Here’s to the ladies who bzzzzzzzzzzzzz

“Someone told me once, you will wake up and know the day you are ready to say goodbye to your hair…I didn’t believe them…it was true”- Erin (ChemoCouture Comment)

It was fun while it lasted. Just one day after the photo shoot, two weeks to the day from my first treatment, the hair starting leaping from my head. It could not get out of there fast enough. My little follicles had fought the good fight, clinging on for dear life, but they were no match for the mighty chemo. And of course it had to be winter in NYC where a hat is mandatory and may as well be hair velcro, ripping the precious strands with each movement. Twenty, thirty, fifty hairs at a time. I was tense all over my body from actually WILLING the hair to stay in place. It was no use. It was only four days from when the first hair started to fall to when the razor came out but they were the longest four days of my life.

I woke up on day four to a city preparing for a snowpocalypse. My boyfriend Peter and I made our disaster checklist for the impending snow day: Food, water, flashlight, and an electric razor. Today was the day. The mental toll it was taking was so much worse than the idea of being bald that I was actually excited to do it. A rite of passage that would take place on a day of cleansing for the dirty streets outside and the wilting mane atop my head. Peter offered to shave his as well so our snow day was officially planned. We lined the bathroom with trashbags and fired up the trimmer.

The strangest part about it was how normal it felt. A few days earlier I was hemming and hawing over my J. Law pixie and now I was matter of factly razing my scalp. We talked through the whole thing, chatting about mundane things, stopping to adjust settings and manage some pain from the razor but mostly we had a good time. We started slow so my first pass yielded a very cute Mia Farrow look. I was ready to stop there. Hadn’t I been brave enough? Didn’t I deserve just an inch of hair? But alas, upon further inspection we found a gouge in the side of my hair caused by an overzealous pass over the ears. I should have known all along I wasn’t going to be able to half ass this.

Peter let me do his buzz in stages so I knew what each one looked like, starting at a 7 and going down to a 2. Of course, he got cuter and cuter as the layers went down. It didn’t take me long to realize that my balding head of patchy hair was never going to look like his full head of strong locks. I was not a girl with a buzz cut. I am a woman with cancer. And that’s okay. To pretend like anything else was happening felt counterproductive. So we took the guard off and said goodbye one last time.

I loved it. I still love it. I won’t say it doesn’t surprise me to see the person in the mirror or that I don’t ask Peter to keep telling me that I’m still beautiful. But I’m no longer a person at war with my breasts AND my scalp. I’ll bzzzzzzz to that!

 

See my snappy little head shave time lapse below!

60 thoughts on “Here’s to the ladies who bzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  1. Hi, Krysra,
    A week before my first chemo, my family got together and seven of us went bald. I stayed bald eight months. It’s bee a year since and I know keep my hair really short. So much easier…

  2. Well you guys ROCKED IT….and the result is that you’re as beautiful as ever!! Hair or not, your true beauty shines through. Stay the course XO

  3. I must admit I was in “hair deadline ” denial. I was told after my second round my hair would fall out… The Saturday after I was blowing drying my hair feeling pretty good about what was there … And then I looked down.. I was actually blowing the hair out of my head and the bathroom counter was fully loaded ! I knew it was happening, but I never shaved my head… I wore a bandanna for A Very Long time and only I knew the awful truth that was underneath! I applaud you for your braveness and your journey !! Each journey is different and that is why Sharing your story is so important for everyone who is facing this new normal! Thank you.

  4. Krysta, you are so incredibly Beauitful and inspiring. When I was auditioning for colleges last year, I cut my hair just like you as a reminder and inspiration to myself to attempt to be as badass and fearless as you. I’ve been rocking the short hair ever since and I owe it all to you. You’ve been my Broadway idol for years, and hearing your news scared me at first, knowing someone I regarded as a goddess, someone I so desperately wanted to be like, could possibly be knocked from their pedestal by something as nasty as cancer. But the way you faced this challenge head on has only given me more inspiration and hope. You continue to be my biggest role model. Sending you all my love.

  5. Loved your performance in First Date, really looking forward to seeing more of what you got! Kick this b* to the curb! – Feel balanced, focused and energized. Be well! Love the site and thank you for sharing.

  6. You are brave and beautiful. I found losing my hair to be traumatic at first and freeing later on – I love the way that you handled it – you are facing your chemo journey with a great deal of courage. The good news is that each step of the journey is a step closer to a cancer free life.

    Being hairless in the cold cannot be much fun. I hope that you enjoy your wig. You may find it fun to play with scarves as well. I bought them in many colors and enjoyed them because they were less scratchy than my wigs. I had one good one and then my fun ones in blonde, reddish purple and bright green. Though most of the time I just lived my life with my plain bald head – friends and family love you no matter what – I wore the others to avoid the stares and pitying looks of strangers.

    You may also find that you enjoy your lack of hair as the weather warms up. I lost mine in July of 2012. I found that there was no better way to cool down than to take my hair (wig) off.

    You sound so positive. I hope that the rest of your chemo journey goes as well as your (temporary) sacrifice of your lovely hair.

  7. With hair or without hair, you are still the same beautiful, optimistic and talented woman who serves as an inspiration to others. Cancer can definitely suck it!

    ♡ Carissa

  8. Wow. Just found the blog. Sat down and read it all. I wish you well. First Date was my first Broadway show. You were kind enough to pause for a photo on your way to dinner.
    I believe you can beat this, and I will be reading right along with your journey

  9. Lookin’ good, sista!

    I presume the irony has not been lost on you on how much time and $$$ you have spent ridding yourself of hair on every other part of your body and then had such strong attachment to those hairs on your coconut.

    The bottom line is that hair is overrated, so free at last, free at last…

  10. Lovely. Strong. Brave. Fierce. Loved.

    Thank you for sharing your journey, and cracking the silence that surrounds cancer. You’re voice is beautiful.

  11. I also started losing hair at 2 weeks. My doctor and hair stylist said 4 weeks so I was surprised. Especially because first I had a handful of public hair and then head hair. I made it 3 days. It looked like there was an animal on my shower floor.

    I was prepared. My daughter and grand baby drove me to the hair stylist and he shaved my head and taught me to put on my wig, styled it and promised support through the entire process. My daughter’s had gone with me weeks before so he could see my hair and lots of pictures of my hairstyles the girls liked and hated.

    The first 3 people I saw were 30 year old relatives who had no idea I lost my hair. That helped. People offering to shave their heads haven’t helped.

    I am worried about losing my eyebrows, eyelashes and nose hair. I went to an American Cancer Society workshop and learned how to draw on eyebrows and accent eyes without eyelashes. I am at 5.5 weeks from the start so maybe I will keep the them.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  12. Krysta you are a f*cking rock star and you look beautiful!! Thank you for taking us on this journey with you and being so inspiring. I really admire you so much for your strength and positivity you’re showing throughout this whole process. You are an incredible and beautiful human being. Keep being fierce and brave and kick this cancer’s ass!

  13. You are an incredible woman. You look absolutely stunning. Your natural beauty shines thru even more now. I am so amazed by you. Thank you for starring your journey with us. We are all so lucky to get to see into your magical, kind soul.

  14. Wow, you are an inspiration. I too am going down the same road as you starting on the path in October. I also crossed the bridge of hair loss and did the buzz about a month ago. That was my hardest duty so far but so glad I passed that now and moving forward. Your blog is an inspiration as i walk beside you (in the snow and cold too as I am in upstate NY). Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

  15. You are beautiful with any or NO hair! And you beauty is not just how you look – it is the joy and love that gushes from your heart. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with all of us.
    DivaKate

  16. I couldn’t be more proud of you! You make me want to be a better person each time I read your posts. Continued prayer for you! xoxoxo I wish I could just hug you in person and tell you I love you.

  17. I love your posts Krysta. So funny and inspiring and real. I too lost my hair two weeks after my first treatment and I was NOT prepared. Made my way way down to The Fairfax district in LA and shopped for a temporary wig with the Hassidic women (who knew about the choices) to get me through and then had a custom wig made. My best story is when the social worker came in to talk to me about hair loss and give me ideas of where to go and I got to tell her that I was currently wearing a wig. 😉

    So here I am six months later and headed for surgery on Tuesday. My chemo cocktail worked like a charm, and I feel really good about my surgical decision and team. I won’t pretend that the process was easy but I did go to work throughout treatment (chemo on Thursdays and back in the office on Mondays). I have been an athlete all my life and played tennis up until 6 weeks ago. My one bit of advice is if you haven’t tried Pilates start now. I have been doing it for a month and it’s been a godsend. Keeping your joints moving in a gentle way throughout will pay big dividends. Sending love and prayers your way.

  18. Can I tell you how awesome you are to be sharing this part of your journey with everyone? I was part of the chemo club several years ago and hearing positive stories from other people got me through it. It’s so important to share. I also had my own blog to hopefully help others going through it. When I was diagnosed, I cut my long hair into a shorter style. After 20 days of the first chemo, it also started jumping off my head, so I buzzed it, like yours. A week or so later, on my 46th birthday, I shaved it bald with a razor. I never wore a wig, just scarves and hats. But damn if I was going to let cancer rule me. It’s so freeing to take control. Stay strong, and keep sharing. You are amazing and doing amazing things!

  19. The couple that shaves together ha that’s funny, you both look great! I know a few girls without cancer who do the buzz cut, one I worked with tempted me to do it myself because I always be looking at her behind the bar thinking how beautiful she looked. This is a good look for you because you have the right shaped jaw line and nice eyes

  20. Krysta, you are beautiful inside and out. Always admired you as a young girl with so much talent from Laura’s and OCHSA’s days and now i see a young woman with so much talent and courage in the way you are dealing with this disease by bringing your thoughts and feelings out on this blog, keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  21. I love you Krysta, thanks so much for sharing.

    2Timothy 1:7
    For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

  22. Krysta,
    You are such an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and I look forward to following it all. You truly are very brave.
    P.S.
    You look amazing with a shaved head!

  23. eres increíble , eres un ejemplo para mucha gente no se que ponerte me encanta tu blog todo lo que estas viviendo lo he vivido con mi madre ella la diagnosticaron en 2005 en un pecho y con tan mala suerte en 2014 en el otro pero vamos que hay sigue luchando y seguirá luchando . Respecto al pelo no te preocupes vuelve a salir pero claro esta que mi madre me hizo gastarme 200 euros en una peluca y luego no se la puso se acostumbro a los pañuelos y la verdad en verano mejor los pañuelos que la peluca ya después cuando comenzó la radioterapia le empezó a salir el pelo y la verdad es que cortito le queda mucho mejor espero que estes bien dentro de lo que cabe y no pierdas esa sonrisa besitos guapa

  24. You are going to heal fast. You are such a positive and wonderful person this works better than medicine sometimes. Excepting and having positiveness in you is better than anything thing else and it helps as well. I know you will pull through and recover fully.

  25. Shaving your head takes a lot of courage. I shaved mine October 29th 2012 two weeks after my first chemo. I did not feel that I would be brave enough to watch it fall out. So I took it before it could take me. On August 22 2012 I was diagnosed with stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma triple negative breast cancer. On March 27th I will be two years cancer free. One day at a time, it gets rougher then before you know it, its all over, and you will be on the road to recovery. Feel free to ask me any questions or just complain about what is happing to someone that has gone though it. Talking to other young women who have experienced the same thing really helped me get through it. I was diagnosed two months after I turned 31. Have you heard of Fighting Fancy? It is another young women who was diagnosed with breast cancer that started an organization to give chemo bags of produces that helped her during chemo. It is a great organization.

  26. Dear Krysta,

    First let me tell you while I haven’t ever had to deal with the horrible heart-ache, pain, and struggle of having cancer, I have had a grandmother die of it so I understand how debilitating it can be and how much you desire to have all the normalcy that you can!!

    Secondly, I want to tell you that I loved your edgy, punk rock swoop but I love your still beautiful shaved head just as much. I know how much hair can mean as an identifier because I am still in the process of self-discovering something as amazingly epic as your swoop but know that no matter what style you rock attitude is the most important factor to wearing it out!! With your latest post you proved again that you wear your positivity and shining light and that that beacon will trump any simple hair style or fashion trend.

    Thirdly and finally, I want to close my comment by saying how much of an inspiration that you have been to me. I was obsessed with the antics of the day-drinking DIVA so much that I went and wrote a fully fleshed out version of Hit List that combines the songs from the show, the songs from your amazing concert, and three other songs, two of which I wrote (I am an aspiring writer/director for musical theatre, kinda like a combination of Derek and Kyle) and one of which I found by Andrew McMahon, who also wrote this number for the show as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08xwgmR02jU (SPOILER: It’s you and Katherine McPhee slaying it on I’m Not Sorry)

    I thank you again for your inspiration and positivity in this tough time. You have shown many how to turn suffering into something truly amazing and special.

    In closing, remember all the shade in the world can’t block the sun and you and this blog shine bright.

    2015 is your year to kick cancer’s ass!!

    Lots of love and healing wishes,
    Ted Eskey

  27. Very timely post….mine started falling out in handfuls last Wednesday. I cried a little but knew it was part of the process. After a few days of frustratingly shedding EVERWHERE….I was over it. My husband had the honor of shaving it off Saturday. As my caretaker he’s been frustrated with how to ‘fix it’ since I was diagnosed. This was one thing he could do to really feel involved and helpful. I feel so much better!! Feel more in control now that the hair is gone.

  28. You are beautiful and you are strong! I’ve been lucky enough to see your brilliance on stage – and I can’t wait for your return! You’re gonna kick cancer’s butt. Thank you for your courage. You are an inspiration.
    Sending all the good vibes!

  29. I also had to shave my head because of brain cancer in January. At first I felt pretty good about it, knowing it’s winter so I can cover it up with hats and beanies. But after weeks, I started to miss my hair and its warmth. I hate sleeping not being able to put my hands under my head because they’re cold and wearing beanie makes my head itch. I hate having to always wear something to cover my head. I was thinking to start wearing hijab, but I don’t want to start wearing it before I’m fully ready. I admire your positivity in facing this. I’m gonna resume my chemo in a couple of weeks. Let’s pray for & support each other 🙂

  30. Krysta,
    Meeting you so many years ago meeting you on the beach in San Diego with Natasha, I knew that you were someone special. You are an inspiration to so many people in so many ways. If anyone can kick cancer in the ass… YOU CAN. Much love to you!!
    Jenn Soto

  31. The thought of losing my hair was also really traumatic for me as well. I cut my hair off just after I started chemo (since I knew I would lose it anyway) and sent it off to ChemoDiva to make who made me a halo wig and it was one of the best things I did for myself. We buzzed the rest even and having just little bits fall out was a bit less daunting. I had to wait for the wig and was uncertain how I would feel about it. Now while I am still in treatment I put on my halo wig and a hat and feel almost normal since it is my hair just visiting with me and taking a walk with me and it makes me feel really good. I can’t recommend this enough for women who are going to start chemo. Thanks for the blog – I think we are almost on the same schedule of fighting breast cancer.

  32. Hey,

    I met you two years ago after first date at broadway bowling. I am Kris Cusick’s friend. I only met you a few times. But I thought you were so sweet everytime! I told you during one of the hang outs, that our mutual friend Kathy Searle compared my personality and acting style to yours. Which in my opinion is a HUGE compliment. You are so brave and bubbly and outgoing. I think you’re an awesome individual to do this. Your blog is fantastic! And I can’t wait till you have your own book! I’m sending you good vibes! Keep staying strong!

  33. You are still absolutely fricken gorgeous, but I don’t think you need us telling you that! And bravo to Peter! Good vibes to you both.

  34. Ahhh… you make me Laugh so hard every time you post something! But this vid was too much!!! LOVED IT!!!

    Perfect hair, perfect performer!

  35. Thanks for any other wonderful post. Where else may anybody get
    that kind of information in such an ideal approach of writing?

    I have a presentation next week, and I’m at the
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  36. Absolutely love these blogs, they’re a huge inspiration to me. As a young women with a family history of breast cancer, you’ve inspired me a ton. Sending you so much love!

    PS: can’t wait to see all the fun wigs you’re going to get!

  37. Krysta, I read this and it reminded me of the morning my daughter helped cut my hair once it began to fall out. She was only 16 at the time but she was the so caring and supportive. Before I had my wig she would help me tie pretty scarves every morning before school. So glad that you had your boyfriend to support you. Just know that being surrounded and supported by people that love you is the best medicine you can have. Your “posse” of followers, your family, boyfriend, friends and fans care about you and will get you through this journey. You are going to kick that cancer in the butt and show it who’s the boss!

  38. What an incredible person you are! I think it’s truly commendable, inspiring, and BRAVE of you to share your journey, and to have such an amazing attitude and honesty through it all. Sending you all the love, light, and healing your way. I would send courage, but you seem to have that all covered yourself. Bravo!

  39. You are an inspiration, Krysta. Definately one of my role models. Broadway beauty, kickass voice, but most importantly: a kickass woman. Thanks for being willing to share some of your story and for being real and honest. I love getting to know a little bit about you and your life as I read these posts.I may not have cancer and may not be able to fully relate to all of this, but I do relate to amd admire your strong spirit! Anyways, just wanted to let you know how much of an inspiration you are.

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