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Hair-Cutting Party

Yesterday, we cut off all of my hair! It was about 3 weeks after the start of my chemotherapy and for days and days previously it had been getting looser and looser. A couple of mornings ago I tugged it casually while driving and found 5 or six hairs came out in my hand. I realized it was the start! That evening we all sat around the dinner table together as usual, sharing about our day. I remembered about the hair and said “hey kids, look at this” and gave my hair a tug, I thought it was a rather weird party trick that would make them laugh…the kind of humor that would appeal to a couple of teenagers. However, in the intervening few hours my hairs had obviously grown a LOT looser and this time the entire clump of hairs I had pulled came out in my hand. They stuck upwards, follicles attached looking like one of those 70’s type fiber-optic lamps. We all stared at it in horror. Then Sean, my seventeen year old looked at me disbelievingly and choked “did you think that was funny, Mom?” “Well, I thought it would be, but I guess not” I trailed off lamely. I realized that the time had come to take action. So yesterday evening after dinner we had a hair cutting party. I thought it would be something we could do as a family, but when I told Sean about it, he gave me a “you’ve got to be kidding” look and muttered something unintelligible. That just left me, my husband Dan and five year-old Quincy at the party. Quin was absolutely delighted to cut my hair…what five year old girl wouldn’t, and hacked off all my hair to about one inch long. “Don’t cut my ears. Don’t cut my ears” I kept thinking. But I survived with both ears intact, and the older kids had still not emerged from their rooms. Dan finished me off with the hair shaver. The only problem was that we had thought it would remove all the hair to the skin and I would have a COOL bald look – think Sinead O’Connor or Demi Moore in GI Jane. But nooooooooo, it buzzed me to about 1/8 inch. You wouldn’t think that this was too bad except for two reasons. Firstly, I am in that approximately week long phase when due to the chemo your hair follicles HURT! That means that when you leave an 1/8 inch of hair and then put anything on top (read hat, wig, scarf etc) it feels like having lots of little needles stuck into your scalp. Secondly, it does not look COOL, it looks moth-eaten! But my precious Quin, when we had finished the buzz cut, stood in front of me with her head to one side looking at me and said, “Mama, I think when the little hairs go, you will look like a pretty egg!”. That just made my day!

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