I had my first round of chemotherapy in September of 2012. It's July of 2017, which is only a milestone because it's creeping closer to my birthday - the day I found the lump - which started all of this.

My hair is long now. It air dries into perfect waves, something I still find impossible to believe after struggling with my hairs texture for most of my life Pre-BC. If you had asked me almost 5 years ago what I would've done to have hair like this, it's hard to think of an answer that doesn't fill me with shame. "It's just hair," I think."Easy to say when you're the girl with the long, perfect waves..." says my conscience. And around and around we go inside my head.

The truth is there is no end to the joy that my hair brings me on a daily basis. Every single day. Even the days when it's so gross, but I can put it up in a bun if I don't feel like washing it. It's heaven. It is a big deal.

But does having hair again mean I am happy? Free? Unburdened? I wish. I am not Samson, and hair or lack thereof does nothing for my power, or my anxiety disorder. There is nothing so humbling as being given what you desperately wished for, and then realizing it isn't enough. 

I'm not going to lie to you.  Having my hair back is all it's cracked up to be and more. Daily joy. If you're going through chemotherapy related or other kinds of hair loss, I am not so far removed from the trauma that I can be aware of my hair without expressing a profound and superficial gratitude for it. 

I wish that my gratitude would be enough to lift me up and transport me outside myself to a place of constant satisfaction. I wish for a time when all I wished for was hair - something that does in fact grow back - and not all the complicated things this new version of me needs. A baby. A cure so I don't have to continue receiving my uncomfortable treatment forever. A different president. A magic wand that would clean up the long brown hairs all over the bathroom by itself everyday. 

It takes an enormous amount of effort to stay positive. To ground myself in gratitude for what I do have (a lot) and not to focus solely on what I don't. 

But in some impossible to describe way, it felt easier when you could see how sick I was on the outside, instead of having to endure long, painful explanations whenever I meet a new person. It was easier not to have to clean, brush, dry, style, and lug around all this hair. It was definitely easier to clean the floors without the addition of my constant and overwhelming shedding. 

It felt easier when I had such an understandable anchor for all of my yearning and hopes for the future. Something that was so easy, touchable, and visible. Something that had a clear solution, which involved nothing so much as cultivating patience and time to look for inspiration on the internet. 

My problems are bigger now, stickier. I feel run down by what I thought was a sprint, but which has turned into a 5 year marathon. With no end in sight. It's hard to describe the feeling of being so tired, but without an end in sight.  

So yes, my hair is long and beautiful. I would cut it off in a second for the chance to be cancer-free forever, and pregnant. And until that happens, whenever that might be, I will take my happiness and joy where I can find it. Like in my long and flowing hair.