Outreach: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
If I lost my hair,
which, of course, I didn’t think I would,
I’d look like G.I. Jane – Demi Moore – young, tan, fit and fearless.
I waited as long as I could to cut off my hair.
My poor scalp had been hurting for 10 days.
As each hair died, deep in the follicle,
it broke off at the scalp and then drifted down
onto my t-shirt, my toothbrush, my turkey sandwich.
If I stayed alert and vigilant,
I could remove these hairs before anyone could see them.
I was shedding for four or five days;
then, I started molting.
My scalp hurt beyond belief.
It was painful to touch my head
or to lie down on my pillow at night.
Some people I’ve known who’ve had cancer and gone through chemo
lost their hair –
but not everyone.
Of those who did,
some may have talked about the cosmetics of not having hair (being bald)
or the mechanics of looking ‘un-bald’ (a wig),
but I don’t remember anyone ever talking about how it felt
to "lose" all your hair –
to have it come out in handfuls each time you touch it –
or to find that, once it is gone,
you don’t look like G.I. Jane at all.
I looked in the mirror and cried.
Not because I have cancer.
Not because I’m hairless.
But I cried because I looked like Mickey Rooney.
Not the young Mickey Rooney, but the old Mickey Rooney.
If you could see me now!
If they could see me now!
G.I. Jane would smile.
Mickey Rooney would laugh.
But when I saw myself in the mirror,
I just stood there and wept.