13/09/15-Hairdressers: So for the most part life continues on as normal. I go to work. I go for walks. I go to the shops. I cook and clean…okay you got me on that last one.
Cleaning is not really my thing and being diagnosed with a potentially life limiting condition certainly hasn’t improved its status on my list of priorities. My desire to spend any additional time donning marigolds, duster in one hand and mop in the other has most definitely not been aroused!
My interest in my hair however has been aroused, shooting it right to the top of my current ‘To Do’ list!
So this is what I’ve been thinking and see whether you’re with me on this…
Chemotherapy for breast cancers appears to always involve hair loss. Yes, lots of you know someone who has had chemo for this cancer and chemo for that cancer and they didn’t lose their hair but here’s the thing…so far I haven’t actually come across anyone who hasn’t lost their hair who is receiving the breast cancer chemo combo.
Of course I can I’m reliably informed wear a frozen, shower cap type affair during the hair loss sessions of the chemo but quite apart from the whole dignity, looking like a bit of a ‘tit’ issue and the discomfort of freezing your bonce off factor, the results of this pretty extreme course of action are from what I have seen and been told, rather patchy at best-as is the hair that manages to actually cling on.
So I think I’d rather go bald!
And lose my lashes…
and my eyebrows…
(and apparently maybe even my toenails-which was something I didn’t know about!!!)
Okay! So because I know it is likely be a bit of a shock to myself and those around me as I turn from the leading lady (Deborah Kerr) in ‘The King and I’ into the leading man- Yul Brynner, I have decided to take matters into my own hands, well technically I have decided to put said matters into the hands of a trained professional.
“So what are we doing today?” asks the hairdresser in the mirror.
I weigh her up and decide she’s the kind of person who isn’t going to be phased by the truth. I’ve watched her with her two previous clients and have observed she has a sharp tongue and a quick wit about her so I spare her not.
“ I have breast cancer!”
“I’m about to start treatment and that will mean losing my hair!”
“ I want it really short so that me and the people around me can get used to seeing me with much less hair.”
“No pressure but if it looks shit, I’ll never get through the mastectomy let alone the chemo!”
“Okay then…so not too much responsibility here!” she retorts, quickly followed up by “I’ll see what I can do- we don’t want you walking round with only one boob and a bad hair do!”
And off it comes.
My lovely, thick dark hair tumbling all around me to the tiled floor beneath and with each snip I feel liberated. I’m not sad, not one bit. I feel empowered by another small but significant aspect that is within my control.
So when the chemo comes to take my hair it can have what is left-that I’ll give gladly because it wont have had it all.
Today I decide.
Today it is my choice.
And I remind myself that however bleak things get there will always be a choice. I know that in the coming months it may well seem to me like it is only a choice between a rock and a hard place but there will still be a choice. I will always have some choice!
And so with the novelty of a draught around my neck and ears I do the rounds. visiting my folks and friends.
They are all enthusiastic and full of praise for my new look Barnet but then as I keep saying who is going to tell someone that their cancer cut looks crap?
And as I do one final twirl for my dad, to the absolute mortification of my mum, he says the now immortalised phrase:
“It’ll look lovely with a little wig on it!”
Of course I know what he is trying to say and I know he isn’t trying to be funny but he does have this amazing way of producing comedic gems that you just couldn’t script!
And although he doesn’t know it in this moment, those few words will continue to make me chuckle at the most unexpected times and help lift my spirits in the weeks and months to come.