To Shave Or Not To Shave...
To Shave Or Not To Shave…That is the question. I never considered myself a vain person, but when I found out I had cancer, my first thought was “I don’t want to lose my hair!”. Obviously, life is more important, but that’s not where my mind went. When I found out that I would lose my hair, then I had to decide how I was going to lose it. Do I let the chemo decide how I lose my hair, or should I take the control myself. The answer is actually very personal and one that is not an easy decision to make.
I can only speak for myself. I will say that the process of finding out one has cancer, determining the treatment, and then to start treatment process, is a series of events that spiral to the point where one feels like one has no control. I did not want cancer, I didn’t even want to think about my options and I absolutely didn’t want to go down the road to treatment. The problem is…You don’t always get what you want!
Bald…Oh No! Not only did I need to decide what I was going to do about my hair loss, I also needed to decide how to present myself to the world, without hair. Yikes! I needed reinforcements. My daughter, Jessica, and daughter-in-law, Jill, were the perfect solutions. A wig? Head Scarves? Just being bald? I knew both these young ladies would tell it to me straight as far as what looked best for me. It was an emotional yet fun time!
I’ve always had a kind of ‘Pollyanna’ way of thinking. For younger people who don’t understand the term ‘Pollyanna", it‘s a title that describes one as always looking for the good side of things. I look to find the good, even in bad situations. In the case of my hair loss, I decided not only to shave my head, but to have a shaving party. There’s always a good reason for a party!
I know that some people have shaving parties with all their friends and family and some just go to the hairdresser to get it over with. Others hold on to their last strand of hair. For me, I wanted to be surrounded by my immediate family. My friends and extended family would always be there for me, but I knew that it would be an emotional task and I wanted the ability to laugh or cry without worrying about how it affected other people.
This was the right choice for me. It was stressful and very emotional, yet I felt that I could react however I needed to. I didn’t have to put on a face of strength and I could just be myself. It was one of the most intimate experiences with my family and it was the best decision for me to make.
Cancer journeys taken are very personal. It always seems like there is something new that one needs to deal with. I tried to listen to as many people’s ideas as possible about how to cope with various roadblocks. My best advice is to listen to others, but in the end, listen to your heart and you won’t go wrong.
To Shave Or Not To Shave…You Decide!