Having your head shaved sort of compares to skydiving, I would imagine. I woke up on Monday morning with an excessive amount of hair left behind on my hairbrush. I noticed that my head was tingling all day that day. I imagined it was the follicles in my head letting go of the hair. It was so itchy, but I was too afraid to scratch my head in fear that the hair would fall right out! By Tuesday night it was coming out when I ran my hands through it! I hadn’t washed it since Sunday because of the horror stories I heard from other survivors that it came out in the shower! Wednesday morning I woke up and put my hands on my head to see it was still there instead of on the pillow and it was, whew. I made it! I made it to the appointed day to shave my head.
About a month ago I popped in a little boutique called “The Wig Cottage.” They specialize in helping survivors make the adjustment from hair loss to wigs and scarves. With my whole head of hair intact, the staff helped me pick out a wig that had the same texture, style and color as my very own hair. I tried on some fun wigs and each time I turned to my husband for his opinion. I’ll never forget the look on his face when I tried on the Lady Godiva wig. Long blonde wig, went down to my waist with surfer bangs. I looked about 18 and could see the real adventure of this wig thing… only to turn and look at him with a disappointed head nod… nope that one wasn’t the one!
Finally, I settle on the strawberry blonde “Malibu.” It was a perfect match even down to the roots! It looked like my hair on a really good hair day. I also picked out a baseball cap with extensions sown in and a nightcap. No, not shot of whiskey, a little flannel hat to keep my head warm at night-time because after all you lose 80% of your body heat through your head. There was special shampoo for my head and the wig too. Also, some soothing glaze for my itchy head.
All of these things where right there waiting for me at “The Wig Cottage.” I made the appointment exactly two weeks out from my 1st treatment as recommended by the staff there. I barely made it! I had a client in the morning and one in the afternoon. So, I thought getting my head shaved between clients on a lunch break was perfect. Although, I was a bit concerned that if it were an emotional experience; would I be able to carry on the day? That was the mauling thought as we pulled up in the parking lot. The morning distraction was sweet and I didn’t have a minute to think about it until I saw the “Wig Cottage” sign. Nervous and anxious, no return, big deep breath… okay, I’m ready.
I didn’t tell my stylist that I was a wreck inside. I’m sure she already knew. She simply turned my chair so I was looking into my husband’s eyes instead of the mirror. He stared back at me, never looking away. I heard the buzz of the shears and experienced the greatest relief of itchy head that is known to man. Oh my goodness, it felt so good. I know now why a dog’s leg moves when you scratch its belly. Ahhhhhh……………I didn’t even care that she was taking it off. No more worries that it’s going to fall out at the wrong time or suddenly. No more stray hair flying in my eyes, mouth and nose. I can wash and scratch my head! I think when people describe skydiving to me that’s what they are talking about. Scared to do it, but so glad they did!
Once she shaved my head she put my wig on immediately so still didn’t have to look at my bald head until I got home. I was so thankful! With
wig on, she turn me around and started to give me a hair cut by cutting the wig to perfection so it was custom to my face and taste. What a great experience. Once I finished my day and got home I was able to take the wig off and look at my head in the privacy of my own home. It wasn’t so bad. I found a few childhood scars that prompted some memories and stories that I repeated to my husband. Tried on my hat, used a hand-held mirror to see from every angle, and sent a few pictures of my bald head to those who asked, practiced putting on my wig and ended up just wearing a scarf for the rest of the evening.
Here’s the best part of the day. There was a package waiting for me when I got home. It was from a woman named Joy, who is a survivor. Inside the package was a scarf that Joy was passing on to me. The scarf was given to her by another survivor. She was also Stage II. The scarf is stunning and was purchased in Paris. She sent a beautiful card with it that had the most charming words of encouragement that congratulated me for making it through diagnosis and surgery so far. It was a message of Hope that arrived at precisely the right moment. Coincidence? No, that’s how much my God loves me and that’s how much He wants me to know that He is with me.