I am Gemma and I was diagnosed with Hodgkin´s Lymphoma stage 4 in August 2018. I am 26 and I come from Barcelona (Spain) but I am currently living in a teeny tiny village in South Tyrol (Italy). I decided to share my story with cancer through Instagram (@gem.vs.hod) in order to meet others to share the journey with, and to encourage the newly diagnosed to #beatHLsmiling. It has been AMAZING so far. I am proving that my humor is bigger than my tumor!
Once the first shock after the diagnosis is over, for a lot of people the hair loss is the main trauma related to having cancer. For me it was definitely NOT like that!
It all started one random day (some days after my second chemo) when I went to take a shower. I could see my hair slowly starting to fall down but nothing to worry about as I really have A LOT of hair. So, I go take a shower, some hair falling down, everything normal so far. I come out from the shower, comb my hair, some falling down, again, nothing to worry about; so I proceed to blow-dry my hair like usual so I start drying it head down, head up, again down, shaking head, on the sides,… I can not stress enough that I have A LOT of hair so it really takes a while for me until it´s dry. And then I finish, put the blow-dryer back to its place and I look around and realize -- my whole bathroom was full of hair EVERYWHERE, literally E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E! Like if a box with tons of hair would have literally exploded in there.
There was hair stuck to the walls, to the shower, in the sink, in the floor -- even on the ceiling! It was so crazy that I started laughing out loud. So there I was, vacuuming my bathroom walls. But going around with the vacuum cleaner became a vicious circle, while from one side I was cleaning, from the other side there were still hair falling down from my head. I gave up. I knew that the time had come. My long hair had to go, but it had already started as a funny story!
I was absolutely not willing to go through a sad moment or a trauma because of my hair, so I turned the situation around. I set the date and the time, and I invited some friends and family over. I named it “the hair party." Everybody could just take the scissors and start cutting hair at their will. Well, it turned out way more hilarious than expected. My hair had never looked so bad but I've never been happier about it. I looked like Britney Spears while she was shaving her head back in 2007 and I couldn't care less. Long and short locks of hair in my head.. ridiculously funny.
“Life would be tragic if it weren't funny.” - Stephen Hawking