10 days after surgery, I waddled (literally) into Lake St. Louis Wigs and Cuts. My back was out from being hunched over because of surgery and I didn’t feel the greatest, but this was something I wanted to have checked off the list before my first chemo treatment. I had no idea where to begin looking and I didn’t have the energy to do the research – no problem, Sonya was all over it! She made the calls, did the necessary research and we’d collectively decided this was where we were headed.
Meet Heidi, who loves her job and makes the entire process as easy as possible- bubbly, upbeat and more than happy to help! She was the best! I must have tried on 5-6 different wigs…different colors, different lengths, different cap styles. I finally settled on one style, in a shade lighter than what they had in the store. Sonya and my mom were with me and confirmed it was the one! It was a bitter-sweet moment…being the planner I am, I had one more thing checked off the list that was needed. Knowing that I bought it because I would be losing my hair was where reality set it.
A week later, the wig was in and I needed to pick it up. I had one week until I started chemotherapy and I had no idea how I would feel, this was something I wanted to do prior to then…only catch is, I really could have cared less and pretty much was dreading it. Nancy called to see what she could help me with, I told her I needed to go pick up my wig, but didn’t want to go by myself. “No problem, I’ll come with you and we can grab lunch.” My mom had some things she needed to take care of with her father (he’s near the end of Stage IV Lung Cancer. Yes, he was a smoker. No, it’s not genetic), she didn’t think she’d be able to make it. As luck would have it, his appointment didn’t last too long and she was able to join us. I’m not sure they noticed…I never asked…but I was very quiet on the way out there and home. This was the last thing I wanted to be doing. The “excitement” I thought I might have wasn’t there. It looked great, everything was just as I would have wanted, but I wasn’t okay.
Now, you may ask why I have a wig if I don’t wear it. The answer is twofold – I wanted to do everything possible to make my baldheadedness “normal” for the children and I really was frightened by the idea of not having any hair.
Olivia is one smart cookie, I knew she’d pick up on the looks I’d get…you know, the ones where they stare just a little too long. Yes, it happens more often than you’d think. I wasn’t sure how her friends would take the whole thing and I didn’t want for anything to upset her. The plan was to always have the wig on when I was with the kids. To date, I’ve had the wig on one time when I’ve been with the children.
I had no idea what I would look like, I wasn’t happy at all about the hair loss but knew it was something that was going to happen. Originally I had no intention of going bald, unless I was at home. I had no idea what I would look like and I wasn’t too happy about the whole hair loss thing. The plan was that I would have my wig, a scarf or a ball cap on at all times. I’d convinced myself I’d get two – one short, one long, one brown, one blonde. What ended up happening was one, long blonde wig…Olivia and I actually now have the same hair color, which she loves!
I didn’t think I’d be as confident without hair as I am…it’s a side of me I didn’t know I had in me. It’s a pleasant surprise, one that I am proud of, one that my old self, not too many years ago, wouldn’t have been able to pull off. I’ll be honest, most of the time I don’t even realize it’s gone, except for when I get a cold breeze or the sun is beating down, or I get the little too long stare. People commend me all the time for being able to do so. Will you see me from time to time with my wig…most definitely. More times than not though, it will be my beautiful bald head staring right back ‘atcha, there’s your warning! I’m embracing this temporary loss of hair.