Losing your hair after or during a battle with cancer can, for some people, be one of the most affecting aspects of the treatment. As with most life changes, it can also be hard for friends and family to process the alteration. Coping with Hair Loss During Cancer Treatment can be one of the hardest things emotionally.
Coping with Hair Loss During Cancer Treatment
Your loved ones could find it very hard to even broach the subject, for fear of upsetting someone, and leave you feeling abandoned and not cared about. Others may be misguided on what to say, and blurt out something hurtful in the heat of the moment because they lack the understanding.
Both extreme reactions are possible, especially in our children. Tact is learned over time, and you will undoubtedly experience confusion and upset at the change in your appearance. They may be a little scared, worried or upset.
Here are some top tips for helping them to understand what’s happening to you.
Explain that you’re losing your hair because you’re getting well
If you associate the hair loss with a part of the healing process, they will come to understand it as such and not see it as a symptom or a harsh reminder that their parent is unwell.
Don’t let it be the elephant in the room.
It may help to sit them down and have an honest and factual conversation about why it is happening. If they are very young you will have to give them the easy version, but try to be as close to the truth of the matter as possible.
Find the fun
See if you can find the silver lining. Ask your community to do a sponsored hair shave in aid of a cancer charity or an event that you can all get involved in. Get your kids to design and make funky holiday hats for you, or decorate your head with funky face paints.
It could help you to visit kids with cancer in hospital and share your stories; you’ll all feel less alone and do some good. It may benefit your children to see and play with other bald children, too, helping them relate to your condition.
Try to expose them to as much media concerning bald people or people with cancer as possible. Normalizing it will make it easier to process. If they see their favorite cartoon characters and movie stars in similarity to you, they will find it less upsetting. You might even become cooler in their eyes, if possible!
Give your children the tools to explain it to others
Some children find it hard to explain to their friends why their mother or father has lost their hair. Let them know it’s okay to talk about it with others, and that you won’t be upset that they speak about you to someone else. Sometimes it’s easier to talk things out with those not involved.
If you find that after your treatment is complete, yet your hair doesn’t grow back, you can seek help from a taxotere lawyer who will help you take the next steps in gaining compensation and advice.
Most of all, be honest with them. Say when you’re feeling sad, when you’re having a good day, when you want to have a little fun and when you simply need a hug. Coping with hair loss during cancer treatment is genuinely a family issue.