Unhairbrained Ideas & Me
Posted October 7, 2009on:
I am probably the only woman on chemotherapy eagerly awaiting her hair loss. And, no, it hasn’t happen yet.
I’ve been running my fingers through my hair all week, looking for signs that it is coming out. I felt an occasional loose hair, maybe more today than yesterday. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂
As my friend, Gayda, said, “You’ll wear a hole in that one spot.” Another friend said her hair is probably thinning faster than mine.
Patience, it seems, has eluded me once again and has manifested itself in this hair loss thing. Or more baldly and technically said, baldness.
Why in the world would I be tapping my fingers waiting for something that could be so traumatic?
The first reason – and only the first – is I have a memory tape playing in my head. It is related to a conversation I had with a social worker after Matt died in 1986. I said Matt was diagnosed in an era when they had so much success in treating childhood leukemia that researchers were trying to see how little chemo they could give and still be successful. He obviously needed more.
The social worker said over the years she had observed that the kids who did best with cancer lost all their hair. It wasn’t said in a mean or unkind way. But more matter of fact. Matt’s hair thinned, but did not go away completely.
That memory tape switch, long in the off position in the recesses of my mind, is now back on. So yes, even though research does not link hair loss to chemo success, in my mind it is a possibility. So hair, go away.
Now that is an unhairbrained idea.
So how will I cope? Will I consider it to be just another part of my breast cancer dragging? Or will I become overwhelmed with sadness or anguish? (By the way, breast cancer journey sounds too unfunny for me, so I call it my breast cancer dragging or forced march).
Here’s another unhairbrained idea.
I’ve had this plan since my surgery that I would have photos taken of myself as various bald people – TV detective Telly Sevalas with his Tootsie Roll Pop, Yul Brynner by the Ten Commandments, Demi Moore as G.I. Jane, Homer Simpson (with a blue wigged Marge), Sinaed O’Connor tearing up a photo, Ghandi wrapped in a pink sheet, and Uncle Fester from the Adams Family. I thought I could pose by the heron sculptures in La Crosse, too, as “The hair-ons and Hair-off.”
I just need props.
My friend, Jen, agreed to take the photos. She is a terrific photographer and gets my humor.
For me, it’s a way to embrace my balditude. I welcome suggestions for other characters.
Another friend thought these photos could be turned into a fundraising calendar for breast cancer screenings at Franciscan Skemp where I get my care. That would be wonderful. Instead of the naked ladies calendar, it would be the naked head calendar. I probably couldn’t get it out until 2011, but … maybe a few for 2010 if I can get it done in time.
And if it’s a calendar, I’ll also need to be dressed as a bald pumpkin and as a snowman. Imagine me as a pinup girl – Miss January, Miss February, Miss March, etc.
Friends also ordered pink Pinky Pie wristbands, which are available for donations to Franciscan Skemp for breast cancer screenings. I’m Pinky Pie, of course, the name given me by my mom so many years ago that I grew to hate and now love.
All this, from my pink clown noses, the Pinky Pie wristbands to my balditude photos, are ways for me to cope, make some jokes, embrace my unhairness and maybe do some good for others.