Hair Liberation

In my “tug test” this morning, several hairs came out of my head. I'm not surprised, my friend who started chemo a month before me said to expect it day 14, and this is day 15 since the first round of chemo.

So that means the hair appointment I made today is timely – I’m getting it buzzed off at 3 p.m. I’m taking a few hair piece options with me, but I am of the mind that I’ll be wearing a bright pink wig out of the salon. It completes my costume: I’m going trick-or-treating as a Breast Cancer Survivor!

We all have realistic costumes this year: Liam is a firefighter; Will is a policeman; and I’ve dubbed Bill as a mechanic, knowing he will be making repairs to the cardboard fire truck and police hummer that he has made for the boys to wear over their outfits. I foresee a lot of duck tape, wire, and maybe scissors dangling from his tool belt.

About my hair…the surgeon months ago said that if I had to have chemo I would lose my hair. My reply: “Give me 50 years, I can live without hair for a few months. …Plus, I’ve always liked hats.” This is a little like a science project.

With my current short haircut, I have to trim the back of my neck frequently. One day last week Bill, my barber, left early so I knew it would be a scarf day. Getting Liam out of the tub, he hugged me, felt the back of my neck, and three inches from my nose asked, “Mommy, do you have a little beard like Daddy’s on your neck?” Caught by surprise, I laughed and said, “As a matter of fact I do!!” Then he pulled the sweetest voice, “It’s sooooo cute!” My reply, “Why thank you Liam!”

By the way, I do have a Linda Malcolm wig for wig days when I don’t want to feel like Cyndi Lauper. I’m not sure how often I’ll wear it. It looks very realistic, great style and color, but I’ve never been one for “head squeeze,” and it’s pretty firm. Two visions I have: first, Will or Liam pulling it off and traumatizing some little kid, and second, me forgetting I have it on while cooking or baking and singeing the bangs, instantly, with the steam from a boiling pot or opening the oven door. Glasses clear, singed recovery.

Of course I have other options. Hats: pink ones for chemo days; browns, blacks and greens for out and about. All hats accompanied by matching scarves to keep my neck warm and look a bit more stylish.

I also have head gear specifically made for cancer patients: a bandana, a scarf – and I’m looking into a turban that’s supposed to be very stylish.

Then there is the look with which I came into the world, that millions of grandpas – and more and more younger men -- live with shamelessly. Bald.

I imagine my head covering will all depend on the day, my mood, and the outdoor temperature.

Staying strong,