Cancer can take a lot away from the person battling it and, for some people, one of those things is their hair. This may seem small in the grand scheme of it all, but for many, losing hair can feel like losing a part of their identity.
On the Love What Matters Facebook page, Kelly Epps recently shared her own struggle with uncontrollable hair loss while enduring chemotherapy treatment.
"Last fall, I started chemotherapy. Losing my hair felt like I was losing a part of who I was. I have struggled with feeling 'pretty' since then," she wrote. "It didn't matter how much make up I put on or how cute I dressed. I felt bare and not myself. As if going through chemo isn't enough of a physical struggle, the emotional struggle trumps that many days. Looking in the mirror and seeing what chemo has done to my body can be brutal. A constant reminder of the struggle you are enduring."
But Epps's feelings on beauty changed when her mother lost her hair, too. Her mother underwent a stem cell transplant as a part of her cancer treatment and went bald as a result. Although Epps struggled to see herself as attractive when she looked in the mirror, she saw beauty and strength when she looked at her mother.
"My how perspective changes when you are looking at someone you love dearly as opposed to looking at that same thing in yourself," she continued. "My mom radiates beauty. My mom radiates strength. How can I now look at myself any differently than I look at her?"
Epps feels fortunate that she and mother were able to be there for each other in such a crucial way during that time.
"Going through this together has been a blessing," she wrote. "We give each other strength every single day. We fight some of the same battles and have someone to talk to who gets it. Rough days can be made better with a single phone call to my mom. We are so blessed. And strong. And beautiful. Yes, I can say that now. We are bald AND beautiful."
While Epps and her mother are able to be there for each other, sharing their story has given other people living with cancer an outlet to talk about their own experiences. The comments section on this post is filled with women and men sharing their own journey with cancer and finding comfort in knowing they're not alone.