It's okay to cry right?
March 10, 2018- I was at the makeup studio. I was going to a "how to do eyebrows" session with friends before attending a birthday party. The night before my hair started shedding. I was trying to hold on to it for as long as possible so I didn't comb it before coming to the studio.
Upon arrival, I had a conversation that went something like this.
Me: Hey. Does my hair look okay? It started shedding last night. Do you think I can keep wearing it out?
Her: Well...... did you comb it?
Me: I brushed it with my hands because I didn't want it to keep coming out. So what do you think? (Turning my head from side to side so she could see all of it.) Can I wear it to the party like this?
Her: It's kinda looking like a peacock right now so it's hard to say.
Me: (Laughter) Peacock?!
Her: Yes!! (Laughing) It's sticking up!!
(More laughter and hand brushing)
I love my friends and I know she was sharing in love so I wasn't offended at all. It is our solid friendship that set the stage for what would happen next.
A few minutes later, I sat in front of a mirror. It was worse than when I first walked out the house. I saw all of the flyaway hairs. I touched my hair ever so gently and more strands came out.
It was then that I cried.
I cried because I was losing the hair I worked so diligently to care for. I cried because everyone would know I was a "cancer patient". I cried because I didn't ask for this and it didn't seem fair.
I cried and felt a wonderful release.
It was a good cry too-- a let it all out, therapeutic kind of cry. My friends let me have a moment with no questions asked. No one tried to quiet me or pretend they knew what I was going through. It was a safe place. When I was done, I wiped my tears and we went on to learn how to do eyebrows. A critical skill to have when going through chemo.
Below are my "post cry" pictures. I don't know what made me take it but I'm glad I did. While not the most flattering photos, they remind me it's okay to not be okay. They remind me of the power of crying and the love of friends.
As you help her fight, give her space to cry. Trust me, she'll appreciate you for it.