Like many of us, I started out this life with very little hair. My mom likes to tell the story of my first Christmas where she had to tape a bow to my almost bald head. What that woman wouldn’t do to add the perfect accessory!
When my hair did come in, my mom made sure to keep it long, very long – despite my protests when she’d use an entire bottle of No More Tears when combing out said unruly mane.
It was my mother (and grandmother) who instilled the worth of a good salon cut in me. Even as a struggling single-mom, when it was time for my first big hairstyle change, we went to a salon. I remember feeling so glamours and grown up. I was in the fifth grade and decided that I wanted a shag cut. It was all the rage in 1975 and I wanted to be super cool. But instead of cool, there were lots of tears, mine and my mothers.
Once I started to see my hair as an accessory, it became fun. Aside from the shag and the Big Hair Experience of the 1980’s, I have loved my hair. I now have a personal relationship with my stylist (a dear friend) and going to the salon is still a glamours experience.
So, what’s a girl to do when she’s lost her hair to chemo for the second time? First, I reclaimed some control by shaving what remained. Now I sport hand-tied head scarves (that I’ve given tutorials on during my infusion sessions) or I just go Full Monty with really fabulous earrings.
But sometimes being a proud, bald woman is hard. Some people give me the look. My Friends With Cancer know the look I mean; that well-meaning yet sad look on their face with the ultimate question, “How are you (really) doing?”
My response to this question: Today is amazing but tomorrow may suck. Yes, I still have cancer. Yes, my cancer is incurable but the chemo I am subjecting myself to is helping to keep the tumors from growing and spreading.
Sometimes I miss my hair but I’m STILL HERE and that’s all that matters to me right now. Say it with me…bald is beautiful!