What is it about the hair?

I know that I can expect to have all of side effects of chemotherapy to some degree – nausea, fatigue, body aches, changes in taste. Of all of the symptoms that will cause actual physical discomfort, the one that I just can’t wrap my head around is aesthetic and emotional – losing my hair. For me, this will be the most challenging and traumatic. With the type of chemotherapy that I am being treated with, it is a guarantee that 10-20 days after my first treatment, all of my hair will fall out. Since finding out the date of my first treatment I have been obsessing over how to handle this. When is it going to start? Should I cut it short before? Shave it? What about Passover photos? Should I cut it right after? What am I going to look like without any hair? Will my wig look obvious? Will people stare? Will I still feel pretty? I can get used to feeling sick on the inside but looking sick from the outside is a much tougher pill to swallow.  I also feel guilty for caring about something so superficial. I should feel grateful that there is a treatment for my cancer and just accept the side effects that come along with it. Why am I putting so much importance on my hair? Yes – I have always loved my hair. I love the compliments that I get from hair stylists – your hair is so thick, so long, so healthy, so shiny. Could I be putting too much importance on this? Maybe? I hope so.

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