It has been three years and counting since my cancer experience with began. During those years, I have changed drastically for what I believe is the better. The person I am today brings me joy. I am proud of who I am and what I stand for.
Throughout the survivorship phase of my experience, I have not lost sight of what is important to me. Instead of putting it behind me completely, I choose to keep in mind the active treatment phase of my cancer experience. I continue to fight for what I believe needs to change for cancer thrivers. I continue to stay linked to the motivation found through that experience.
Nevertheless, it is hard not to feel distant from my experience. The more time goes on, the more I fear that I will forget the details and emotions of that time, and everything it has given me. I fear that I could lose sight of the person I have become since experiencing cancer. To be very honest, there was a point when this fear grew so much so that it began to consume me. It dictated most of my decisions in life.
Most of the time, this was to my advantage. I stayed close to whom I had become and what the experience had given me. I ended treatments with many realizations and a need to foster changes in the world. At other times, this fear was limiting. It limited my growth into the person I could be. It limited my ability to evolve, make changes and move forward. This fear kept me stuck as the person that still felt so familiar—my active treatment cancer self. Just recently, I was faced with this limiting fear when the time came to consider a new hair cut. Mundane, I know.
Who fears haircuts, really?
Many cancer thrivers do - those who have lost or have seen changes in their hair due to cancer and treatment. Any one of them has struggled with the growing out process that comes with hair loss. I have been growing out my hair for years now. It has been a very slow process. As well as an awkward process for me. All of those awkward phases, however, brought me to being able to rock a semi-long hair style.
Through it all, I have refused to alter the natural course of my hair’s growth process. Unless it was for a trim, haircuts were a no for me. To be honest, this mentality left me rocking some pretty awkward haircuts over the past few years. That is, until a few weeks ago. This is when I got an itch. I began wanting to cut my hair—like really cut it. I was daydreaming about a new short haircut. Still, I was worried about what the change would mean. Would I lose a piece of my cancer experience if I cut my hair?
Maybe? Maybe not?
Spoiler—I ended up getting my new haircut (proof is being provided in the picture above). This hair cut represented the evolving me. This is who I am in this moment- a version of me that still exists within my experience with cancer.
Cutting my hair was not the rupture with my cancer self that I had feared. I do not feel any less a cancer thriver. Rather, I feel more empowered than ever..
My final suggestion to you: if you have the urge to make changes to yourself throughout your cancer experience , do so without fear! Get that haircut, buy that new outfit—do what makes you feel good. It is all part of the evolution of you, and will ultimately allow you to do great things.