Why the hair?

11th February 2014: Sydney Australia

A year of my recovery has been visually tracked. Honestly, I would have envisioned a more pronounced transformation, particularly in regards to further muscle definition, however, in saying that, I recognise some degree of strength was regained when looking at my body as a whole. Other notable differences include the healing of the scar, differing in colour as my recovery progressed and the continued difficulty with my alignment. In addition, the ridiculous facial hair is hard not to observe. There are some aspects to dissect when reflecting on all points mentioned above, even including the hair!

Firstly, I am happy with the scarring, with apparent improvements shown in the last half of the year, especially bearing in mind no oils were used. My colouring is seen to resemble the progression of my continual health, particularly when making a comparison from the first picture to the one taken today. My alignment is another area to discuss. A fracture of my right collarbone when I was 20, followed by a lack of rehabilitation resulted in my body already skewed, with my feet evidence of the continued work still required, however, it seems yoga and strengthening exercises are all working to rectify this. Lastly, the hair. Both the beard and general length of my locks can be discussed.

The significance of my hair predates any sign of illness by approximately six months, starting at a period prior to a job interview. The job was internal, thus, a familiarity existed with the panel members. My thought process was that a haircut was needed to show a commitment to a senior role whilst hopefully indirectly influencing the decision of the panel members. I didn’t have the haircut or obtain the position, so thought to continue growing my hair. The next job opportunity arose approximately five months later, and again I didn’t get a haircut. A difference existed this time, and didn’t relate entirely to a correlation between a job and haircut. Instead, I held a belief of a haircut providing a temporary sense of bliss, and the bout of illness I was suffering didn’t feel like a short lived solution was required. Therefore, I would only arrange a haircut once I regained full-health. The story unfolds with me being successful in the position, however, my health deteriorates to the point of discovering the illness I had was Cancer. Now, on chemotherapy, I am still yet to see myself as completely healthy, so am committed to upholding my pact of not cutting my hair till I am no longer receiving treatment. I acknowledge it may seem absurd, yet a level of strength is gained from this story, especially in regards to how my hair is so untypical of the stereotypical image of an individual receiving chemotherapy, and this very elementary piece of my story elicits a sense of uniqueness, a factor, if looking at the statistics for survival is essential in my life.

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