Rapunzel has left the building... Adapted from my Mama BlaBla blog

Rapunzel has left the building... Adapted from my Mama BlaBla blog

Originally posted here: ma-ma-bla-bla.blogspot.co.i...

Life happens. That's not a cliche because whether you actually move yourself or stand still... There's nowhere to go but onward, into the future. I remember when I was a little girl, many "grown-ups" said it was rude to ask a woman her age yet my mother never hid hers. She was a young mom and has always looked even younger. I remember on one of my mom's birthdays, I wondered if she was afraid of getting "old" (she was probably all of 30...) and my mom declared, "well, it sure beats the alternative!". And that was that. My mom is a happy person, young in spirit, heart, and mind. I always knew that every year of life was something to be proud of and I will follow her and never hide my age.  I hope to be a proud "old" woman someday!

I muse a lot about being happy and about living the choice of  "just being happy". Happy about nothing.  Happy about myself, about my life, my choices. Leading a happy life requires teetering on a fine line sometimes.  I don't think it matters where you come from, how much money you have or how healthy you are, at any given stage or milestone in your life, you choose the path to the right or the path to the left. There's plenty to cry about and fair reason to be mad or upset and sometimes you really do need to cry it out or punch a pillow but the sadness (or anger) doesn't need to stick around.  I was given this life which included stage 3c Ovarian Cancer Detour. There was CANCER and then surgery and then there was chemotherapy. In truth, I didn't have a choice. I had to have chemotherapy.  I had to go through that "yucky" time. I had control of fewer things than I was used to. I let go and let more people in than ever before and I found a lot of new friends and rediscovered old friends. I had to lose my hair. I lost a good part of a year of being healthy and in charge. That element of losing control leaves a mark and all of a sudden, the constant preoccupation with treatment and balancing killing-cancer with not-letting-the-treatment-kill-me is over. Time to move into the next stage which is, regrowth; the rediscovery of everything. Regaining control of my life.

Today, I did something so unrestrained and invigorating. For a while now the hair has been growing back like baby hair yet gray. I know it looks different. Even with my head covering, everyone I see remarks at the growth and it's a huge change from bald! My family and many of my women friends know that I had long, dark, thick hair, down to my waist, before I had it cut and donated it to an organization that makes wigs for children with cancer. People who know about chemotherapy and the after effects tell me that my hair will grow back "better than ever" or "it'll grow back and be long as it was in no time".  It's true, the body is a miraculous vessel that rejuvenates and rebuilds but maybe I've moved onwards and that fertile, breast feeding mother, with the Rapunzel hairdo doesn't exist anymore. She was alright. She was cool. She's in there somewhere... Just not exactly the same. Honestly, part of me is afraid to grow the Rapunzel-do only to (G-d forbid) relapse and need chemo again. I don't know if I could handle a second head-shaving party with the festivity that I did the first time. Let's not go there. My close friend, "E", introduced me to her hairdresser today.  I could've let my hair grow. I could've waited around for it to change or not, or I could've tried to dye it back to my previous color. The whole hair thing is all somewhat superficial. Hair color. Hair style. I keep my hair covered most of the time anyways and it's always tucked away in public. With hair this short, some of it always peeps out as careful as I strive try to be to cover it up, it's out there making a statement. She recently finished chemotherapy or something happened to this woman in her thirties with the wispy gray hair. Perhaps the only statement is the one in my head? I dunno. I decided to do something completely uncharacteristic of me. Very bold, drastic, and yet so liberating and empowering! I decided to have my hair peroxided platinum blond and neatly trimmed. One year ago, there's no way I would've considered this look! No way! ...and now here I am. Just another choice, frivolous, yet something about it feels optimistic, hopeful, different, and happy.

Hair itself is nonessential and cosmetic, its not alive, it's symbolism is physical. Symbolically, hair represents the ideas and thoughts that are growing out from the psyche. Hair loss can symbolize abandoned ideas, loss of creativity, helplessness, loss of power or control, and loss of energy. Loss. Loss. Loss.

When you think of losing hair it's usually a manifestation of a very stressful situation... something that people say when they feel like they're losing their grip; "pulling hair out" or "losing hair" due to stress. Don't forget the story of Samson, who lost his strength and his life. Hair is so much more than dead cells sprouting from thousands of follicles all over the body.  Women of various religions hide it. The loss of hair symbolizes loss of strength, illness, and old age as does graying of the hair. On the optimistic side of hair, in dreams, hair and hair changes hold powerful subconscious messages and imagery. If you dream that you make drastic changes to your hairstyle, according to the celestial "science" of dream interpretation, it means that you are taking a progressive, new approach to an issue in your waking life and what a fabulous idea that is!  Why not? No better time than now to make a positive external change to mirror what I feel on the inside.

10 Replies

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  • Wow what a lot of thoughts to process. I hope you're going to post up a photo in your blog of the new peroxide you. It must be invigorating to do something completely different with the baby grey hair.

    My hair's naturally blonde and I've never experimented with dye. Some years ago, feeling the strain of trying to to be a grey-suited civil servant in a job I didn't much like, I had a rebellious moment and dyed my hair a brash auburn. It wasn't meant to be a permanent dye but my hair loved it and it absorbed every drop of auburn in the bottle. I looked a fright.

    The very next morning I received a letter inviting me to an interview for a dream job that I had thought would be out of my reach.

    Panic! In desperation I got some hair bleach to get rid of the auburn but it wouldn't go away. Some of it turned a rather livid shade of orange. I booked an appointment at the hair salon to have a drastic cut to get rid of as much colour as I could and came out with hair about 3/4" long which wouldn't lie flat. By the time of my interval my blond roots had started to grow through and I looked a bit like a tabby cat who'd just met a rottweiler in the alley.

    Nothing for it. I had to brazen it out and go along to the interview as though tabby-cat-meets-rottweiler-look was my look of choice. To my astonishment I was offered the job. Apparently they were looking for someone 'a bit different' and the bizarre hair made them think I might be just the person they were looking for!

    The moral is, ladies, that even if you think your hair is a shambles, or grey, or fuzzy, or not what you would have wanted - others may well think it's the best thing ever.

    xxxx Annie

  • You sound like an awesome lady Annie! I loved that story!

    XOXO,

    Erika

  • Hi Erika

    I love your blog.

    Ally

  • Thank you Ally!

    Xoxo

    Erika

  • HI Erixka

    Wow what a blog! I did the same as you. Hair came back grey and I wasn't ready to accept that so had it bleached blonde. Life has been great since, whether it's the hair colour or the fact that I am enjoying everything in life since oc I don't know. Loving your photo.

    Chris x x

  • We get it! I guess that's why I decided to share my blog post here... I knew that others here would appreciate and understand me....

    Sending you warm hugs Chris!

    Xoxo

    Erika

  • Good story to tell, love these kinds of personal journeys.

    I wish I had the inclination to do something radical but right now am relishing my shag pile carpet style, even though it is grey. Hadn't ever seen that, it was a shock!

    Maybe if I have a mad moment I will revert to one of my styles of yesteryear. The best one? Blue punk spikes!

    Love

    Sue xxx

  • Sue, I understand! I enjoyed my grey at first and then I was ready for a change. I think the empowerment comes from doing what feels right, when it comes to these things. I wish you continued good health! If you decide to go with the blue punk spikes I hope you'll share a photo with me!

    Xoxo

    Erika

  • Love the blog Erixka. Yes, we do look at life from a different point of view after something like OC.

    I was at a local health event recently and met a lady who said she hated growing older. I said, emphatically that I loved it and of course whe wanted to know the reason why. When I explained that I was now having birthdays I didn't always expect to see, she did take the point.

    I discarded the grey kinky hair look about 8 months after treatment. I used to colour my hair myself but my new hairdresser - the lady who gives chemo patients a couple of free hairdos had a better idea of what would suit me and gave me blonde highlights and darker lowlights. I quite liked my old hair but I like my new hair better and it is in much better condition.

    Here's to you and I look forward to seeing the new do.

    Love Mary xx

  • Mary, I'm so glad that you're enjoying your new hair too... It feels great! I would dare to guess that many of us OC survivors are sharing some of these feelings and hair changes. I'm sure blessed to have found this warm and special group! Thank you for your warm words! I added a photo to the blog post on this site.

    Xoxo

    Erika

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