off and stuck to my back. That was it. When she asked me “why don’t you cut it short?” I realized the time had come.

On our way home, I mentioned to A, who was the only child with me, that I wanted to cut off my braid tonight. We talked a bit about our feelings.

“It makes me sad,” A said sweetly, “I like your hair.”

“Me too,” I admitted.

We were quiet for a few moments. Then I asked her, “Would you like to help me cut it off?” Without hesitating, she answered “yes.”

When I got home, I told Y that I was going to cut off my braid and that A was going to help cut it. Then I asked her if she wanted to help cut it off too. To my surprise, she also answered yes right away.

I then asked MD, who answered just as quickly “I am not part of this.” We all laughed.

I told Moshe, who asked, surprised, “You want to do this now?”

I was hurrying to get ready for a simcha (celebration), but the timing was right.

“I want to do this now,” I answered, definitively.

I got our our barber shears and gave them to Y, who began cutting off my braid. Then, she passed them on to her sister. While A was cutting, Y came around to give me a hug. I felt surrounded by love and caring.

It took less than five minutes. I combed my fingers through what was left of my hair.

“It looks cute,” Y said. Then she noticed that the ends were not even. She took the shears, studied my face, and evened out the ends. “There,” she stated when she was finished. “You should put in some clips to hold the hair out of your face,” she added, and ran to get some for me.

And then it was done. I went to get dressed for the simcha.

“Nice haircut,” said one of my friends, later in the evening, noticing the short ends sticking out from under my scarf.

I smiled, and she realized why I cut it.

“Still,” she said, acknowledging the loss, “it looks good on you.”

9 Responses to Haircut

  1. You and your family have made lemonade out of those cancer lemons…great post Rivka!!

  2. Laurie says:

    You moved me to tears. Lovely.

  3. francesbarrie says:

    Beautiful post. It was one of the saddest days for me also, when the hair started coming out, I feel your pain. But once that corner is turned and the decision is finally made to cut it off and take control, it is a little bit of a relief is it not? I am so glad your family decided to get involved, it makes it much less scary.

  4. throwslikeagirl74 says:

    Lovely post RivkA. 🙂

  5. Lisa Doornik says:

    Making the decision to cut my hair was hard, but having the kids do it made it right for all of us. Now that it’s growing back, I get so many compliments on how cute it is. I only have an inch of growth, but it’s all mine. You’ll get there too!

  6. paola says:

    hairloss is so upsetting
    but it does come back quickly
    i lost most of mine and had to cut it short too
    it started to grow back as soon as the chemo stops

  7. bcjenster says:

    What a great post, RivkA. It gave me the warm fuzzies with a touch of sad. But mostly warm fuzzy.

  8. katbur says:

    What a beautiful post. You’ve captured quite eloquently the experience we’ve been through. Just makes me feel a little melancholy

  9. Thank you all for your support!

    The short hair is definitely an improvement. Now, when I comb my hair, it just comes out a little at a time. I no longer have to deal with clumps of hair, which was just a nightmare!

    This is certainly a challenging period of time for me. It is so wonderful to have such a strong virtual support group!

    Thanks for all your comments!!!

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