When she was born it was jet black as I’d imagined it would be. But, as she got older it started changing and much to our surprise it steadily changed to an amazing auburn thing of beauty.
I say auburn, there has been much debate as to what the actual colour is. With offerings ranging from, ginger, titian, red to chestnut. It’s pretty indefinable but it certainly is gorgeous. I have grown accustomed to strangers stopping me on the street to comment on it. Old ladies have wanted to touch it and followed us around supermarkets. A young woman once chased me down the street to tell me how great it was. And there was a scaly who held a door open for me looked at Poppy in her pushchair and said, “Aye love your baby has got really nice hair.”
If this sounds like I’m bragging a bit, well I probably am. It’s a sight to behold.
So when treatment started and we saw the first signs of her hair thinning we knew what was on the horizon. The steroids Poppy was taking were making her sweat and her hair was regularly becoming matted and tangled. It was near impossible to get a comb through and it even looked uncomfortable.
Big clumps of hair didn’t seem to fall out, but we were constantly finding it on the pillow and on her clothes. It was distressing for Poppy as it was falling in her mouth and in her eyes. We were reluctant to shave it as we thought this may distress her too. But the decision was soon taken out of our hands and within 24 hours, most of her hair was gone.
We trimmed what remained and made it neater, and to be honest it looked much better. In such a short space of time those beautiful curls were gone and a stark symbol of Poppy’s illness remained.
And although she still looks gorgeous to us and we know logically it will grow back, this has still been one of the hardest parts. Losing her hair is so symbolic of what she’s going through. She’d looked relatively healthy and now… well, now she looked like she had cancer. It was an uncomfortable reminder of what was happening on the inside.
So whilst hair loss may not be the biggest hurdle we’ll have to face, and it means that her chemotherapy is doing its job. And we’ve arrived at a poignant moment in her story.
Luckily she doesn’t seem remotely bothered. We told her we put her and daddy’s hair in the garden to help keep the baby birds warm at night, and she seemed satisfied by this. In the meantime I’ll hope that this signifies that her treatment is working. And without sounding ridiculously biased once more, if anyone can pull the bald look off then it’s our Poppy.