A few weeks ago I went to the wig bank at the cancer center and picked out a couple of wigs. These are the first wigs I've ever gotten in my whole six years of treatment. Usually I wear scarves.
As you can see they are very different from each other! My natural hair is dark and curly, so they're both quite a change for me, Aubrey in particular. I've also never had a hair cut as cool as either of these - the cool bangs, cool layering, etc. Usually I go pretty basic - long layers, some face framing, and that's it. The last time I had hair that long I was in high school! I prefer Aubrey; she's a little more fun, and looks better on me. Who would ever have guessed I'd look good as a red head?
I decided to get some wigs because I thought they might give me a little more confidence when I'm out in public or meeting new people. I've only worn them a few times since I got them, and the first couple of times I think I was more self conscious than I am just wearing a scarf! I was worried that the wig would shift and look funny on my head, or that it was easy to tell I was wearing a wig, that it looked terrible on me, that the hair was tangling, etc. I hadn't gotten wigs previously because I'd heard that they are itchy and hot, and because I like accessorizing my outfits with scarves. Turns out wigs are indeed itchy and hot! But I do like looking a little more "normal" when I go out in public. I blend in rather than standing out.
The other reason to get wigs is that despite the Rogaine my hair doesn't appear to be growing back. Reasons that my hair isn't growing back yet are: still waiting to grow back from the chemo I got eight months ago (unlikely), the chemo I'm getting now (which shouldn't affect hair growth), and hair gvhd. I know a few girls, all around my age, who have hair gvhd. One is totally bald, one has extremely thin hair (thinner than mine is now) and doesn't wear a wig, and one who has thin hair and wears a wig. Rogaine does say that it takes a few months to work, and I've only been using it for two, so there's still a chance that I'll see some regrowth in the next couple of months. I can also try a higher dosage of Rogaine and see if that helps (buy Rogaine for Men instead of Rogaine for Women. Because obviously my life isn't already embarrassing enough!).
I can't tell if my hair is growing back or not, but I am starting to lose a little bit of hope. I haven't totally given up, but I think it's best if I start trying to get used to the idea of being mostly bald forever because it's going to take a long, long time to get used to. I hate the idea of my hair never growing back. I really don't mind being bald for a few months; I understand that it's a necessary evil when it comes to chemotherapy and getting healthy. I comfort myself with the knowledge that it will grow back. But what if the hair loss is permanent, what do I say to myself then?
Of course, in the grand scheme of things, if I have to sacrifice my hair to stay alive, it's a small price to pay. It's just a really, really sucky price. I miss my hair. I miss washing it, running my fingers through it, the way I look with my hair, I miss it blowing all over my face when I roll the windows down in my car. I always liked my hair. Not to mention, if I thought I'd have a hard time finding a guy who would put up with the cancer thing, it'll be even harder to find someone who will put up with cancer AND permanent baldness. Imagine coming home to someone who looks like a cancer patient every day. I can't blame anyone who doesn't want to sign up for that.
It makes me extremely sad to think that I'll probably be mostly bald for the rest of my life. That every day I'll wake up and put on a wig, and then take it off at night. That I'll never see my natural hair again.
A small prayer to the universe: Can I have my hair back please?
I guess until then, Aubrey and I will be spending some time together. It is kind of fun to play dress up with wigs, but I really hope it isn't something I'll have to do forever.