Yo. Check out my hair length! My last day of chemotherapy was March 29th…..so this is almost 8 weeks of hair growth. My hair is still pretty thin but at least you can’t see my scalp as much anymore….with the hot desert sun I need the cover.
Remember when my hair looked like this? At the time I was looking for any way to speed up my morning routine……I guess I got what I asked for!
Anyways, I did a little math formula this evening to estimate how long it might take for my hair to be about that long again:
That’s a long freakin’ time! But whatever…..I can get ready faster than Mr. LBB now. It simplifies things. It’s all about creating a new normal for myself. I’m thinking of dyeing it hot pink for a while. I keep joking that I’m going to have some lighting bolts shaved on the sides too.
My weekly blood tests have so far been staying in the “1” range….basically that means my tumors are like non-existent. I’m going to ask Dr. L if I can start changing to blood tests every two weeks. I say err on the side of optimism! I’ve got this! Thanks for all the prayers!
Michelle C says
You can try horse hair shampoo. I think it makes it thicker too. I’ve heard that its amazing and help hair grow faster. Never tried it.
I love reading your posts. Your positive attitude and humor just makes my day. Hoorah on the great blood results too!!
Laura A. says
You could also take Biotin.
Patricia Blomeley-Maddigan says
Your hair is a beautiful thing!! Even if it takes 24.9 years…
Blessings and Prayers continuie always,
You can maybe try taking Biotin and see if that speeds things up a bit. My hairstylist recommended it to me a few years ago after I had an incident with a toddler standing behind me with some scissors at WalMart 😉 Who let’s a toddler carry scissors in WalMart? *grumbles* anyway, it took a while to get my hair length back but I think the Biotin helped me speed up the process. And it helped my nails which have always been a smidge bit brittle in the summer.
What?! It was someone ELSE’S toddler? That’s crazy!
Meagan Briggs says
Your hair is growing in so light! I think you’ll love going though different styles and lengths of hair as your hair grows out! You rock anything!!
I suggest Mane & Tail shampoo. It’s a base from Horse shampoo and will help your hair to grow thicker, stronger and faster. I used it on my little one when she decided to give herself a haircut and went from shoulder length to pixie/bald in spots! It worked wonders!! God Bless!
ashley, you looked good with long hair, you looked good bald, you look good now…i dont think you really need hair to be beautiful…or funny…or creative…or happy…or loved…or……..okay, you get the picture. youre awesome: long hair, short hair, or no hair! keep up the optimism! we love you!
Crafty Mom says
As always, absolutely LOVE your attitude! My BFF’s mom was just diagnosed with kidney cancer and I’ve been thinking about you and your attitude. I’ve wanted “Choose Joy” bracelets ever since you first released them. I think this is my final kick in the rear to actually order them! Thank you for your eternal optimism and strong faith.
I think hair grows expotentionally. So it might only take 2 years.
Meredith M. says
Great news!!! I think your hair will grow faster than 4 years. 🙂
Carla Allen says
I just love your positive attitude – makes all the difference in the world! I lost my hair twice during the year preceeding my bone marrow transplant. It came back curly, then I lost all the curl and now I have the best textured hair ever! So glad your bloodwork is looking good!!
I like you with short hair–love to see it pink. I can’t tell you how happy that #1 test score makes me.
I wonder if you might have a few spare prayers that you would loan us. My husband is having surgery on Thursday for prostate cancer. It’s a pretty scary week, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of you the past month or so. We are concentrating on the “slow-growing, cautiously optimistic” words of his surgeon. But, now and then when no one is looking, I have this little internal panic attack, and I remember your strength, humor, and optimism, and I lean on it a little bit so that no one sees my panic attack. This is his second cancer battle–completely unrelated cancers–so I should be an old pro at it now. But deep down is the memory that he’s lost 2 uncles to it, and 2 more close relatives are fighting a losing battle with it as we speak. Anyway, if you can spare some prayers, it would mean a lot.
Of course Gail! We just prayed that he will be healed from the top of his head to the tip of his toes….just like my daughter prays for me each night. I know many others will see your comment too and will pray surgery goes well on Thursday!
Gail – Ashley is right. Many more than you know will pray for you and your husband! Count me among them.
Ashley – Way to go on the great numbers. Your hair looks great.
Kymmie Marriner says
I will say some prayers too Gail and many others will too. And Ashley – I love the new hair! My daughter made a special CHOOSE JOY piece of pottery for Mother’s Day for me… I will need to send you a photo of it. You’ve helped us through a very hard time! xoxo Gail – praying!!
Julie Edwards McCartney says
You !!..have Prayers…Seattle, Wash,…I am, retired RN!!..I, have Dealt with Cancer Pts…I, will, pray..Daily!!..
Debbie B says
Many prayers for you and your family.
Emily Raaka says
Gail, We are praying for your husband (and you) too!
Ashley, you would rock the hot pink hair! I love it! My friend Suzie fought breast cancer and when she beat the heck out of it and finished Chemo she had the most rocking Billy Idol white hair. I say dye it pink! Or because it is you, do something even more amazing because everything you do is so creative and inspiring. Every day, no matter what is going on, I look forward to reading what you have to say.
You don’t merely choose joy, you manifest it…
xoxo my internet friend,
Gail, I will pray for you and your husband. Praying for healing and peace. It’s on my kitchen list now.
Ashley, I know you’ll rock every stage of your hair growing out =) Pink would be cute 😉
Ask and you shall receive! God Bless!
M Minor says
At least during the growing out process you can try all the styles you wouldn’t be able to with long hair. You may find one you love that only takes five minutes 🙂
Julie Edwards McCartney says
In, the scheme of Life..You are Alive!!..You..are sooo ” Loving Life”. You, have a Home, Food, Loving Spouse.a Beautiful Daughter!!!..Ashley..I, have followed Mx Blogs..You!!!..are Blessed!!..Oh, so!!..Protected!! ( Your Dad).., ” holds You!!”..I,say.as RN..talk ” to Dad”.. Keep On..” Donuts..”..( fan of Donuts!)..Thxs!!..for you..” opening your Life”..You, have helped..so many!!!..Hugs
Rosemary kane says
Ashley, You are such a positive inspiration!!!!My friend met you in utah and sent me a pic of you with her. I am a year out of fighting breast cancer and lost all my hair also.was not as brave as you..I wore bandanas bought a wig but only wore it a few times…hated it. I am so happy that you are doing well…my hair has been coming in slowly since december…growing very slowly…My doc did recommend biotine but I forgot about it. Must try. my youngest grandson had nothing to do with me when my hair fell out..Now he looks at me and says, “Mimi, I like your new hair but I liked the other hair better..” So cute..I had colored my hair and now it is pure white and straight…UGH!!!!
Keep up your good work.Look forward to reading your posts… God bless you and your family!!!!Rosie
Steffy Woolsey says
Ashley, it is such a joy to read your blog. Entry after entry, I’m challenged and heartened and delighted by your outlook and perspective. I’m just 9 months out from a grade IV brain tumor diagnosis…and still here, praise God! Thank you for the grace and humor with which you dispense wisdom and encouragement. And may I add that I LOVE that you allow yourself to care enough about your hair to do the math on when you’ll get those beautiful wavy tresses back? I have days when I *think* I shouldn’t care about my hair anymore; that I should just be grateful that I’m alive, and have the energy to chase my boys and hug my husband. But if I’m being honest, I’d also like to have rockin’ cute hair again, too. Thanks for choosing joy! 🙂
Mine started slowly at first, but it’s seeming to speed up. Maybe. Or it’s wishful thinking. Either way, mine is 3 inches, after roughly 6 months of regrowth and one trimming =)
Julie Edwards McCartney says
I, hope, you read my .Message!!..Your Dad..is sitting right next to you..I, lost my Dad,..2000, Mom..June, 2011…however!!..they are Close..to Me!!..I, “talk to them Daily” .to Guide Me!!..Whoops!!..Retirired ..Psych RN..( hope you Laugh!). To All..I, am, Fine!!..just sharing..Laugh, A lot!!..Again…Hugs!!.Your Fan!!
Ashley, like everyone says, you will look beautiful no matter what ur hair looks@like. Your energy and attitude is contageous. You inspire me to choose joy! Peace to you, and thank God your numbers are good.
Megan Gore says
Oh Ash knows all about horse products 🙂 And if you need extra shine to your newfound growth, I’ll come Show Sheen you! You look beautiful, always! xo
Southern Gal says
I saw this tweet by Will Smith retweeted quite a bit yesterday. “What you expect will happen is a big part of what the result will be. Think positive.”
I think you’ve got that covered. 😉
Awesome News! Love u, Ashley! You look Great! 🙂
Leigh Anne says
Love it! Sorry bout the stinky math answer, but it cracked me up 🙂 Keep the faith! You are beautiful!
Barb Solano says
It will start growing faster and hair grows an average of 6 inches/year so this time next year you are gonna look totally different…!!!! Keep a photo collage so you can look back month to month…!!!!
Jessica Noethlich says
Pre-Natal Vitamins… Yes, REALLY!!! I’ve been taking them since I was 16 (and no, not because I was pregnant! lol). My hairstylist is always telling me how healthy my hair is and can never believe how fast it grows– including my eyebrows! HAHA
just ‘start’ with the pink. i’ll be watching for the updates! (or a choose joy colour…?) love to you and the rest k’~
LOVE you!!! You SO got it. xoxoxo
Enjoy your low maintenance hair! When mine came back, it was a bit funky. We called it “chemo hair”! I did an assortment of short styles until it got back to normal (it came out super curly and an odd, darker color!) I still remember a woman complimenting me on it, “you young girls are so brave with your short hair!” I briefly debated telling her the reason for my short hair — and decided, heck ya — I earned this hair!
Just wanted to say that you are such an inspiration to me. I can be such a negative person, and now I’ve just started going to your website when I’m getting down on myself (or others) and you remind me that happiness and joy are possible in any situation. I have absolutely no excuse to be a negative Nancy! Ever!
Thank you for showing us that the world isn’t full of awful people. There is some hope, because there are people like you and your readers.
Now that the Cancer Chronicles are coming to an end (thankfully) you could start a monthly HAIR Chronicles. I’m sure as it grows out you will be having fun experimenting with fun and different hair styles!
wow…now you can experiment with all the short cool cuts without the umming and erring if you should cut your hair (been there dont that). and yes all the cool colours…i remember when i was still in juniour school my friends mum had her hair highlight with all the rainbow colours,it was amazing and something that has stuck in my memory for over 30 years!!! xx
Plus you TOTALLY pull off the short hair look! You still look beautiful!
Hair growing is pants, lol, but everyone is right, you are a true beauty whatever stage your hair is at!
And, i think you are going to have some fun with it on the way!
Whoop Whoop on the 1 and fingers crossed for 2 weekly tests, if anyone can swing it with Dr L, its you!!!!! xxxx
amanda gargul says
Ashley i have only been following you for a short while but i really have to say this
YOU ARE AWESOME ! thanks for your inspiring posts keep up the great work. xxx
ps i needed help from my 12 yr old step son to work out your math equation.lol
Maybe you should dye it Pink AND shave lightening bolts into the sides, YOU AMAZING LADY YOU!
Lori P. says
I love the idea of pink, but I would double check with your doc first. I was told by my oncologist not to use any dye’s for 6 months or more as the chemo chemicals and dyeing chemicals do not like to get along. I have had one hair cut so far since my last chemo on Sept. 29, 2011. It was to even things up. My hair has never been this curly or fine. I love it. I will be 49 (shhhhh) this coming June and I have some great high-lights (greys). Hey, I tell everyone I paid a lot of money for them. Which we do with the medical bills – right? :O)
I agree – you are amazing!
You could totally rock the hot pink! And how cute would you be with a bob??
Tleshia Farrar says
You never know you may get a boost of fast hair growth…when I was in 1st grade I almost died with pneumonia and they had to give me heavy meds to keep me alive. It made every bit of my hair fall out. My hair had been thin and fine before that, but when it started coming back it, it came in thick and was fast growing. Now I have to have my hair thinned in the summer because otherwise it would take me 45 min. just to dry it all……still praying for you!!
yay! you could always shave a pattern or dye one in 🙂
rather than lightning bolts what about aztec designs?
Hot pink hair would be awesome. You always look beautiful. Xoxo
Jenn E. says
Yay! You look awesome Ashley :). Hugs :).
I would totally die it pink! Have fun with it! I bet it will be nice having it shorter in the AZ heat. 😉
What beautiful new hair!! =) AND way to rock that quicker morning routine. Love it!
One vote for pink! On average, hair grows about 6 inches per year, you’ve got great spirit and health, who needs to grow hair when you can buy it!!
HOLA ASHLEY. SOY MERCEDES, Y HACE UN PAR DE DIAS, DESCUBRI TU BLOG, Y CON TU PREMISO , LO HE AGREGADO A MIS FAVORITOS, YA QUE ME GUSTA MUCHO.
ME LLAMO MUCHO LA ATENCION, LO BONITO DE LO QUE PUBLICAS, PERO TAMBIEN VER QUE ESTABAS PASANDO POR EL MAL TRAGO DE LA QUIMIO. YO TAMBIEN ME VI COMO TU, SIN PELO. ME DIERON 6 SESIONES DE QUIMIO, Y 25 DE RADIOTERAPIA, DEBIDO A UN CANCER DE MAMA. BUENO, SOLO QUERIA QUE SUPIERAS, QUE MI MELENA ESTA YA POR DEBAJO DE LOS HOMBROS, Y QUE TODO PASA. ESPERO QUE LEAS MI COMENTARIO. MUCHOS BESOS DESDE ESPAÑA.
Ashley, if I looked as good as you do with short hair, I’d cut it all off too! Rock it short for a while … 4.9 years goes by way too fast! and yes! You got this!! Suck on it cancer!!
My hair was as long as yours before chemo. I miss it sometimes, but life goes on. 4 months after finishing chemo, I dyed my hair platinum blonde. I figured if I was going to have short, spikey hair, I might as well have fun with it. Now that it’s about chin length, I have a bright pink streak on the same side that I had breast cancer. It’s my symbol of being a survivor!!! I continue to remember you in my prayers.
Hair extensions = 2 hours 🙂
My friend lost her hair during the last election, she painted election signs on her head for her candidate of choice.
Melissa K Johnson says
I can swear by Biotin. My super thick hair started thinning out when I went on a new drug for my severe RA and I was none too happy. My hair had always been my best feature and as I grew older my one remaining remanent of my youth…ha, growing old is not for sissies! So I asked my awesome GP what he reccomended short of boistrous hats and sparkly distracting turbans and he claimed Biotin as the cure. He was right, after losing almost half my hair volume I am back to having thick soft wavy hair ( the waves are new! ) thanks to this very cheap vitamin!
And Ashely, Cancer was skeered of you…that much joy was intimidating so *POOF* its gone~~wish I could bottle you for my best friend, shes fighting such a tough battle against Ovarian cancer. So glad I found your blog, it really helps to keep hoping for one of Gods miracles!
Melissa K Johnson says
Haha, Make that YOU rock!
4.9 years! Wow. If it helps, I cut my hair off to about 1 inch long just under 3 years ago and it’s probably pretty close to your hair in the second photo there. So maybe it will take anywhere between 3 – 4.9 years 🙂
PS – I think pink is a great idea!
Alyssa S. says
What a beautiful, outward sign that your body is on the mend. I think it looks great! I’ve been on meds for my thyroid for a couple of months and I’m sitting by waiting for my hair to stop falling out and getting thicker again.
Hair grows an average of 6 inches a year, sometimes 12.
Biotin and hair supplements help only up to that point. Slower hair growth is either genetic or due to nutritional deficiencies. So, if you take biotin and your hair suddenly grows faster, you were deficient.
P.S.- None of those hair growth shampoos work. The only ones that even have a mild effect are the “scalp tingling” ones… as they help improve blood circulation. A scalp massage regularly does the same thing.
“Mane n Tail” shampoo doesn’t make hair grow faster, but it conditions it really, really well. Since the hair is in good shape, less of it breaks… so people think it makes it grow faster. The only “growth” is from hair (split ends) breaking less, and a more conditioned (greased) scalp. A dry scalp isn’t good for hair growth, so this horse shampoo can help a little just because it conditions the scalp (helping growth) and super conditions hair (making fewer split ends).
I would really leave dyes alone. Pink hair is too punk-rock-ish to me, and adds extra strain to hair. And, extra chemicals on your head. I stopped coloring my hair last year and wish I had never colored it in the first place! Natural hair is SO much healthier, prettier, and easier to manage. Hair color fries hair.
Kelly R. says
You watch, your hair will grow in much faster than 4.9 years! When I had brain surgery and my head was shaved, within the year I had a bob that fell to my chin. Just be prepared for the change of texture or straightness/curliness that may occur!
Mine grew in curly and it took a while to get used to after having bone straight hair! All the best to you!!
Melle e says
Wow. I’m a new reader so i didn’t know.
From experience, the farther out i get, the more normal mybhair grows, speedwise.
Err in the side of optimism. 18 months – 2 years should see you with that glorious blonde mass again. 🙂
Melle e says
Ooh! And wait 2 years post chemotherapy to dye!!!
I dyed mine 1 year out and literally permanent hair dye did not stick. For 3 weeks i ruined every pillowcase i got near. A good stylist won’t touch you with dye right now. Besides, there’s no telling what color you’d get. It likely won’t be what’s on the color swatch.
Check out Karen’s pink hair over at Redoux blog… you just might be inspired! http://www.redouxinteriors.com/
I seriously love your attitude Ashley!
Brandy M. says
Yes, your hair was beautiful “then,” but it is beautiful now, too! You are beautiful, your attitude is beautiful. I love reading your posts – you are so positive and encouraging!
First of all, I admire how strong you are and how you blog the process! I am a cancer survivor and losing my hair sucked!! But i can tell you it grew back thicker and curler than before…and I finally knew what my real hair color looked like! Lol
I grew it out for 4 years, never cutting it…it was like my security blanket. Then I decided to chop it and donate it!
Anyway, I wish you the best and truly admire you!
Losing the hair is almost easier than waiting for it to grow back. I used to have dreams that I had my long, silky hair, and then I’d wake up to my bald, cold head in the middle of the night. I actually just did a donation for Locks of Love a few weeks ago (11 years after chemo) and it was a crazy feeling, looking at my ponytail and thinking about all my little hair fantasies I used to have.
Love your blog!
I always thought my grandmother looked so beautiful when she lost her hair to chemo. She had a gorgeous shaped head and looked somehow regal. My aunt’s hair grew back in thicker than before she lost hers. Sending prayers of continued healing.
Joy Eballar says
So happy about your test results!!
PS: you look adorable with or without hair!! (pink is always good tho!! ) 🙂
My daughter finished up chemo the same day you did! And she has about the same amount of hair now (she is only 2 now though, so she only had a few inches to begin with when diagnosed). I was just reading the post about the felted pinwheels and cant wait for her to have enough for me to make a little clip with a pinwheel for her! Keep up the optimism, thats how we have learned to live and oh how does it help!
You are so inspiring! Thank you for reminding me about what is truely important. Hopefully some of your optimism will rub off on this pessimist. Hugs
Kelly Dawn says
Sister, you rock! Thanks for keeping it real. You are blessing so many! I am sure the pink hair would look amazing, but if you want to try something not so permanent, I am certain Boo would have a blast helping you chalk your hair!
“You can’t away get what you want, but if you try sometime you might find, you get what you need”–Rolling Stones
Your hair looks great! Mine grew back darker than it has ever been in my life, and absolutely crazy curly. The nurses in the chemo suite said that it’s not uncommon for hair to come in a completely different color and texture, so if yours is about like it was before, that’s an extra blessing 🙂 Wishing you a long, cancer free life!
I had long hair before cancer too. Not as long as yours, but long, and I loved it. I miss it. I cried every day for at least 6 months after losing my hair. Now, 3 1/2 years later I would probably have my 15 inches of hair again except I keep getting it cut! Ha ha! Everyone loved my short wigs during chemo, and I got so many compliments on my bob styles afterward that I have sort of kept it at this length and can’t seem to get past that in between stage. I mostly miss the ease of putting it up in a pony tail and I often say, “having hair is a lot of work!” I have had to color my hair since it has come in yucky old lady gray and I refuse to be old! Maybe it would have done this anyway, but I blame it on the chemo. I blame a lot on the chemo! Hair grows back. A breast never grows back, and I just remember that every time I complain of a bad hair day. I think this journey teaches us that life is worth fighting for and love is stronger than these small disappointments that we temporarily endure.
I just found your website, and it really helped me. I had emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma three months ago. Woke up a couple of days later with hair on only one side of my head. Six weeks later, I had another surgery to repair the incision which was not healing properly. Yes, again I awoke with one side of my head shaved again. My hair has always grown really quickly. Now it is not so speedy with the growth. I am just grateful to God to be alive, and I just wear my hair longer on one side (at home). When I go out, I wear a scarf tied in different ways on my head. I walked into a different doctor’s office last week and the receptionist complimented my pretty scarf and said she loved it because they are so popular these days. She was new and did not know about my surgeries. I just smiled and said “Then I guess I chose a good time to have brain surgery.” She is a kind lady. So scarves are the answer for me until I can get both sides long enough for a cute cut like yours. Bless you for your sense of humor which is such an encouragement to others.