Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Great Debate...

...and I'm not talking about a political debate.  I'm talking about the the hair vs. no hair debate.  This past Thursday we had our family photos taken by the talented Tyler from Blue Lily.  When I originally scheduled a session, I thought I would at least be sporting a pretty good buzz cut by this point.  With the almost 2 extra months of chemo cleansing medication, that is not the case.  At this time it's a barely there buzz cut, but it's coming.

Anyway, I decided it was fine and I would sport my barely there buzz cut and my kerchief for the photos.  These "looks" most accurately represent this moment in time for me and my family.  It's how I see myself and it's how my kids and husband see me.  Some of those who are close to me thought I should probably do otherwise, and wear my cranial prosthetic wig.  I tried to respectfully disagree, but probably also got a little defensive about it.  Although I really like my wig, it is not comfortable for me to wear...  I have worn it a handful of times when I felt like I wanted to.  My family photos was not one of those times.  

I started thinking about why we had completely different views on the subject and then I had an AHA moment.  My lack of hair at this point probably represents different things to everyone.  When this journey started for me, I was scared out of my mind about losing my hair and that it would represent that I was sick, very sick.  It was as though I was wearing a flashing neon sign that said, "I have cancer, I am a chemo patient, feel bad for me."  Now, as I near the end of my treatments, it represents something different.    For me, it's that I had cancer, I went through chemo, it sucked, but I kicked its butt.  My hair is growing back...I did it!  To others, it may still represent the initial part of this journey and the fact that this intruder completely barged into our lives.  They want to see me completely as myself, completely healed and healthy, with a full head of hair.  Why have the reminder of a photo glaring you in the face in 5, 10, 15 years?  Well, the truth of the matter is, I don't really know how or what I'm going to feel about this journey that many years down the road, so I had to make a decision I would be ok with at this moment in time.  The thing is, wig or not, I will look at those pictures and know that was the year...the year my life changed forever.  And, it's not all bad.  There are so many bittersweet moments that evolved from this "experience".  And I hope that one day I can look at the photos and say "Hey, that was rough, but we made it through, and man, I rocked the barely there buzz cut." :)



 
Debate is so much better than denial. Julie Walters