After spending a much-needed week at my second home in Bimini, I was faced with the daunting task of unpacking. I love to pack, but if I could, I would totally pay someone to unpack my clothes upon my return home. Thankfully, I was able to do all my laundry before I left so most of it was clean. I never have an issue with doing laundry and folding it, it’s the task of putting everything away – nice and neat – that I dread. As I dragged my feet back and forth between the suitcases and closet/dresser, I became very annoyed with my hair being in my face.
My hair was down to the middle of my back before it began to fall out in clumps from chemo, and it was emotionally devastating. Last year, at this time, I was completely bald. I now have quite a bit of hair…it’s several inches long…a bit of a change from chemo taking away my lovely locks. I quickly grabbed a hair tie and secured my bangs cutely on top of my head. I then looked at my messy closet and decided I was going to tidy things up a bit.
I didn’t buy any clothes when I was away, but for some reason, I seemed to run out of space for everything. All of my wigs are perched on the top shelf in my closet. I decided to reclaim this space for this mysterious amount of clothing I now had, so I began to take them down and put them back in boxes. I suddenly became very emotional. It was like I was throwing away something sentimental.
A lot of people choose to be bald after they lose all their hair during chemo. I was the opposite: I had to have hair and it made me feel much better about myself. I’m not knocking anyone for not wearing a wig when chemo takes their hair; for me though, it wasn’t an option to accept that I was losing something – well a lot, including my breasts – to cancer. These wigs had made me feel slightly normal, despite being sick all the time. I silently thought, “Thank you for being my hair.”
It sounds kind of silly, but it was a reminder that I had fought and won (for now). My wigs helped me get through a really tough time, and to put them away made me feel like I was not being appreciative of their help. I glanced in the mirror at that spray of hair bundled in the hair tie atop my head, and then began pulling them back out of the boxes. One by one, I smiled with each one I put back on its stand. Would I wear them again? Likely…even though I don’t need to now…