I have gotten such lovely feedback about Beauty and the Bald, and also some shares which I really appreciate! I write because I love writing and always have so much to say that I feel if I said it all verbally, people would always be walking away from me, but I also think I have something to share and I love to see what I wrote appreciated and passed along.
Since that post something has been on my mind. A lot of people have talked about how brave I am. I don’t really know if I’m brave and I don’t think cancer has anything to do with, I think crossing the starting line for my first half marathon was a lot more brave than being in cancer treatment and walking around bald, because these are scary things I don’t feel like I have much choice about!
With regards to walking around bald, I don’t do it because I’m brave (or strong, or whatever lovely things people have said), I do it because it’s what’s comfortable for me. I would hate for anybody facing hair loss to read that blog post and think there was something wrong with them if they chose to not walk around bald. There isn’t.
When I first realized I would most likely need chemo, I assumed that I would cover my head at all times, I assumed I would even cover it at home in front of my family so that nobody would ever have to be subjected to baldy Jill. I read on bulletin boards about women that wanted to wear wigs but were so uncomfortable they couldn’t, and hoped that wouldn’t happen to me because I loved the idea of having wigs more gorgeous than my own hair (which I do) and wearing them all the time (which I don’t, I have worn a wig for exactly 3 hours in the last week, I did for dinner with my family last Sunday, I was so uncomfortable I took it off in the car before driving home). Obviously assuming I’ll be covered at all times at home was silly, I am in my own home and I need to be comfortable! However there certainly are many women that choose to cover their bald heads at all times out of the home and every time somebody visits, and they are no less brave than me. I decided to start walking around bald because I’m not comfortable in wigs, do not like how scarves look (this may change, I will certainly experiment with them more in the spring, since it’s winter right now hats just make sense anyway), and sometimes hats make my head too hot or start to give me a headache. If I was comfortable enough in any of the options to wear them all day long, “rocking bald” never would’ve happened and it would not make me a different person than I am now.
Choosing to share it on my blog and Facebook also did not make me brave, it was just something I did.
I chose to share my bald head for 3 reasons:
1. To prepare my friends and family members for when they see me. It seems a bit easier to do online (with a great selfie!) than in person.
2. Because over the years I have often shared beauty tips on this blog, and it seemed like an opportunity to do that again, with a little bit of an extra twist.
3. Because I want to use my blog to help teach people a bit about living with a cancer diagnosis and treatment, particularly people that are facing it, but also anybody else that is interested. After all we are old touched by cancer!
Since so many people are asking, here is what I find difficult about wigs:
1. Once it is on, you can’t really take it off and take a rest from it. I guess you could, but it would be weird if you didn’t do it in private. The other day I was standing in line at Starbucks and got hot, I took my hat off and held it in my hand for a while. That would look really odd to do with a wig!
2. Even though they seem so nicely styled, I still find it quite hard to get them right. Which also goes back to my first point. If you take it off, it’s not so easy to put it back on. It’s not like a hat: you need a mirror and some time. I do anyways.
3. I cannot tuck my hair behind my ears. That drives me crazy when I am reading or eating.
4. Although I would not say that they hurt, I do not find any of my wigs particularly comfortable. They press on my head in a way I don’t like, and one has a lace front that I find itchy. I have one that my friend’s mother loaned me that seems quite comfortable, but when I put it on I immediately look like my own mother, who is lovely but who I do not wish to look like. I have considered buying one by the same manufacturer (Raquel Welch) in a style I like more, because this one is so comfortable, but I’m just not sure that it’s reasonable to do that at this point, now that I’ve started to feel okay without them.
****If you are considering getting a wig, please do not let my issues turn you off (and check out Raquel Welch!). There are many women that wear wigs every single day for many different reasons; religion or alopecia or chemo or style. I assume if I forced myself to wear my wigs more, I would eventually get more comfortable with them, but I’m just not inclined to do so. Likely it would be easier if I was not working and could do it a few hours at a time (which I did do on my chemo week), but once I put one on at 7 AM, it will be there until 5 PM, and I just know I cannot tolerate that!