It’s been a long time

I’ve been without the cancer for several years now. I think March marked three years since surgery, when the doctors removed a tumour as well as my uterus and cervix. My ovaries were spared and sent to new homes inside my abdomen where they could live happily ever after and still avoid contact with radiation if it would be necessary. (Thankfully, no chemo. No radiation.)

In rearranging and streamlining my internal functions, the hormonal balance shifted and I lost a lot of hair. You never read anything about women going through that sort of change unless they’ve had chemo or radiation. No one talks about it… Well, I had tests done to determine if my hormones would need supplementing and they came back with normal numbers. I chose to wait and treat my scalp casually with natural products that have no side effects and am pleased to show that after more than three years of waiting, massaging, crying and hoping, my hair is coming back and I can finally have some fun with it. I’m beginning to feel feminine again and even a little bit pretty sometimes.

If you look around on my dotmac page pictures*, you’ll see lots of hair colours on mostly short hair. Although I had a great time tripping through the spectrum, the real stressy bit was never being able to grow out my hair or change it’s style dramatically. I was trapped into doing what I could to hide the four inch long by almost two inch wide thin and bald area just under my disguise. I’m almost free of that now. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had very short hair before and loved it, but shaving my head because of a freaky bald strip wasn’t going to be my solution. The imbalance has almost worked itself out and I didn’t have to take any freaky prescriptions to get here.

click to enlargeThis picture was taken today and although I have a couple of extra little hair bits in the pigtails, for the most part, it’s all me, baby. (I’ve always loved embellishing my own hair with bits of fake.) It’s getting fun to be a girl again. Though I’m grateful to be alive more than anything, it’s surprising how such a simple thing can get you down and chisel away your self-esteem. I don’t think this makes me shallow- I think it makes me human.

smooches~
jEN

*.Mac page ceased to exist on 30, June 2009.

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7 thoughts on “It’s been a long time”

  1. I will never know what it is like to go through female parts cancer or the after-affects of treatment, body-part rearrangement, or to an extent, loss of hair. As a man, short hair is normal, shaving it is just a style-statement, but to be a female and lose the ability to do what you wish with your hair, that definitely helps you to lose your femininity. It is good to hear that you are regaining what you once had, the ability to look at yourself in the mirror and say “damn, I’m a girl again, and I look great.”

    Maybe I’ve only been reading your journal for a few weeks now, but I never picked up on the cancer, and I don’t want to go too far back in your journal as I don’t want to dwell on the past. I presumed you liked to keep your hair short, colors were and are just a natural extension of who you are. You’re a very pretty girl, and whether or not your hair is short, long, or even missing, you’ll still be that pretty girl across the pond.

    Now, maybe I’m touching on a subject I shouldn’t, and let me know if I am and I’ll never bring it up again. As a father, I am always curious about other peoples intent to have children (or at least, why they didn’t want children but had them anyway). What was Neil’s take on finding out that having children wouldn’t be possible? What was yours? Do you want one of mine? 🙂

    My best to you always,
    Brian…

  2. LOL! No, no, no… children are best when you can give them back to their parents after a few hours! 😉 Honestly, I do like kids for the most part– there’s always a bit of me that relates best to animals and sometimes the little humans too. I just never felt children would be in my life. I decided long ago, as an early teen likely, that if I had a child of my own that it would be through adoption. I like the idea of taking care of what is already existing and needs nurturing rather than feeling compelled to pass my own genes on. So, even more than a decade before cancer removed my choice in the matter, I had decided motherhood in the basic sense wasn’t for me. (Plus I’d have to share my action figures and windup toys… no way man! lol)

    I’ve mentioned the cancer here and there without much fanfare or drama. I was actually the cool and collected one of all those around me reacting to my medical condition. I knew I’d be ok. I knew that of all the possible cancers and ailments, mine was fairly curable and would only be affecting the organs I felt were as expendable as a tonsil in the first place. I was angry to no longer have choice, but never angry about the lack of children birthed of my own womb. It’s hard to explain the feeling, but it makes sense in my head. 🙂 Fortunately, Neil is not the parenting type either. Although he has some experience with a stepson from a previous marriage, he performed the role to the degree needed, but was never the ‘father replacement’ type. When that marriage was ending, he feared that there might be a chance that the woman he commits to would want a child… in that regard as in many others, we seem a perfect fit.

    Thank you for your compliments! * blushy * I do go in phases with the length of my hair, but for years I felt trapped into keeping it short so as to best be able to plaster it into place to cover the big bald strip. Again, lack of choice pisses me off more than the cause. I still have a very thin area that looks bare-ish, but I’m able to manage that with clever hair colour and a good hair cut. 🙂
    I’ve always loved changing my hair colour, and have for many years. The bright colours were nothing new for me, but I’d not had such unnatural shades for several years. It was fun to do it again!

    Thanks for a great comment, Brian. Good to hear from you as always. 🙂

  3. Hi Jen, I happened to stop by on my way somewhere else and read your post. Just thought I’d say your hair looks really cool now! You look VERY girly! Mind you that is one massive tatoo! LOL 🙂

  4. For what it’s worth, I think your hair rocks. I’m really glad that things have worked out for you. Sorry, I can’t think of much else to say other than I’m really glad that things are looking up for you.

  5. Thanks David! I’ve always had fun with my hair. I didn’t even know what my natural colour was for a couple of years! lol! I am feeling better about it and how I feel when I walk down the street has improved dramatically. Neil has noticed a huge difference in how I react about my hair since this time last year, and I must agree it’s a lot more positive.

    I tend to be a down to earth and easy going girl who loves a little excitement now and then, but when it came to my hair, I just wanted the choices back. I had actually convinced myself that it would be cool to have a closet full of exciting and wacky wigs… Blue one day, platinum another, long, short… it could’ve been fun. But, deep inside I knew I’d be manufacturing a choice instead of having the one I really wanted. Thankfully I never invested in the wigs. (Though I have a couple from costumes over the years.)

    There are very few things that get me down, but this one thing kept clawing at me. Fortunately, though I’ve not rid myself of it entirely, I’ve at least managed to file that pricking nail to a less harmful point. 😉

    Thanks for the compliments everyone! I honestly wasn’t fishing for them, but I’ll take them with gratitude and a smile just the same! 🙂
    Smooches to you all!

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