Luckily, I had read that it’s best to organise your wig before you lose your hair
Hi my name is Laura. I’m 32 and I have beaten cancer twice. Both experiences were very different but with the same extremely happy outcome.
I read so many blogs the second time as I was really scared by the idea of chemo and the effects of hair loss. As a girl, this was probably the worst part of the journey. I had really long hair at the time. My chemo started a week after my diagnosis. My friend and I did so much research on whether it would be possible to keep my hair. However, my type of chemo was too strong and hair loss was inevitable.
It happened really fast after only two weeks. Luckily, I had read that it’s best to organise your wig before you lose your hair, so this is what I did. I chose a wig and even had it styled. I couldn’t have done all of these things without the amazing support of my friends and family. Next, my plan was to cut my hair short before it fell out to ease myself into my new look. Unfortunately, the chemo and my hair had other ideas and was falling out in clumps. With the help of my mum, we shaved my head. I cried throughout, but as soon as the last bit of hair was gone, the tears dried up and I felt liberated. This was the first time I really looked like a cancer patient and that was scary.
Decide if and how you want to cover your head
Make sure you buy all accessories before your hair falls out
I had every option to try and make this easier; hats, scarves and a wig
I know this all sounds superficial, but to me it was such a big obstacle.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this, as chemo is so hard and probably the worst thing I’ve ever had to do. It comes with a lot of difficulties such as infections, sickness and overall lack of taste. I was very lucky that over my six rounds of chemo I only had one infection. No-one wants to spend more time than necessary in hospital, especially when I had a weekend away booked to visit my best friends. It is so important that you don’t hide away as much, even though you’re tired and feeling physically and mentally low. Keeping hold onto my pre-diagnosis life was so important and a big drive for getting back to living my full life again. To help with the sickness, I would make banana muffins and eat ice lollies.
Cancer is now a part of my life forever with the experiences and now the regular checkups. The anxiety has definitely worsened the second time round as I never thought it would return - but I won the battle.
- Laura Hall