The hair is very precious for every woman and because of that we all try to find the style that suits us or experiment with the color. Nonetheless, it is our beauty and we pay a special attention to its care and nurture.
Life is very unpredictable, and when an illness enters without any announcement the feelings of fear and depression are difficult to escape especially when you are hit by cancer at a very young age.
Emilie Orton, from Arizona, a mother of three at an age of 32 was diagnosed with stage-two germ-cell ovarian cancer. Once she heard the diagnosis she knew that there is a long way to full recovery. The treatment involving chemo is and excruciating, but she knew that she needed to fight to save her life. The first side effect of the chemo was the hair loss, and since she was aware of that she did not want to suffer the horror of losing her hair gradually and she decided to cut it off. But, the honors of such task were given to her 4-year daughter who was very proud for fulfilling such job.
Her daughter Norah had the scissors and she had a job to do, remember how proud are kids when they need to cut someone’s hair and in most cases they cut their own. Emilie recorded this moment and uploaded it onto her Instagram page where she runs a cancer awareness movement. On her Instagram page, she posts pictures and comments encouraging other women going through the same procedure.
Emilie wrote about her decision to cut off her hair right up to the skull.
“I’m feeling scared to take the plunge. Bald? Please no. But it’s definitely time. What if my head is secretly shaped weird? Like a neglected flat spot (is that even a real thing or just my creepy mom brain?) or what if I have a cone-head because I was a ginormous baby when I came out?
Emilie wrote on Romper:
Hair is a huge part of our identity. Once you find a good hairstylist you stick with them because they get you — no matter the cost, they’re worth it. And just as it’s every woman’s nightmare to lose their hair, it is every kid’s dream to cut hair.”
Norah is a preschooler and although still very young she is well-aware of her outfit and the style of clothes she wears, not to mention her hairstyle. In the video on Instagram you will see how serious Norah is with the clamps of scissors in her hands. Norah is also known as “Shug”, and she cut off her mother’s hair with such precision in their bathroom, their makeshift salon.
“After I started losing my hair from chemo, I told Shug she could cut my hair however she wanted. She was in heaven, and did a fantastic four-year-old job. My favorite and scariest hairstylist I’ve ever had.”
After her hair cut she has been active on Instagram documenting her cancer journey on Instagram. She is a part of a community of people sharing their stories that connects them and helps them in their fight against cancer. The fight with the cancer is not easy but she will never give up and continue the fight till she finally beats the monster.
She shared a photo of herself after having a chemo and she did not withhold anything, she was lying on a hospital bed, weak and exhausted. She wrote:
“The annoying thing about chemo is… everything, she wrote. It’s been so frustrating this week. I’ve been in such a dark place. And it has become so real. It’s not all goofy Mr. Clean Halloween because sometimes it really is just the worst. Not only do I feel horrible inside but when I look in the mirror, it’s so hard to recognize who I am on the outside too. This isn’t a poor me post but a reality post and a here-is-what-cancer-can-feel-like post. I don’t want to forget how it was.”
Although she has been experiencing occasional episodes of emotional and physical breakdown which is normal considering her health condition, she is still brave and determined to beat the disease. She is not letting cancer or chemotherapy to take away the joy out of her life and has regular days out at the beach with her family and they do together the shopping, hiking, gardening, volunteering, and any other activity that keeps them together as family. Emilie tries to send the message to the other people to do the same thing and to enjoy every day of their lives and to realize that positivity is the key to a long-lasting recovery.
Her illness did not stop her to enjoy every holiday with her family. For instance for Halloween, she and her family were dressed up as characters from Harry Potter. Each family member chose a character, her first son was Harry Potter with glasses and scar on point, her personal hair stylist Shug was Hermione Granger with bright eyes and wand in her hand, the youngest, the baby Dobby was dressed in a white off-shoulder robe with the perfect elf ears which she did not like at all, her husband was Sirius Black, freshly escaped from Azkaban and she was dressed as Professor Trelawney, disoriented and frightened.
She wrote on Romper:
“Knowing that a beautiful baldness was coming my way terrified me and made me cry on multiple occasions, but I tried to think of the best way to make it bearable for this family of mine. After all it was not just me going through this cancer journey, but all of us together. And also my hair.”
She tells people that cancer gives you hundred of reasons to cry, but you will fight it back and smile as you have million reasons to live. This the only way how to beat this monster that does not affect only you but as well as your loved ones.
She prays for every person out there fighting with this terrible disease and she tells them that even though the cancer started the fight, you will be the one that will end it.