Not Ready for My Close-up
Updated: Feb 20, 2018
It's amazing how little I knew about breast cancer and cancer treatment until I was faced with it myself. Is it possible that I just wasn't paying attention before? Even with the history of breast cancer in my family, I was so clueless about it. I think perhaps I just thought that I had time on my side. Surely at 35 there wouldn't be a real need for me to become an expert on an illness that might or might not find me. Of course, that all changed on November 28, 2017. The phone call came as I was walking into the nail salon for an appointment. I had a commercial shoot coming up and manicured nails are considered a job requirement in my industry. Before I even sat down the call came and I literally hit the floor in shock as the nurse informed me that I had breast cancer. The next step was to be connected with a breast surgeon. At that point I didn't even realize that I would have to face surgery. When it was determined that a double mastectomy was in my future, I mistakenly assumed that would save me from having to endure chemotherapy. I was wrong.
I'll never forget clutching my husband's hand while the surgical oncologist explained that not only would I be losing both my breasts, but that chemo was necessary too and I would also surely lose my hair.
I've known that I'd be losing my hair for nearly two months now. I tried to prepare myself and my children for it. First by losing ten inches of length, then with a cute pixie cut (compliments of my best friend, Cristina) and now finally with my buzz cut. I thought I was ready for it. It would indicate that the medicine is working, that I am moving forward toward health. I thought it might be nice to have an outward sign of the major change that has occurred in my life and my family's life. But I wasn't ready for it.
I know that it's just hair and that it will grow back. I realize this is just a small price to pay to keep my life and have a chance to raise my kids. But I also can't help how I feel. And it makes me sad and angry. My hair is the first thing that cancer has stolen from me, but it won't be the last.