January is the month I celebrate getting my hair back. Following surgery for ovarian cancer, I had chemotherapy, which left me bald as a bat. Now, some bald women look stylish. They are usually tall and svelte. They put on their makeup and huge hoop earrings and they look like fashion models. Not me. I'm short and stout. When I looked into the mirror, I scared myself. I tried turbans and kerchiefs, but none looked quite right. Luckily, I bought a wig that looked nicer than my own hair. I hated wearing that thing, especially in the summer. But it came in handy for laughs, when I lifted it up and down on my head in front of the kids.
When you lose your hair from chemo, you lose all your hair! Top and bottom, arms and legs and everywhere else. I mean everywhere! One morning I woke up and thought I was blind. I lost my eyelashes. They slid under my lids. I panicked for a few minutes, but boy, was I glad when I could see again.
I did some research to find out what ingredients were in my chemo drugs. They were taxol and carboplatin. I learned they were made from the bark of yew trees! Thank you, yew trees! Thank you, God! I told my friends my bark is worse than my bite. I warned them to watch out, when fall comes, I might sprout branches. Does anyone have a rake?
I entered a contest sponsored by a famous wig company. I wrote a four-verse poem about a Robin making a nest in my hair. Wishful thinking! I hoped I would win first prize - $500. But I was still lucky and I won third prize - a wig! Just what I needed. So, I celebrate my 15th year of hair with gratefulness, and I don't care if I look crazy when, occasionally, I hug a tree. And whisper a prayer of thanks. It might be related to the yew.
Editor’s Note: This piece was submitted by a contributing writer and does not represent the views of CURE Media Group.