Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The Emotional Impact Of Losing My Hair During Cancer Treatment

In March 2016, my life changed dramatically with an unexpected diagnosis of primary breast cancer. I had no concerns about my health when I went for a routine mammogram as part of the NHS screening service. This diagnosis was like a thunderbolt that struck at my core. I was still grieving the loss of my father who had died unexpectedly a few months prior. I was in emotional and psychological pain. Amazingly, during this time I soon felt an ‘inner peace’. I have a strong faith in God and together with the support of my family and friends, I was able to withstand this difficult time.

At first, my treatment plan involved having surgery (lumpectomy) and then radiotherapy. I was relieved as I thought to myself, “No chemotherapy, at least I will keep my hair.” However, after a second biopsy, the cancer was found to be more aggressive and consequently, the treatment plan changed to include chemotherapy. I was devastated. I cried. 

My Macmillan breast care nurse was very supportive and gave my family and myself a private safe place to process this information. As I reflect on this moment, her action was spot on. I needed this time to talk and pray with my family which gave me the strength to accept the new course of my treatment. With time, I developed a positive outlook on my situation. I decided that if I lost my hair, this could be an opportunity for me to embrace a new look. For all my adult life, I had kept my hair fairly long. It was soft and wavy but as I was in my early 50’s, some grey hairs were appearing. I thought that chemotherapy may give me a fresh start with the hope of no greys! I had a very good relationship with my hair all my life. It was healthy and was definitely one of my assets, I received lots of compliments and it made me feel confident.