My hair matters to me, its silly I know, but it does. It’s the one thing about our outward appearance that we can change pretty quickly and easily and it can make a radical difference to how we look and feel. So the prospect of losing it through chemotherapy was difficult to handle. Losing my hair would also mean that my diagnosis was observable to anyone else. Surgery can be hidden but this would be clear to all.
What were the options?
Being bald – didn’t fancy that, it takes a brave woman with good bone structure to carry that look off and I have neither.
Scarf – no, I would end up looking like a Russian granny queuing for cabbages.
Wig – hmm, it would have to be a really really good one, and the thought of taking it off each night filled me with dread.
A friend said to me, “Why are you so bothered about your hair, you’ve had surgery to remove a breast for goodness sake”. Yes, but that was diseased, it was causing problems, deciding to have it removed was logical and really not an emotive decision at all. Besides, as one of the staff kindly said, I have a small frame so reconstruction was straightforward. To look at I was still the same, losing hair is different. Anyway, my hair wasn’t diseased, it was innocent collateral in chemical warfare that was going to ravage my body. But sobbing into my pasta wasn’t going to change the fact that losing my hair was something I may have to face. My poor husband just didn’t get it, he has short hair, gets it cut out of necessity and uses practically whatever product is either available or on offer, the world of conditioners, treatments, colouring is alien to him. So come on, what are you going to do? Embrace it! I sent a text to a friend, “If I lose my hair, will you come with me to look for a wig?”. Immediately the reply came back, “Yes please, but are you sure about choosing me, I always fancied a wig for a new look. I might get one as well, we might get thrown out of the place you know what I’m like. Which look are you going for? I’d go for every colour under the sun. One for each day? Maybe a clown wig?”. I laughed out loud – yes, I was sure that you were the right person.