It’s not really about the hair, even if reading people’s (positive) comments on my hair did end up making me cry. The hair looks fine, but it’s just not what it was before cancer. It is short now *because* of cancer, not because I chose to have it short. It’s the visible marker of everything that was lost with diagnosis.
The chunk of breast that was scooped away, the nipple that has gone entirely numb. The pain and exhaustion of chemo, surgery, radiation. The years of time that were lost to treatment (time from family, time from writing). The peace of mind and assumption of health (now every doctor’s appointment comes with added weight of anxiety). The reconstructive surgeries that are still to come.
Most days, I can count my abundance of blessings and be happy. I forget about cancer entirely for weeks on end, and feel entirely healthy. But there’s a river of loss and anger running underneath.
Not sure if that’s ever going away entirely. We’ll see.