Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-16 Sheryl Jedlinski
By Sheryl Jedlinski
I started losing my hair on New Year’s Eve, after only three chemotherapy treatments. Was this a sign of more unwanted and unwelcome medical surprises to be visited upon our family in 2016?
Although forewarned about my impending hair loss, I was completely unprepared for that first glimpse of myself in the mirror after coming out of the shower. My scalp looked like an abstract checkerboard with irregular bald patches all over it. I hardly recognized the person staring back at me.
Two weeks earlier, I had given my long-time my hair stylist, Debbie, carte blanche to create a very short, trendy look for me while I waited for my hair to fall out. It was my way of taking back some control in a world that felt like it was spinning out of my control. What I hadn’t anticipated was that so many people, including me, would like my new hair style better than the one I had sported for many years.
Debbie offered to shave my head bald in the privacy of my own home whenever I was ready. Then it would be up to me to decide whether to go au natural, wear a wig, or don a scarf, cap, or turban. I’ve never been a hat person, but this was about to change, as it seemed the least objectionable of my options. Now the question is what style, color, and fabric head covering would look and feel best on me. Perhaps something chic and Jackie Kennedy-esque?
Let’s face it, anytime a woman wears her hat indoors all day, every day, it screams chemo, not chic. My days of blending into the crowd are over. Who am I kidding? I haven’t been able to do this since I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 17 years ago. Now, my PD is being upstaged by cancer.
I remind myself that my hair loss is only temporary, and hardly a tragedy. Most likely, it will grow back a couple of months after I finish my chemo treatments, although it is likely to be a different color, texture, and/or fullness. Even better is that my hair loss will likely extend to my arm, leg and underarm hair, allowing me to reclaim countless hours lost to shaving. My luck, chemo will take my eyebrows and eye lashes as well.
Carole King’s song, Beautiful, tells it as it is:
“You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face, And show the world all the love in your heart. Then people gonna treat you better. You’re gonna find, yes, you will, That you’re beautiful as you feel.”
To keep this message front and center in my mind, I now wear a knit ski hat that says, Beautiful, across the front and a t-shirt that asks, “Will you still love me tomorrow?”