Yesterday was a good day - a surprisingly good day - and good days are to be treasured and cherished now.
I had gone to bed the night before thinking that from the next day onwards I would no longer look like me. I had felt my hair touch the pillow and silently said goodbye to it and the old me. A very wise friend told me that one of the hard things about being treated in hospital is that once you step through the doors you cease to have any kind of control. And losing the ability to control events in my life and losing myself in the process is one of my fears - one amongst many. In some very small way I needed to take control or at least feel I was doing so.
A week or so ago, I went to see my wise friend and asked her to help me. You see, attached as I am - literally, emotionally and most importantly for self-confidence - to my hair, I couldn't bear the thought of waking up to shoulder-length strands splayed across the pillow no longer attached to my head. Or, as Kim, the breast cancer nurse put it, watching it fall into the sink as I cleaned my teeth. Surely if there wasn't so much it wouldn't be quite so awful? So I asked my wise friend to take me to her lovely and brilliant hairdresser David at the Story of O in Leeds to cut my hair as short as he and I could bear. It was a big ask - for her, for me and for David.
I found some pictures of the short-haired me a few years ago but we had to be braver than that. Where next for inspiration? My beloved and I have been watching House of Cards with Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and she turned out to be my role model.
Pictures on my phone ready, Mrs O'Polo, as my friend shall be named, drove me to Leeds, kindly listening to me whilst I burbled all the way, filling any imagined silences that might cause me to stop and think - and cry.
David was wonderful. He and I know each other and he's cut my hair before when he was based in Harrogate and he is a great supporter of Acorn which makes him a top bloke. With a hug from Mrs O'Polo and me, and a warning that I might cry, he started cutting. With Otto, David's dog as a footstool, the hair cascaded down and because he was so brilliant and Mrs O'Polo so entertaining, I didn't cry and the end result was amazingly better than I could have imagined.
So I no longer look like the me of old and I may not look like this new me for long but I have taken back a tiny bit of control rather than being railroaded by stuff I can't control and for the brief interregnum between surgery and treatment I am in charge. And it feels good.