I ask myself this question when I catch my reflection in a mirror or shiny car window, etc. I know what the answer is, you are the same old you, silly woman, you just look different, so take a moment and recognize your new outer self. I do laugh at my thoughts most of the time, especially after that first glance in the mirror with bed head in the morning. I usually shake off the negative self image thoughts because I know this (hair loss) is not something I can really control and I just have to remind myself that it just means the chemo is working which means more days with you. I am at the point now that there is no managing my real hair any more. It is just too thin and patchy and I look like a mix of a stray wired haired dog and Bozo the clown. Frizzy stringy curly mess. Why don’t I just shave my head you ask? Quite simple. I promised Rick I wouldn’t. Since diagnosis he has never really asked anything of me except this one thing, not to shave my head. He won’t really give me a reason why. He just asks, “please don’t”. …..So I don’t……. If this is all that keeps him happy then so be it. I can certainly respect his wishes especially since he has removed all stress from my life aside from the fighting cancer stress. Besides, he is the one that has to look at me more than I look at myself. If he is okay with it, then so am I.
However, hats, ball caps, wigs, and especially my happy coloured bandanas keep me looking and feeling normal. Usually it’s the bandana choice, especially when I am just hanging out at home or running errands or being with family. The wigs or hair hats come out for special date nights or just when I don’t want to be out in public and be a token face of cancer. It’s nice to blend in without getting pity looks from strangers.
So last Thursday I went to London for the CT scan on my lungs. This is a routine scan to investigate if the cancer has spread from my liver to my lungs. (this is the next progression of colon cancer) It starts in your colon (intestines), then liver, then lungs, then yep, death. Scanxiety has already set in as I have to wait 2 weeks for the results.
Enough with the medical crap. I want to share a fun story with you. Sure it was a medical appointment trip but my friend Sher D. came with me this time. The main purpose was the CT scan, however the hour’s drive to London would definitely warrant some retail therapy, nice lunch out and of course an ice cream treat for the ride home. I love spending time with Sher because quite simply she is very easy to talk with. We talk about just everything. Sometimes we talk so much that we don’t finish our original thought or story because we both get sidetracked and finish our thoughts an hour later! Oh well, with my chemo brain moments and her sense of humour we manage just fine. We can “stay with group”, well at least our tiny group of two. I haven’t known her for too long, but I feel like it’s been forever. I just want to soak in her friendship and kind, sharing spirit. She is a beautiful soul and not to mention that she can rock a bikini and she has 14 years on me. Such a lucky woman!
Here’s my point……. back to the wigs. So I decided to try out my new brunette wig for the first time. It’s kind of a dark colour for summer, but it is the closest to my true hair. It has bangs and a nice layered cut, a few inches past my shoulders in length. I really like it, and no, I haven’t named her yet, that’s Rick’s job. Anyway, Sher had been with me for most of the day. Here we are shopping at HomeSense. We got separated while we browsed. I caught glimpse of her a couple of isles away and started walking toward her to catch up with her. As I got closer to her she was standing still with an odd expression on her face. I asked her what’s up, she giggled at herself. She said she looked at me but didn’t see “me”. She thought to herself —-that is a pretty lady. Oh boy, I could really have some naughty fun with these wigs/other personalities if I wanted to. I thanked her for the compliment and even though my head was itchy and it was too hot and humid outside to be wearing a wig, I kept in on because she reminded me that I can hide from cancer…. sometimes. Thank you Sher!