She Is Losing Her Hair
One of the big "milestones" that happens to many cancer patients is losing their hair. This happened to my daughter, Crystal, and she took it like a champ. I hated it.
The hair loss begins
Crystal knew it was going to happen and, rather than allow cancer to dictate the outcome, she shaved her head when she started to lose her hair. She made a video of this and put it online to share with others. I had the honor of shaving her head, but it was a family affair. Her dad, two sisters, and her niece were there to help her through this. But it was me who did most of it.
Avoiding sharing our thoughts and fears
Our goal was to make it fun by trying different hairstyles, but to me, it showed how the poison she was taking was affecting her body. I hated every minute of it. I didn’t share this with Crystal at the time. It wouldn't have mattered. This is what she needed to do to get better. I didn’t want her to think about what chemo was doing to her, although, I’m sure she was. How could she be thinking of anything else? As I think back to that time, I wonder if I should have asked her how she was feeling. I didn’t want to talk about my thoughts because I didn’t want to scare her, but maybe she felt the same way. Maybe she didn’t want to scare me with her thoughts. Maybe she needed to talk.
Purchasing wigs & deciding to show off her bald head
Well, going back to her hair, I had heard about the American Cancer Society's (ACS) free wig program (You can search for this program on the ACS website). They help cancer patients in many other ways, too. We made an appointment and they gave her a wig. Crystal was still covered under my insurance at that time, so she was able to buy a couple of additional wigs. This helped her to feel better about herself.
The organization also does beauty makeovers and they give you a bag of makeup. Crystal and I went to a beauty makeover night and she enjoyed that, too. All of this helped her to get past the loss of her hair. She had beautiful long light brown hair, which luckily, is now growing back, but that is a slow process. Crystal has a beautiful face and was able to pull off the bald look. Over the summer, when it got really hot, she decided she was going to rock the bald head. She also looked great in hats and found some with a very soft inside. She said this was a must because the hat can irritate the soft skin of the head.
Looking for resources in our communityFor many people with blood cancer, hair loss is a definite possibility. There are cold caps that may help, but if not, there are things that you can do to still look your best. Look into organizations that offer assistance to cancer patients in your area. There are so many people out there that want to offer support. Take advantage of those programs. Also, at the hospital where Crystal had to go and get hydration, they had a sharing station. People made things or offered things others could take if needed. There were a few wigs there, as well as scarves, hats, and even some jewelry. Good luck and just know that hair loss likely won’t last forever.
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