Dealing with Alopecia

One of the many difficulties a cancer patient has to deal with is Alopecia or more commonly known as hair loss. Chemotherapy is often the culprit of hair loss, while occasionally caused by Radiation Therapy. Radiation causes hair loss only in the area of treatment (i.e. whole brain Radiation or Pelvic Radiation) and not throughout the body as Chemotherapy often invades.

Currently treating a patient forced to deal with reality…she is going to have to let me see her bald head. This person was treated previously to another site, but returns with metastatic disease to her brain. Previously, with all attempts to get her to show me her bald head, she could not. Due to the conditioned response from society as being unacceptable for a woman to have no hair, she was unable to “pop her top.” Assuring her beauty with or without hair, she still could not see herself as beautiful without her wig.

I often reflect on the phrase, “want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.” Sooner or later He will present an opportunity to embrace who we truly are. Those who see divinity in themselves find eternal happiness, those who see a worn old body with Alopecia continue in misery. The irony to this story is during our last meeting I told her sooner or later she will have to show me her bald head. Her response is, “I am not ready.” Knowing how the Universe works I knew the time would present itself.

Day 2 of her brain treatment and she sneakily took her wig off and allowed me to see her head without her wig on. I assured her she is still as beautiful as with her wig and encouraged her to go without more often. “Baby steps forward,” was her reply. She made a giant step today even if it was only a baby step…for she is on her way to emotional freedom of how she looks.

Someday we will stop worrying about our appearance and worry more about what the world looks like. If all we see is ourselves, we miss the miracles around us. Put down the mirror and ‘Step into the Canvas,’ witnessing all of God’s perfection.

Losing Everything

Expanding on the lessons of Ron and the lesson of losing what we already have…

As humans we attach ourselves to the things around us, such as people and material things. It is acceptable to attach to these things, but only for a moment. Eventually we will all have to let go of what we have.

Yesterday, when finishing up with a Cancer Patient, I sat with her and discussed the possibilities of her losing her hair. She was very distraught over this topic and was hopeful that she would not lose her hair, as so many people go through. Being treated for Brain Cancer, she is very likely to lose most or all of her hair. To her this meant losing everything.

Thinking back to Ron’s lesson of letting go of what we have or enjoying it while it is there, then eventually letting it go. For me losing hair is not an issue as I am follicularly challenged, allowing me to see the beauty of those around me with or without hair. I often tell people, “The ideal world where everyone finds happiness, is where everyone is bald and ungroomed armpits.” We live in a society dictating how we should be perceived and if we do not fit the painted picture, we are not accepted or are isolated out of fear of saying the wrong thing. We are all individuals who want to be Loved…nothing more, nothing less.

When I told this patient about her options, I highly recommended her shaving her head as soon as she noticed hair coming out. Speaking from experience, it is a psychological transformation when we have the control of our destiny. Why not take control of your hair loss?

She replied, “You mean I should shave all my hair off?” I smiled, “No, only your head.” We both laughed as we both pictured each other with a body filled with hair.