The importance of being ‘normal’ | PERSONAL STORY

I was having a pretty regular life. We were about to move cities for a 12-month contracting opportunity, but we were stopped dead in our tracks when, after a routine medical check-up, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2013.

It was only when six little words were uttered so routinely, clinically and confidently, ‘You will lose all your hair,’ that I realised the enormity of what faced me. My oncologist went on to explain my treatment, but I didn’t hear any of it. It wasn’t the diagnosis or the prognosis that scared me, it was the thought of losing my precious hair.

I knew I could handle the treatment, but losing my hair, my identity, this would test me. I was going to be exposed. I felt so alone. I turned to Darrell, my hairdresser friend, who helped me put a plan in place. I had faith that he would know what to do. I wasn’t going on this ride alone.

We made an appointment to go wig shopping and I entered a whole new world of hair! All shapes, colours and styles. Then I spotted her – the perfect style. A blondish bob, right length and even with a touch of regrowth. I tried it on – a perfect fit. Yes! I had a wig.

Twenty days after my first chemo treatment, my hair started falling out. Darrell said it was time to take the first step – a super short cut. I went to his studio. One of my friends came for moral support. The next cut a few days later was even shorter. This time Darrell came to my house.

The weeks and months stretched on. My treatment finished. Little tufts of fluff appeared on my head. Eventually more hair. It was different hair, but it was my hair.

Darrell’s support throughout my journey meant the world to me. I am now loving my short, blonde, cropped look. I won’t be going back to long hair and I never complain about a bad hair day!

Kerry, WA

Issue 78
Autumn 2017