Updated: Apr 27, 2018
My name is Faith and I live just outside Toronto, Ontario Canada. At the young age of 26, I was diagnosed with breast cancer that spread to my lymph nodes. It was a huge shock but I was determined to beat it and be there to see my young children grow up. After a mastectomy, chemo, radiation and several reconstructive surgeries I began getting my life back on track, convinced I would put cancer behind me. As a singer-songwriter I began working on music again and writing about the struggles I faced in life. Three years later while pregnant with my youngest son, I fell and fractured my spine. At that point I was told the cancer had returned to my spine and I was now stage 4.
This second diagnosis was even more devastating than my first diagnosis! I was told I may have a year to live or might live 20 years but I would always have cancer. My son was born at 27 weeks and the next day I had my spine rebuilt with rods and screws. Over the next three months I was in the hospital learning to walk again, going through rehab and learning to live with nerve pain every day. My journey has been filled with ups and downs and with recent progression in my spine and lungs, it’s not been easy.
One thing I can say is a sense of humour and being able to laugh at myself has gotten me through some difficult times for sure. I’m still here almost 10 years later, 14 years after my initial diagnosis. I’m incredibly lucky to be here to share my story.
When asked to write a blog about a funny experience or story from my cancer journey I had to dig deep. There were many moments I could laugh about but sometimes life with cancer is a blur! I started brainstorming and it came to me. I will never forget the day I shaved my head while going through chemo. My most memorable haircut ever!
I have always had an attachment to my hair and before I went through chemo It was long and curly, half way down my back. A few weeks after starting chemo, my hair started thinning so I cut it to my shoulders so I could ease into being bald. I was trying to create mini ponytail in the back one day but it was a stretch and every time I brushed it back, more came out in clumps. Being the impulsive person I am I started shaving my hair with a razor on top. My hair kept getting stuck in the razor and I could not get it even.
In a panic I called my sister to come over and help. She attempted to even it out with the clippers. But the spot I shaved was too short! You’d think a buzz cut would be simple enough! We ended up running out to the closest hairdresser with shaving cream on my head and a towel around my shoulders! We definitely got some strange looks, driving down the street!
We walked in the door and I said: “Help! Can someone please fix this mess!?” The lady who cut my hair was very sweet and cut it down nice and even. To my surprise my head was a decent shape and I could pull off the bald look! I rocked it confidently without a wig. I realized my hair or lack there of did not define me. Who knew I’d look back 14 years later and be able to laugh at this story and share it with you!