By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen


Cheryl's Adventure - Peace, Love, Hair
By Cheryl Copeland

When I began my treatments I completely understood that the chemo’s main goal was to hunt down and annihilate each of the cancer cells swarming my body.  My chemo cocktail was designed to attack ALL fast growing cells.  If I wanted the cancer to be gone – my hair, fingernails, eyebrows, and eyelashes would have to go too.

Cheryl CopelandMy family happily embraced the idea of this process and made it the most fun we could by having my daughters be the ones to cut, style, and shave my head before my treatments began.  Twenty days after my first chemo treatment I was completely bald, which meant that the chemo was working!

After trying many different scarves, hats, and wigs my daughters decided they would rather see their Mommy bald than looking silly – so I chose to take the attitude that bald was simply beautiful!  After all, bald babies are adorable…right? 

Honestly, I never remembered that I was hairless.  The only time I was reminded of this minor detail was when I saw my reflection or picture.  I was viewing the world from my eyes and I couldn’t quite see the top of my head.  Hair or no hair, I always felt like the same old goofy girl. 

A few months after chemo ended my hair began to grow back.  The first hairs to appear were solid white.  We laughed at my complete resemblance of my father!  Soon came several more layers of gray.  Often when hair begins to return after chemo treatments the texture is also quite different.  My hair came in just like a newborn baby – very fine, thin, and curly.  It took approximately 9 months to grow a good thick head of hair.  

My daughter put me in touch with her friend’s mom, Lianne, who was a hairdresser at Peace, Love, Hair salon located in the heart of Grayson.  I explained my desires to be blonde again and how I was desperate to understand a head of curls.  She graciously agreed to join me in my adventure and find a way to bring a piece of me back to life.  

When the coloring process was complete I was amazed!  I sat and stared at my reflection.  For the first time in over a year I actually had blonde hair!  Cutting and styling my hair made me quite nervous since I never had styled short and curly hair.  Ms. Lianne, however, worked her magic!  No one could believe the transformation!  

Change is inevitable. Of course, I don’t look EXACTLY as I did before cancer, but then again I’m not EXACTLY the same person either.  We’ll all go through emotional, physical, and mental transformations throughout our lives.  How we choose to embrace these changes is up to us.  Just as I’ve embraced each part of my adventure, I am now embracing my new look – of course, only when I actually see a reflection or picture!


Cheryl Copeland is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about life’s lessons and her personal adventure with breast cancer.