Pinky Pie

Bras, hair color & me

Posted on: September 27, 2009

Years ago, on a trip from Kansas City to St. Louis to visit the best friends of the family, I was amused by a huge billboard along the road that read, “Do you have a bra problem?” It made me laugh.

Having lunch with Aunt Bertie (the best friend of our family and her granddaughter Ruth) at Steak n Shake, I commented about the billboard. I had no idea the shop was for hard-to-fit women including those who had mastectomies.

“I just wear Hanes bras,” I announced in amusement.

“You do have a bra problem,” responded Ruth, who was far wiser in the world of bras than me.

I lived with my Hanes bras until a year or so ago when I bought something more expensive and more comfortable.  It was definitely more grown up. Timing is everything. I bought three more just days before my breast cancer diagnosis. The best bras of my life suddenly were unnecessary. ‘Tis life, my friends

Something else happened just before my diagnosis. I decided to go back to my natural hair color – white.

I had my first gray hair at age 7 and when my mother was asked about it, she’d say, “Oh yes, she’s been lying about her age for years.”

I never expected to be one of those vain women who let gray hair get her down. I would just be myself.

Then as my son was going into kindergarten, I was constantly being asked if I was Michael’s grandmother. Also, at age 40, a middle school student suggested I looked like I was 53.

That weekend, my friend Dorothy and daughter Maggie bought dark chocolate bars for courage and brown hair color and turned me into a young, vivacious Sue in the bathroom. I kept using hair color for years and often wondered how I’d give up my habit. Would my “racing stripe” at my roots get wider and wider? It didn’t seem like a good idea

One friend, who also colored her hair, suggested if she ever needed chemotherapy that would be the time to go natural.

Not knowing that chemo was coming for me this year, I posed in my Facebook status the question of whether it was time for me to go back to gray. Most people were amused that I would be so public about the discussion.

Anyone reading this blog regularly probably has figured out that I don’t hold back. I write about all kinds of things that others might keep private. I was especially amused that in the midst of this Facebook discussion, my email included an offer for a Hovercraft, one of those carts for those unable to walk because of age or some other infirmity.

Since I used semi-permanent hair color and kept using a lighter color, my hair just faded to white over several months. In preparation for my hair falling out from chemotherapy, my hairdresser and good buddy gave me a very short haircut. I get many compliments on the style and will return to it once my hair comes back.

I am only days away from being completely sans hair. When it falls out, it will be tougher than I can appreciate now, but I’ll rally as I always do with something amusing to say.

With a joke, I can handle anything.

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1 Response to "Bras, hair color & me"

My hair is quite white, and I love it. I imagine that I still look “prematurely white” HA! My own mother advised me when I was 40 that I’d better start coloring my hair “before it was too late”. I’ve always wondered too late for what? Enjoy the white hair, you are earning the right to flaunt it.

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