By far, the hardest part of this entire cancer thing has been the changes to my physical appearance. Although I haven’t had any major emotional breakdowns, losing my hair really has been challenging. While I have almost gotten used to my new look, I still struggle when I’m getting ready to go out. I look in the mirror and it just feels like something is missing. I am happy that I have stopped wearing my wig, but I don’t love what I see when I look in the mirror.
The only positive side effect of my super short hair is how quickly I am able to get ready. I used to plan my week around my blowout and now I can shower and be ready in minutes. Still, I would choose my worst hair day over my new cropped look.
On top of the hair loss, I have gained a decent amount of weight to the point where a lot of my clothes no longer fit. My doctors keep assuring me that the weight will be easy to lose once all of the drugs are out of my system, but I’m wary.
There are a couple of different ways that I can choose to deal with this. I can fall apart, not leave the house and feel bad for myself OR I could own it. I think that I am somewhere in the middle. I try to be kind to myself and recognize that my body has been through a lot over these last few months. Dieting or pushing myself to lose weight should not be on my radar right now. I try to focus on making healthy choices and doing whatever is in my power to keep my body strong as I move into the next phase of my treatment. It is hard to not feel confident in my body, but this is (hopefully) temporary.
This all stems back to being mindful of what is in my control and what is not. I cannot dwell on things that are beyond my control. My weight gain and hair loss are not something that I have the power to change right now, so it does not do me any good to waste my thoughts on being unhappy about it. Admittedly, I am not able to do this 100% of the time, but when I do find myself letting my mind wander to an unhealthy place, I am able to rein myself back in pretty quickly. It is not about ignoring the negative thoughts and blocking them out, but instead, allowing myself to recognize my feelings without giving them the power to change my attitude. I think that has been the key to “staying strong” throughout all of this and hope that I am able to keep this up.