Adriamycin, breast cancer, cancer, Cancer Kitten, Cathy, chemo, chemotherapy, cytoxan, hair cut, hair loss, hair prosthesis, wig, young woman with breast cancer
I haven’t been completely honest. I previously posted that I was freaked out about my inevitable hair loss, but had come to terms with it. Well, that’s not true, and hair doomsday is fast approaching, so I need to pull it together. I searched online for hair quotations with high hopes of finding one bursting with wisdom, a virtual cureall for my cancer fret. Although that didn’t happen, I did find two quotes that at least made me laugh.
“How can I control my life when I can’t control my hair?” ~Author Unknown
“Experience is a comb which nature gives us when we are bald.” ~Proverb
I couldn’t decide which one to use for my blog post title. I want good blog post titles so those of you who read this stuff don’t feel like it’s a job…even though it kinda is, since I expect some of you to read it (sister Kim!). Unfortunately, right now I identify with the first quotation, but think that once I am done with a serious cancer ass-kicking the second quotation will be me…just not for too long, I really don’t want to be bald.
I dreaded the Final Real Haircut I scheduled shortly before my surgery. I got mad at Bing for saying something the wrong way the morning before my appointment. Like, psycho Bing-has-no-idea-why-I-am-yelling-at-him mad. I panicked at the idea of telling my hair dresser that I wouldn’t be back for a long time, and that it wasn’t because I didn’t like her. I wanted to cry walking into the salon. I never enjoy staring at myself in the mirror after my hair gets washed and I am wearing the haircut cape. This time, I sat wearing the haircut cape looking in the mirror trying to envision myself bald. I didn’t feel like I would like bald Cathy staring back at me, and then I hated myself for being mean to myself. I really wanted to get bangs, but I felt like that was selfish and that I had to keep my hair as long as possible so I could donate as much as possible to Locks of Love. Emily gave my long hair a nice haircut and I gave her a hug. I said goodbye, hoping that I left more than an inch of dead ends on her studio floor.
My sister-in-law Jan and her friend Lisa came to Steamboat to visit just a week after my lumpectomy. Lisa is a knowledgeable scarf-tier, so on their last day I gave in and with her help, bought a couple of scarves. It was definitely a little less daunting and I felt confident buying scarves with someone who showed me all the different ways to tie one. (I mean, I know how to tie one on, just not a scarf, if you know what I’m sayin’).
I tried on wigs, aka, hair prosthesis, at Dana Farber’s Friends Place. All of the wigs were synthetic and had hairstyles and colors that were from the Friends hairstyle era. They also had more volume than normal hair. Like, Jersey Shore volume. I ended up ordering some half-hair piece to wear under a riding helmet, and a baseball hat with hair hanging out the bottom, to throw on if I go for a hike. I also ordered a blonde wig with a bob hair cut. I think that they look better than I make them sound, but maybe they don’t. I was so confused and disappointed, I felt like I lost the ability to identify good style. (I have since decided that I am not buying any of the above. I can’t even bring myself to post pics of me in those things). It’s so difficult to even decide if I want a wig because I don’t know how I am going to feel about losing my hair until I lose it.
My cousin Emma felt inspired after watching a YouTube short about Locks of Love and, knowing that I have to endure chemo soon, she decided to have her hair chopped off and donate it! What a sweetheart. We practiced tying headscarves together last week.
Then my sister Caylan decided to join in on the action:
Last Thursday I went to The Salon at 10 Newbury, which is part regular salon and part wig salon, with synthetic, blended, and real European hair options. My appointment at the salon with Patricia, the salon’s owner, was fantastic. Every woman who shops for a wig for any medical reason should have Patricia to guide them. She is so strong I almost felt intimidated, and yet tender and kind. The very first wig I tried on was the big winner! The color was nearly perfect, and they darkened the roots and styled it while I wore it, just like it was my real hair.
Here is my wig (still weird to say), before being styled. It’s sitting back a bit too far on my head:
Then we celebrated at brunch:
Sorry that you need it, but I have to tell you, coming from someone who has never met you and probably never will – it is a pretty amazing wig. You look great – good choice!
Jessica Noel Buchta said:
That really is a great wig, it does looks just about as close to yours as you can get. Thanks for blogging about all this so I (and many others) who care about you can see how you are doing. Love you and am still praying for you.
I want to copy this blog post title to, “How can I control my life when I can’t control my genes?!”
Molly (Heald) Philipps said:
Cathy-It’s been awhile but I just wanted to reach out to you to let you know I am thinking about you and cheering for your swift recovery! It looks like since the time we’ve last talked you’re living the life you have always been meant to lead. I have no doubt in my mind that you will kick cancer’s a** and get on with your life! I will be following your blog and thinking about you often!
Cindy's Cancers said:
Please check out my latest post, there’s a gift there for you. I hope you love it.
Mrs Fever said:
Due to non-cancerous medical reasons I do not wish to explain, I lost 2/3 of the hair on my head about a year and a half ago. It was devastating.
For about five minutes.
Then I kicked myself in the ass and said, “There’s more to your beauty than your hair, ya Wookie!” (Seriously, I’m a Wookie. If it weren’t for the advent of the razor, I’d look ~ at the very least ~ like a monkey. Or a lemur. And don’t even get me started on the waxing and the plucking. Oy!) And I made the most of what I had. Which means I wore a lot of scarves and funky hats.
My hair is *still* growing back. And it’s changed in both color (not that you’d know it, what with all my visits to the hairdresser) and texture (it’s curly now).
But when it comes to ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos, my hair is not the only thing that has changed. I’m sure the same will be true for you.