The Wig and the Real Hair

I nearly did her in a week ago! Last Saturday I put my wig on in the morning and wore it all day. With fewer cactus needles, it’s much more comfortable and it keeps heat in -- although I prefer not wearing it in the house. Anyway, Liam and I started preparing the rice. He is all about cooking right now. Loves it! I put the rice on the stove, washed the asparagus—basically the normal supper time groove. Then it happened: I took the lid off the rice and my glasses fogged up. I sprung back away from the stove. The tenderness of the situation hitting me full force. I may very well have singed my $400 wig on the very first day I wore it for any length of time. I zipped to the bathroom. My bangs were intact. Whew!

My college friend and her daughter were here last week while Bill was working in China. The first night they arrived I put a casserole in the oven for dinner. I opened the oven door and it happened again. Whoosh! Hot steamy air heading straight for my hair! I leaned back to let the steam escape in front of me. Closing the door, I zipped to the bathroom again. My bangs were still intact. I went downstairs where our guests were unpacking. “Guys, I need to take my wig off to cook, and I want you to know that so you aren’t shocked to come upstairs and see me bald in the kitchen. OK?” So I did a private reveal and they were both OK with it.

A few nights ago I thought I should do a “check” with Will. We’ve started playing a game of “you ask me any two questions and I ask you any two questions.” They are usually questions of favorites, but I make it clear that any topic is fair game. The question I needed answered, “Will, do you like my wig or my bald head better?” His immediate reply, “Hmm, I like them both,” sounding a bit disappointed at the lack of complexity of the question. Whew! I know where Liam stands. Often when I have the wig on, he’ll point to it and say, “I want spiky hair!” We’ve talked about the fact that when it’s on my head it’s mine and only I can take it off. Finally after many checks with Bill, he says he doesn’t mind one way or another. I love him.

I had cupboards installed in the basement and it took a day to install them, so I went down in the morning and had a chat with the two guys, then said, “By the way I’m on chemo and I don’t always wear my wig in the house. So you will probably see me bald.” “No problem!”

A good friend stopped by one day and I answered the door wigless. She didn’t faint and seemed to feel comfortable. So... I have established my home as wig-free territory, at least until the snow flies. If you stop by, don’t be surprised if I answer the door as Baldy. I’m OK with it. But if you really aren’t, I understand completely. I would rather dress for your visit than not have your visit. :)

If you’re curious…
The wig is washable. If I wear it daily, I need to wash it once a month in cool water, then hang it on a wig stand to dry. As it dries, it bounces back into style. An easy shake and quick comb should bring it back to its original look.

I know where to place it because the front of the wig should be set the width of four fingers, laid horizontally, above my eyebrows. It’s amazing how accurate that is. By the way, if you are a true friend, you will tell me if something is a little askew. I would tell you if you had a bugger. That’s normal conversation in our house.

Most of the dark hair on my head is gone, but I still see and feel a lot of hair. What’s left is blonde – or gray from the week of expereementing. If I’m really this gray, I’m putting Katie, my hair dresser, on alert now to restore my “true” color in the spring the minute I’m released from chemo life and have put the wig in long-term storage. I’ve heard I may have to wait a while before going back to my color. The hair now is softer than the original full-head-of-hair crew cut of Halloween. A friend of mine said it feels like chick fuzz. And that’s what it feels like when I walk: The relative wind I create moves it. It reminds me of walking through of a roomful of cobwebs gently brushing my scalp. I get the same sensation on my legs, but that’s a different story.

Staying strong and not quite hairless,