A Year of My Life Chronicled By Hair Part I

One year ago, I was thinking I might be pregnant. Little did I know that it was cancer. Here’s a look back at the last twelve months as chronicled by my hair:

  • Before Cancer 1 of 19
    Before Cancer
    Here I was exactly a year ago. Before being diagnosed with cancer. Giving tips on creating 5 minute curls with super long hair.
  • The Unknown 2 of 19
    The Unknown
    This photo was last August. I had cancer but I didn't know it yet. There was a tumor slowly destroying my uterus and 9 tumors forming in my lungs.
  • Cancer Diagnosis 3 of 19
    Cancer Diagnosis
    I heard the word cancer for the first time on October 7, 2011. I was immediately sent to Loma Linda University to confirm my cancer diagnosis and meet with an oncologist specializing in the rare cancer Choriocarcinoma.
  • Internal Bleeding 4 of 19
    Internal Bleeding
    A few hours later I was admitted for internal bleeding. The tumor had grown straight through my uterus and out the other side into my abdomen.
  • WTF 5 of 19
    I went in for surgery so they could look around at the tumor and I started bleeding to death on the table. An amazing team of trauma surgeons saved my life. The tumor had grown straight through the blood supply to the uterus. An emergency hysterectomy was performed. Here I am a few days later ... unshowered and refusing to eat hospital food. (My husband loved the hospital food)
  • Dependent 6 of 19
    I couldn't do things for myself for a while. My sister played hair stylist.
  • Cut in Two 7 of 19
    Cut in Two
    After emergency surgery that cut me in two, I couldn't do much of anything for myself. My husband had to put lotion on my legs and brush my hair out.
  • Resting 8 of 19
    Looks like I'm on vacation right? Kind of....just laying around as my insides healed. That's 2.5 lb Diesel keeping watch.
  • Start of Chemo 9 of 19
    Start of Chemo
    I started chemotherapy on October 24, 2011. I could finally do my hair myself ... although not that well obviously.
  • #losingmyhair 10 of 19
    After the first unsuccessful line of chemotherapy, I was switched to another. My hair started falling out. Everywhere. I started to become a health hazard to restaurants.
  • Headshot 11 of 19
    My hair started thinning. In a moment of vanity panic I had my assistant take new headshots.
  • Playing Bald 12 of 19
    Playing Bald
    I put all my hair in a hat to get used to not having any. It made it easier knowing what to expect.
  • My Mom 13 of 19
    My Mom
    My mom shaved her head to help prepare my daughter. My daughter cried. I felt sad for my mom.
  • Phantom Hair 14 of 19
    Phantom Hair
    I washed my hair for the last time. Sorry, no boobie shots here. Did you know there's a such thing as Phantom Hair Syndrome?
  • Shaving My Head 15 of 19
    Shaving My Head
    This was the day I let my 5-year-old daughter shave my head. First, my friend Tara cut off my pony tail.
    Photo courtesy of Taili Song Roth.
  • Gone 16 of 19
    No more hair. I still have my horse teeth though!
    Photo courtesy of Katie Geiberger
  • Money on the Floor 17 of 19
    Money on the Floor
    Um, I think that's over $1,000 worth of highlights if you consider my hair was 2 feet long.
  • Explanations 18 of 19
    The hardest part of losing my hair was explaining to my daughter. Her reaction "are you SURE you want to cut if off?"
  • The Rest of the Story…… 19 of 19
    The Rest of the Story......
    What's it like to be bald all the sudden? Visit the rest of the story here: A Year of My Life Chronicled By Hair Part II.


That’s just the beginning! Make sure to check out the rest of the story at:   A Year of My Life Chronicled By Hair Part II.


We also made a digital short of the process of losing my hair…click here to check it out!




The Cancer Chronicles via


Read more of my writing at:

Ashley Hackshaw of



Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Don’t miss a DIY project! Follow me on Pinterest.

Check out The New Home Ec for DIY project roundups!


25 things every kid should experience
The 10 biggest lies we tell our kids
12 reasons why I want to be a toddler again
11 simple ways to bully-proof your kids
14 things you should never say to your wife

Article Posted 4 years Ago

Videos You May Like