Shaving my head on the 14th

Many thanks to my cousin Laura for scoring a gorgeous wig for me, and to the hairdresser she works with for styling the wig today. What sweethearts. When I want, I can look like myself – the color and style are amazingly like my own.

I’m set up to have my head shaved on the 14th in the morning; my friend Hallie has this very cool hairdresser who used to live on a commune, she’s a sweetheart. And I really like the salon, just a very comfortable funky place. It makes me calm to be there. So I’m happy having her shave the locks. Actually I’m a little excited about it – it feels slightly shocking, which this whole experience should be, there’s something about being changed on the outside rather than pinkwashing* it (making cancer seem ok on the surface, when really it’s not). ….somehow it feels like it’ll actually be closer to being really ok if I look more changed….and it’s a chance to be a little radical and do something I would never would other wise do.

But I’m sure as heck going to want a great head covering coming out of the appt!! Which is why my friend Jen is sending me buff headwear – Thanks Jen!!

And to my mom for coming up for chemo tomorrrow. And to my aunt and her friend Steve, and my new internet breast cancer friends for all their tips on getting by and getting through. Because it’s scary as hell but I will get through it.

Finally, many thanks to Hallie and Mariana for making CDs to go to chemo by. As Mariana says, I will “breathe through my ears.”

Hugs to you all, wish me luck.


* footnote: though Barbara Ehrenreich doesn’t use the phrase “pink-washing,” it is, in essence, what her essay Welcome to Cancer Land is about. To understand the following quote, know that it starts out with her rage about being given a pink teddybear when diagnosed with breast cancer:

“No, this is not my sisterhood. For me at least, breast cancer will never be a source of identity or pride. As my dying correspondent Geni wrote: “IT IS NOT O.K.!” What it is, along with cancer generally or any slow and painful way of dying, is an abomination, and, to the extent that it’s manmade, also a crime. This is the one great truth that I bring out of the breast-cancer experience, which did not, I can now report, make me prettier or stronger, more feminine or spiritual-only more deeply angry. What sustained me through the “treatments” is a purifying rage, a resolve, framed in the sleepless nights of chemotherapy, to see the last polluter, along with, say, the last smug health insurance operative, strangled with the last pink ribbon. Cancer or no cancer, I will not live that long of course. But I know this much right now for sure: I will not go into that last good night with a teddy bear tucked under my arm.”



Filed under breast cancer, chemo, hair loss

3 responses to “Shaving my head on the 14th

  1. Mary McLaughlin

    Yesterday was the big day, your intro to chemo. I hope it isn’t as bad as you (or maybe just me!) anticipated it would be. Lots of warm thoughts headed your way.

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