Hair Glorious Hair

by Bridget on November 22, 2011

I am currently on week four of radiation with minimal side effects. There is a little redness and tenderness across the radiation site, and fatigue so far feels somewhat manageable, as long as I’m in bed at the same time as my children. It is supposed to get worse before it gets better, but I would still take this over chemotherapy any day of the week.

I have naturally befriended the therapists/technicians and they are all sweet, fun, and super efficient. All four of them (three gals and a guy) are at least ten years younger than me. And, all have great hair.

The only mirror in my house is perched over my bathroom sink. I can easily see from my waist to the top of my head from a distance of 22 inches (the depth of our sink). It’s close enough for making sure I don’t walk out the door with toothpaste on my face, but far enough away that I don’t obsess over crow’s feet. I don’t spend much time in the mirror. Never really have….until one surprising day last week.

I was changing out of my very glamorous hospital gown (standard issue for radiation treatment) in the dressing room and decided to check out the surgical scar under my right arm to see how radiation was effecting it. Low and behold there was a hair. I immediately raised my other arm and saw several more hairs. I actually felt joy. Over arm pit hair.

I stepped even closer to the mirror and inspected my trademark eyebrows. Every spot where hair was sparse had tiny black stubble moving back in. It was this point that I started crying.

Finally, I surveyed my scalp. And, I saw tiny black (and, I’ll be honest, white) hairs all over my once smooth and shiny scalp. It was beautiful! For the first time in almost six months I could see that my body was actually bouncing back. That there would really be an end to this.

My (our) body’s ability to heal itself is miraculous. It fights with all its might to protect me from a minor cold and heal severe infections. It regenerates healthy cells and can restart suppressed bodily functions. I’m reminded that my body is strong, despite my feeling weak. And, it is continuously working to function at its optimal rate. That is truly amazing.

Once upon a time, I would have seen an armpit hair and cursed the dark, coarse, evil nemesis of tank tops. Today, however, I will appreciate this symbolic reminder that I am getting better every day. And, I will feel good again. With a head (and body) full of hair.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Denise November 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Happy Thanksgiving! Sounds like blessing are appearing!

Larry Baldacci November 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm

So happy for you, Bridget. Wish I could look in the mirror and see hairs growing on my bald spots! 🙂

Seriously, this is wonderful news. Just a reminder that we all have so much to be thankful for this season!


Alissa (Swartz) Hogan November 30, 2011 at 12:35 am

I’m dying with laughter over the “… over armpit hair.” part! 🙂 Happy for you!! I bet it will be fun & exciting to see it grow and grow over the coming weeks!

PS – embrace those white hairs! I said ‘screw it!’ last year and stopped dying mine. I’m just gonna let it come. Why the .. not?! 🙂

Elissa November 30, 2011 at 2:03 am

Yay!!! This makes me so stinkin’ happy for you!. Love, love, love that your body is beginning the journey back to normalcy. Sending lots of love and good vibes for a nice, furry winter this year.

Carrie December 1, 2011 at 12:22 am

Yay! We love you wherever your hair is, or isn’t, but rejoice with you that you are coming out the other side not only in tact, but in classic Bridget fashion: with humor, style and chutzpah!

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