How Can Hair Mean So Much and So Little?

Sometimes hair is the easiest thing to lose.

Ryley Anderson, Staff Writer

Hair meant everything to me when my aunt had lost all hers to chemo two years ago. She had beautiful, long, thick, black hair. 

I remember the week we flew back up to North Dakota sitting on the gray couch in her living room. She was sitting on a chair like she was on display while each of us took turns shaving it off. With each buzz, a lock drifted to the ground. I knew what it meant, but I didn’t want to believe that all my fears had finally surfaced: it meant no more hair on the shower walls, hair in random places; no more hair tools in the bathroom sink cooling off before she went to work; no more hair at all. 

First it was losing her hair, but then it was losing the strength, the hope, the faith that she will pull through till the end. All the loss turned into the fear that she’s not going to make it; the fear of losing her. 

I remember trying to stay positive and look at the bright side of things: we got to go buy cool wigs, or colorful scarves to match her work clothes; however, every time we went to buy something, it caused more pain and doubt. 

I remember how everyone had given up and thought she had become too weak saying, “she’s not going to make it.” The chemo wasn’t working like they had hoped, and the cancer had spread too fast, uncontrollable. 

My hero was fading and so were my hopes. . .until I got the exciting call that she made it! Through everything, she made it cancer free. 

I had never been happier in my entire life until I got that call.