It was a very meaningful day for me. For no other reason than the fact that I got my hair cut. The last time I went to a hairdresser was in November when my hair was falling out. Joey my hairdresser, bless him, cut three inches off at a time so as not to give me a shock.  In any case, my hair fell out in clumps around my temples, so I had two bald patches there. My partner shaved his head – the difference was, he looked good whilst I looked like sh*te.

That got me really down. Silly, isn’t it, to be down about bald patches when facing serious health crisis? But I guess that is how the human psyche is wired.

My partner literally bullied me to sign up and stick to his programme because I couldn’t think for myself. I was just lashing out like a wild animal. How we had fought, viciously, in those difficult months of my recovery. But here I am, fighting fit and hair all grown.  Joey my hairdresser was quite emotional when he saw me yesterday. He had been part of my difficult journey, too, in the kindness and firmness that he showed me. “No hair colour, your scalp is sensitive” and “No weaves to hide your ball patch, you will damage those fragile roots of what hair you have left.”

And this is what I learned from the time I lost almost everything that meant so much to me in my life:

We go through life like crabs.  There will come a time when we have to break our shell to grow. For the brief period that we are shell-less, we need kindness and helping hands to keep us safe.  Remember that. Because once you are strong again, pay it forward. Be kind to those who are without their shells.

My shell has grown back strong. I have to pinch myself sometimes to make myself believe that I am not in a dream. From losing my health, the home I was moving into, my planned life … to this happy day in London, hanging around my children’s home, waiting for my partner to show up, loving every minute of this London day. I don’t know how long this shell will last before I need to go shell-less again, but I am loving every minute of today.

Note: if you are a shell-less crab at the moment, be strong. Please reach out to those who can offer you sanctuary. Go home to your family if you can. If you need a kind word, just drop me a line ❤

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Note: I should add that I lost my hair in two patches around my temples only, thanks in part I think to Joey who told me to keep my hair in loose plaits. Prior to my illness, my hair was expertly coloured by Ricky at Toni & Guy KL though I have not seen a hairdresser for 2 years for colouring. I just use lemon juice and sea water. I am also 25% Italian.