Melanie’s #imnotsorry Story

Melanie is the selfless and loving mother of Morgan and Emily.  She just finished her cancer treatment in July after being diagnosed with Breast Cancer last November.  She is a warrior and a fighter.  

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#imnotsorry for losing my hair.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2015 and by January 2016, I was in full chemo mode.  Shortly after starting chemo, my hair began to fall out.  I would comb it only to find big clumps falling to the ground with each stroke.  My daughters, Morgan and Emily, were home so we bought a hair clipper, and the girls began to shave it all off.  Of course being brave is the only thing you can do.  There is no choice in the matter.  When you go through chemo, you will loose your hair. Now, losing the hair on your legs or arms is one thing, but the hair on your head is another.  I was literally bald – no hair.  I realized after it was all gone that I had to dig deeper into my soul to even love myself because the person in the mirror was a stranger.  I did not recognize my reflection and had to do a double take to realize it was really me.  I always loved to play with my hair, style it, go to the salon (where I love my stylist), and put it up in a ponytail when I felt like it.  But now there was nothing there.  It is hard to explain to anyone, but as a woman you feel naked without your hair; especially when it wasn’t a choice. Losing your hair can seem like no big deal, but in our society, it really is.  The focus is always on shiny, silky, and smooth hair. When you are left with none of those features, you can’t help but become hyper-aware of your baldness.  

I have become very mindful now that not everyone with short hair consciously chose that style.  In the past, I would just assume it was everyone’s choice to wear their hair as they pleased.  Now I know that many women have gone through the same thing as I have experienced.  They too lost their hair in a fight against cancer and they too are learning to be patient as it grows back.

Of course there are bad days where you don’t want to be seen, and then there are the good days where you really don’t care.  I am beginning to have a lot more of the good days.  Right now, I am still a stranger to myself.  I have short hair that is very wavy and not really sure what color it wants to be.  There are definitely white patches, which I guess for now I will call my highlights.  It is very different from what I had a year ago, but different doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

There are many benefits to having short hair: my shower is super short, I can get ready in no time at all, there are no tangles to comb out, I don’t have to worry about any salon appointments, I am saving money, I don’t use as much water, I can roll down all the windows in the car and not worry that my hair will get messy or tangled, even in the humidity my hair holds its style, when I work out there is no sweaty hair on my back.  I could go on and on.  Needless to say, I have much to be thankful for.

I have been told that I look great in short hair, that I can pull it off, that I look like Mia Farrow (thank you, Mike). A few people have stopped me in stores or parking lots and complimented my hair style.  I will take every comment as a positive for now and consider my short hair a gift as it has encouraged me to become more aware of who I am on the inside.  It is nice to know the people who truly love and care about you always will, regardless of your appearance.  Of course I would not expect anything less because I really do believe in the greatness of humanity.  Sometimes God knocks us on our butt for a reason.  I believe it is always to get our attention to draw closer to Him.  I have done just that because I still have a life.  Many people do not get the chance for one more breath, another day, another chance to live, love and laugh, and spend time with those we love.  For now, I am living one day at a time like never before, and each day I recognize myself more and more.  Maybe my short hair was just the gift I needed right now.
#imnotsorry I lost my hair and for having short hair now.  

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