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Buck-Headed Naked

July 9, 2010

Yesterday, while running around with my mom (which is a blog entry all on it’s own) I decided I was going to go without a hat. Naked on the head.

The Big Nugget shaved off my gollum-like hairs that never left my head, even continued to grow! Now I have a smattering of shorty, gray hairs all over my  head but none of them are sticking out, like they had been. According to those weird gray hairs, my hair grows rapidly. Unless they were weird hairs that thrived on the chemo. I haven’t seen any information on that over at cancer dot org.

It really bugs me that I have to ponder this at all. I had chemo. I lost my hair. It will probably grow back. Why in the fuck do I have to wear anything on my head? It’s not for me. It’s for the ignorant bigots that a bald-headed woman offends.

I am not enabling the ignorant bigots anymore. I am not going to wear a damned thing on my head unless it’s to protect my head from the sun.

I wish I’d felt this strong throughout my chemo, but it’s really hard to be strong about your appearance when you’re dealing with chemo-induced sickness topped with the fear of death.

But now I am done with the chemo and I’m ready to almost believe that this cancer isn’t going to kill me. (I can’t wait for the day when I no longer fear that this bout of the stupid breast cancer is going to kill me. Come see me in 5 years.)

It’s one thing to run around with your mother (or anyone else) without a hat. I’m stronger when I’ve got a sidekick. Even a goofy one, like my mother. It’s a whole different ballgame when I’m running around all by myself. I almost feel, dare I say it, timid?

So today I wondered, to hat or not to hat, before running out to the gas station, the bank (both drive-thru) and the grocery store.

Fuck it. It’s summer. It’s hot. I went without a hat.

On the way to get gas (what is this, the 3rd time this week? Hello Thing 2? Get a job!) the windshield wiper light, indicating that I was low on fluid, went on. After filling the car with gas, I parked the car and went in to the gas station. A local chain of gas stations (Holiday for those of you in Minnesota).

I made eye contact and said hello to the employees. In front of the check-out counter were 2 guys from the corporate office. I know this because they were talking corporate-like stuff about some pump issues this particular store was having. They moved out of the way to let me get to the counter. One of the corporate guys and I had a little conversation that went like this:

Corporate Guy (CG): Hi. How’s it going?

Me: Good. How are you doing?

CG: Pretty average.

Me: C’mon. You’re doing better than average!

CG: Well, I’m getting old. My belly’s getting fat and I’m losing my hair.

Me: Dude! Thanks for rubbing it in that you have hair and I don’t (I laughed)

CG: (laughing) Sorry!

Me: At least my hair will grow back!

Lordy, how we, the other corporate guy, and the guy behind the counter laughed. He laughed maybe a little too hard (hourly wages vs. salaried guys in button-shirts, I’m guessing)

This is the shit I’ve been missing all these months. Then again, I was sick and weak, would I have found him funny before? Probably not. Well, probably I would have.

I had another fun conversation at the grocery store. They’ve seen me for months with my hats on and this is probably the first time I’ve gone in without my head covered.  It was such a relief to stop hiding under those hot hats. Even though they’re just little cotton hats, they’re still hot and confining.

I got cancer. I got chemo. I got bald. I’m now on  hair watch, 24/7. And I’m forcing everyone else to hair watch, too.

Big fucking deal. I’m a bald-headed woman. People stare. I plan on looking back and giving them a smile. If they are cranky about it, well, I wish them luck. I love chatting with cranky people.

Of course I’ve decided to take on this battle mere days to weeks before the hair starts to come back. I’ve never been good with the timing. But hey, one bald-headed woman taking a stand for all the bald-headed women around her is worth however many bald-headed days she’s got left.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2010 1:08 pm

    Good for you. It’s been too damn hot here lately to be wearing a hat!

    The thought that gray hair is resistant to chemo is frightening… 🙂

  2. July 9, 2010 1:09 pm

    Hehe, I love that you told the guy that at least your hair will grow back! I still don’t get why people would be offended by a bald woman. But then I don’t get people anyhow.

    I have admired you throughout this ordeal of yours how you’ve still kept your humor and wit. Sure, you haven’t felt like being witty on some of your bad days — but it was still there, just under the surface. You’re an amazing lady, KLo. True story.

  3. July 9, 2010 1:52 pm

    Melissa Etheridge.

  4. July 9, 2010 2:29 pm

    I miss you!!! Smiling on a Friday…

  5. Beth permalink
    July 9, 2010 2:52 pm

    Hey I think being comfortable trumps being hot.

    That said, may I ask, if I were to see you in somewhere is it more polite for me to look and not say a thing and just consider a bald head a style statement, or would you hope I would care enough to ask how you are?

    I would never want to hurt someone’s feelings, but I know if I were to see someone (you even!) I would note the bald head and I believe before I could even control any reaction, I would have a split second of wonder on my face.

    Look at you! I’m asking you to speak for the entire bald-headed-surviving cancer population.

    Stay strong and cool, your friend in Stillwater.

    • July 9, 2010 4:39 pm

      Beth – I totally understand where you’re coming from. To say something or not to say something. I think it’s better to say something. If a woman is strong enough to walk around bald in a non-bald-woman world, it doesn’t hurt to say “You go girl!” But that’s just me. However, I’m going to assume that anyone willing to walk around like I’m doing, is more than happy to get support from strangers. I just wish it weren’t such an issue. But it really is.

  6. July 9, 2010 3:27 pm

    KLo is back! Woot!

  7. July 10, 2010 6:41 am

    Bald power!

  8. July 11, 2010 11:44 am

    This kind of reminds me of when I was about 21 and decided I shouldn’t have to be self-conscious about the hair on my legs. To prove I had the self-esteem and strength to accept my body in its natural state, I stopped shaving my legs. It was mostly blond, but fairly bushy on my calves, and definitely noticeable, and people were shocked when I appeared in shorts. Some friends still talk about it and chuckle.
    Anyway, I went back to shaving my legs once I realized that I wasn’t shaving them to please anyone else, but because *I* preferred to see them looking smooth and silky.
    All surface stuff, compared to what you’re going through. But it just reminds me, that’s all.
    I think I’d go bald too, in your shoes; the only reason I might not is the same reason I don’t go braless in public — I don’t want the extra attention.

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