Week 18-To wig or not to wig…

Oh, whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the stares and creased eyebrows,

Or to take arms against a sea of looks and by wigging, end them.

To wig, to hair, no more..the looks

And by having fake hair to say we end the embarrassed pauses and and infinite natural shocks that having cancer is heir to; ‘tis a decision devoutly to be decided. To wig, to hair?

Strangely, I wrote this slightly amended version of Shakespeare a few weeks ago, just as I was about to contemplate hair shaving, only to discover last week that someone else going through a cancer experience had written something similar.  Clearly, there is something about the tragi/comedy that Shakespeare is so adept at that resonates with all of us on this cancer expedition, because it is ridiculous in the extreme.

Whatcha wiggin at?

In terms of the wig thing, personally, and I may change my mind in 2/3 weeks, so don’t hold me to this, but I really do wonder who the wig is for.

Is it for me, so that I feel more comfortable, or for you, so that you feel more comfortable?

Certainly, if it turns out to be something that my son is uncomfortable with, then wearing one will have to be reconsidered, but otherwise, I think I am happy enough with my bald head and wearing hats.

Pieces of eight…

I had a couple of my cancer nurses look at me in puzzlement when I said that I was unlikely to get a perruque (wig), or as I put it, perroquet (parrot).  The puzzlement was less over my choice of words than it was over my decision to not ‘hide’ my chemo treatment. In terms of the parrot, I think I would be more than happy to work with that, after all, Long John Silver had one leg and a parrot, surely, I could work with one boob and a parrot?

It is a weird feeling to suddenly have no hair- your showers are much quicker, but everytime you see a tiny bit of hair growing, you think ‘ah! maybe I should have held off with the shaving for a bit longer?’  The truth is however, that so much hair fell out of my head that I did have enough to fill a bird’s nest and I think I would have been working with a Trump-esque style combover had it stayed in much longer.

I am woman, hear me roar…or not

Society dictates that as a woman, your hair defines much of what the world conceives about you- are you funky, crazy, a librarian?   I have been through my fair share of hairstyles over the years, only to settle down into the longish blonde number that so many of us move to as we get older because a) it doesn’t need much maintenance and b) it hides the grey.

I can only think that if I was a man instead of a woman, unless my name WAS Donald Trump, then losing my hair would hardly be an issue-it is the fact that it is so ensconced as being part of our femininity that is the issue.

I am woman, hear me roar!

On a more brutal level, my baldness is a sacrifice that I am making to extend my life and get well.  It is the result of pumping poison into my body in order to kill the nasty little cells that have given me cancer and started this whole expedition in the first place.  I am comfortable with that, so I hope you can be too.


  • Kate

    For what it’s worth, I am totally comfortable with that! I agree with you, if a small person (one of mine, not really bothered about the others) was weirded out by my bald head then I may reconsider, but the chances are it’s going to happen to their dad, so hopefully they’d be cool with it happening to me. Well done on this blog, love the writing. Clearly I wish the content could be different but you’re sharing some amazing stuff which I’m sure will help many, whether going through it directly, indirectly, or not at all. Yet. Xx

  • Michelle

    You are so brave. Do what is right for you. Do not worry what people think, they will get over it. Max hugs will give you the strength you need to fight this breast.

    Sending hugs

    Harley & Michelle x

  • Jude

    Totally comfortable, and so well voiced, love your writing style, so ‘on point’ as it’s now trendy to say :-0 xx You have a lovely shaped head mrs xx you will rock the many hats and scarves you’ll need to keep that gorgeous head of yours warm now winter is setting in xx hope to catch you soon.

  • Madge

    I’ve just found your blog. I started my first round of EC on Monday after a mastectomy a month ago. (UK). They tell you what side effects you might have but some people seem to be up and about quite quickly in the first week. I’m on day 4 now and feel so heavy and weak and as if the insides of my body are falling out (like pixels in a film). It’s been good to follow your journey and the very best of luck with the rest of your treatment. I hope will soon both come out the other side to our new life.

    • Lisa O

      Hi Madge- everyone is completely different- the most important thing is to not beat yourself up- you will have good days and bad days, but each one down takes you closer to the light at the end of the tunnel xx

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