Taking Charge

I knew I would lose my hair. Despite optimism from friends and family, the medical professionals were pretty adamant that all three chemo drugs cause hair loss; it was truly just a matter of time.

While I realize hair does not define you, or me, it is still very socially jarring and eye catching for a woman to not have hair in 2018. I anticipated it would happen and knew in my heart when it started to fall out, I didn't want it to happen at the full length it previously was. While I had grown it for 5-years, it had become part of my identity and routine. As a swimmer growing up, hair breakage, chlorine bleaching and dead ends were the norms I welcomed with the territory. When it finally started to grow sans pool or salt water, I was amped for the change. As hair d-day crept in closer and closer it just made sense to cut it in stages. Queue the Pixie! She was so fun but also so short lived. She lasted a week and a day ya'll, a whole 8 days! But I promise she will return some day soon when this is all a distant memory, before or after I bleach my stubs Amber Rose style. ;)

My hair started to come out on Monday, first in the shower when I washed it (ugh), then when I would lay down to rest, it would cover my pillows and later on, eventually fell out when i sneezed. I swear, I sneezed out my hair! I wish I was kidding. I decided today to take the reins and opted for a buzz cut. I powdered my nose, filled in my brows and highlighted my cheek bones, ready to take on The Battle of the Bald. It's insane how dramatic your features look with no hair! Or maybe it's the contour? lol

Practicing this ritual of detachment has done something to me, spiritually. We pride ourselves on features based on social standards of beauty and whoever challenges or doesn't conform, is different or weird. I've never been one to conform, lets be honest. I have done most things to the beat of my own drum my entire life but honestly this was tough for me. But I'm grateful for the opportunity to challenge my attachment to deceased protein flailing from my dome. Sounds silly, right? 

God bless anyone with confidence enough to stray from social norms and define their own. They will always be the most beautiful and resilient to me. And that is what I hope to embody from this day forward, with or without hair, for the rest of my life. Strong is so damn beautiful.

Thank you immensely for your words of encouragement and endless support. The laughs and 'bald and boujie' jokes give me life and I can't get enough! You truly do keep my spirits high and my heart hopeful during this often uncomfortable, perspective shifting journey. Did I mention we're nearly half way done? 10 more long days and 4 short days left -- but who's counting?!

The evolution continues.

Dena <3

dena helling