Since I was 14 years old, I had long hair, often nearly to my waist. I loved it. I was vain about it. It was lush and wavy and deep chestnut brown. I thought it was my best feature. In my late 50s and 60s, it turned grey, then silver. I liked that, too. I loved being a woman of a certain age with long silver hair.
When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, I had to have my hair cut. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Cancer breaks you. How you heal at the broken places is different for everyone. In my case, every single activity, every single thing I was and did, changed utterly. However, I thought I would grow my hair back. I knew it might not work, but I thought it was worth a try. So I did.
What grew back, however, was not my old, cherished hair. It was thin, and brittle, and didn’t wave or curl much once it was past my shoulders. It wouldn’t stay pinned up, and it hurt when I tried.
Last week, I accepted that I was no longer that woman with long hair. The wonderful hairdresser who cut my hair before chemo cut it today. Now it’s fluffy and I think it will curl more. It is, as Howl said of Sophie, the color of starlight.
I am not the person I was. But here I am.
Tagsaccess American LIbrary Association art association work biography Book books Buffy the Vampire Slayer cancer Chai children's books Children's literature consultant consulting England family fashion feminism flowers food Fortnum & Mason Giles GraceAnne Herself graces Greenwich hair holidays Horn Book Magazine joy Keith R. A. DeCandido Librarian librarians librarianship Libraries lightningandstars linen London London Eye Matcha New Testament notes O'Keeffe Paris Picture book professionalism professional meeting reading reviewing roses Royal Albert Hall Shakespeare social media Solstice technology Thames travel travel London England Trinity Writer writers writing