March 30th, 2018 the day I have lost my hair during my breast cancer journey. The chemotherapy plan for breast cancer I am on, I knew about 17 days out from my first treatment, this would happen. I have drastically cut my hair from shoulder length to buzz the sides to transition my young children, and myself, during this side effect over the past few months. I’ve quickly learned nothing really prepares you for the total hair loss that takes place due to chemotherapy.
The day after my second chemotherapy treatment, I was losing my hair fast and furious. My white pillowcase were covered with hair and everywhere I turned a hair was falling on my shoulder, breasts and hands. Every hair that fell out came with a huge sign and slap in the face reminder that I am battling and fighting this diagnosis and that this hair loss is about to be real.
Just a few days ago, my scalp was aching in terrible pain for the 24 hours. The only way I can describe it was dead hair sticking through my scalp and the pain was felt throughout my entire head and heart. I had to muster up all the energy I had in my soul and say it is time to take control of this matter. With my beautiful children holding my hand and my husband watching and taking some photos for me, I buzzed my head clean.
I showered, I put on my terry cloth hooded robe, I tucked both of my girls to bed, and I crawled in my bed and cried in my husband’s arms. Long, big rain drop tears dripped down my face and soaked his shirt.
” Life Is A Puzzle And We Are The Pieces”
This to date has been the most painful piece of this breast cancer puzzle. I am overwhelmed by my strength but also feel vulnerable. As I stare and gaze hard into the mirror, I know what I still see.
I see my vibrant heart ready to take on the world. I see my smile ready to make someone happy. I see a mother who tries her best to provide a safe, warm and cozy house for her children. I see a wife who wants to take the pain out of her husband’s eyes. I see a girl whose soul can out-stand any hairstyle in the world. I see a fighter. I see a daughter. I see a sister. I see a best friend. I see an Aunt. I see a Warrior. I see a survivor.
While I am preparing to go to my mom’s house for a Passover Seder, I thought I would share a piece of what the Seder means from my Rabbitzen and beautiful friend Jennifer Gibber.
“Seder means order, and is the coming together of tiny pieces of a puzzle forming a beautiful and clear picture. As human beings, we crave order. We long for the ability to make sense of the world around us. We are not comfortable with chaos, where each piece of the puzzle seems to exist on its own. We love a beautiful painting where everything flows and makes sense; a beautiful song, a garden, where the colors of the flowers paint a magnificent and perfect picture. It resembles the tapestry of g_d’s plan.”
I read this quote from her and each day of my journey, I compare it to tiny pieces of a puzzle’s of my journey with breast cancer. As I embrace this Passover with a bit of a heavy heart, I will look to these beautiful Passover night and remember that god has a beautiful plan for me. I keep looking deeply into that mirror telling myself that I hold the piece myself. I have the power to embrace this change, look forward to recovery and define the new meaning of bald is beautiful.