Titusville, FL, USA

From Struggle to Strength: The Journey of Facing Hair Loss to Illness

Stel Christel Bailey Cancer

During my childhood, I didn't fully comprehend the distinctiveness of my reddish-brown hair since I frequently endured ridicule and exclusion at school. It wasn't until I went to college that I learned to embrace the exceptional and vibrant color that was naturally mine. Although cancer attempted to take away my identity, holding onto my hair wasn't crucial for prolonging my life.

Due to my illness, my physical appearance has undergone a transformation from its previous state. However, my intention is to inspire and encourage others who have experienced cancer to embark on their own journey of change. These temporary marks serve as reminders of the obstacles we face in life. Even though it is tough, cultivating self-love is absolutely essential.

Every morning, it is up to you to determine how you confront your reflection in the mirror. Instead of avoiding the gaze of someone who has faced unimaginable challenges, embrace the person staring back at you and take pride in their strength reflected in your eyes.

I sat on a spinning chair in front of a makeup table with a cape wrapped around me, contemplating what the upcoming year would bring. The hairstylist skillfully divided my hair into several parts and secured them with a rubber band before effortlessly severing each braid. All my hair was neatly collected in a bag, which would be given to a charity that creates wigs for children with cancer.

After undergoing my initial chemotherapy session, I decided to shave off my hair as a preemptive measure for the inevitable hair loss. Approximately after the third treatment, I started experiencing a burning sensation on my scalp. Despite shaving my head, sparse strands of hair clung to my head and eventually started falling out. While it didn't happen in large clumps, the act of feeling those short auburn hairs on my hand as I ran it over my head was emotionally overwhelming, as it made me feel powerless and devoid of control.

stand up to cancer

After a while, I experienced the loss of my eyebrows, eyelashes, and all other hair on my body. Instead of focusing on the negative aspect of this, I chose to see it as a chance to make a difference. Being bald allowed me to raise awareness about this type of cancer affecting the blood and also enabled me to establish a deeper connection with the world surrounding me.

You will develop the ability to disregard others' viewpoints of you and fully embrace your imperfections and flaws. Your lack of hair will be viewed as a symbol of your self-awareness. The loss of hair is merely a temporary challenge in your journey. Hope and positivity are awaiting you. Keep persisting.