Haircare & Hair Tutorials, Life After Cancer, Mental Health

Life After Cancer: Hope & Hair

Life After Cancer: Hair & Hope Header Image Collage

Life After Cancer: Hope & Hair

It’s been almost three years since my cancer diagnosis and I still count the time based on the length of my hair. There is something satisfying about visually tracking the steps away from that catastrophic event in my life. It’s more than just the appearance of my hair thought, it’s what every inch of growth represents. The growth of my hair is evidence that life goes on after difficult times and that I am able to thrive after cancer.

When It Seems Like There is No Light at the End of the Tunnel

Lifer After Breast Cancer_Hope and Hair

While in the middle of dark times it can be hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel. In fact I can remember vivid moments during chemo, reeling with nausea, sobbing and struggling to find hope for even a glimmer of relief never mind thoughts of a life beyond cancer. As the end of active treatment approached, I was fearful for what my life would hold and was hesitant to make plans for fear of my own mortality. Cancer controlled my every thought, decision and feeling. It was hard to escape the cloud of fear and despair that overwhelmed me.

Breast Cancer Tattoo_Hope_Stronger

Seeking Help

Hope and Hair: Life After Breast Cancer

It was around that time that I decided to seek help. While I knew that sadness and fear of recurrence were normal emotions for cancer patients/survivors, I saw the feelings beginning to control my life in ways I was scared off. I began to withdraw and knew I needed  a professional to help me navigate this new world of life after cancer. The therapist I saw helped me confront my fears and accept that cancer would be a part of my life for a long time. She also helped me see that I also deserved to rebuild a life filled with joy and happiness.

When Will Cancer Take a Backseat?

Hope & Hair_Life After Breast Cancer_Survivor Photo (Chemo + Long Hair)

I will never forget the way she described the transition to me. Little by little the cancer will move from the front seat, controlling every decision, to the backseat and eventually into the rear-view. At the time, It was hard to be patience and maintain hope for that “someday” backseat view.

I can tell you now from the other side, that the time will come eventually. The funny thing is it’s not some magical moment when life suddenly changes. Instead, it happens gradually over time. One day you’ll wake up and realize that you weren’t afraid for a few days in a row. Maybe you experienced joy of some kind so intensely that is pushed cancer completely out of your mind or you made a decision without thinking about your pre-existing condition. Little by little cancer begins to hold less weight in your life and you begin to define yourself by the other important parts of your being.

Creating a Space Filled with Hope

Hope After Breast Cancer_Long Hair_Survivor

While my blog is filled with many posts specifically related to treatment, and surgery and the life in the immediate aftermath of a diagnosis, I also want to be sure to fill it with post like this. The fodder for hope for those just starting their journey or in the middle of a dark time. During my darkest moments, I looked to those women who had gone before me, those out living life, embracing their health and cultivating joy. Those women brought me hope and inspiration.

By living my life to the fullest now, finding joy beyond cancer and defining myself by my passions, my creativity and my interests, I bring you hope for a life beyond cancer.  No matter how bad things may seem in this moment, never give up hope. I promise a beautiful life filled with new challenges and joy is waiting for you on the other side of your darkness.

Life After Cancer_Hope and Hair_Front View JPG

If you want to see my physical transformation throughout this emotional shift, head to the Hair Growth Timeline or check out my Post-Chemo Hair Growth Tips & Tricks. As always I love to hear your stories and experiences. Let’s connect on social media or shoot me an email.

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11 Comments

    Sunny Munoz

    June 10, 2018
    Reply

    You have a gift, Anna. I thank you for being that inspiration and hope for me.

      Anna

      June 11, 2018
      Reply

      You are so unbelievably sweet. Thank you for following along and sharing with this community of strong women.

    Melissa Vera

    June 11, 2018Reply

    What a great gift you are giving to others.

    Mac

    June 11, 2018
    Reply

    So hot! Love you babe.

    The hubby

    Kristie

    August 9, 2020
    Reply

    Hi Anna. I have just completed chemo and I am gearing up for surgery after being diagnosed with stage 3 at 45. Your blog and hair growth pics give me a ton of hope. All of my scans came back clean this week. Thank you for all that you share. You are a warrior, just like me.

    Robbie

    August 18, 2021
    Reply

    Interested to know what wig you have on in your other post. Kinda below chin length and a brown, reddish,blonde in color. I think might be Rachel Welch but not sure. If so which one is yt?. Thank you

      Anna

      August 20, 2021
      Reply

      Hi There, I am so sorry I don’t remember the exact name but I tried on all the wigs at Gallery of Wigs in Raleigh, NC. I think you could screenshot the photo and call them or email them to find out.

    Lori

    January 12, 2022
    Reply

    Hi I’m 8 month post treatment finished my chemo 4th may. My hair is growing back not that I can do anything with it it drives me crazy that much sometimes I still wear my wig going out. I had a bath last night and noticed a lot of my hair strands in the bottom of the bath it worries me that there were to many and they shouldn’t be coming out like that, I mean there are no bald patches or as bad as when I’d had the chemo but is this normal?

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