More hair-raising stories

It’s the 19th October and two days to go before the start of chemo, but the appointment I am really dreading is pencilled in the diary for 11 o’clock this morning.  I have arranged to have my shoulder length hair cut. 

I have taken the decision to have it cut short – very short in fact – to lessen the blow of losing my current thick mop.  When the chemo starts to attack, the idea of losing bite size chunks of hair seems less scary than going from long tresses to bald overnight. 

The hairdresser is very excited at the challenge and hand hands me a book of styles.  She suggests something short and spiky – and points out a cute pixie hair cut.  I point out that as my face is more coalscuttle than elfin, I am not at all sure that a cute look is going to work.   

But I have yet to learn how to argue or even negotiate with my hairdresser so she goes ahead with her own idea anyway.  As the scissor splice through my highlighted locks I start to feel very sad.  Apart from the possibility of killing me, this is one of the darker sides of cancer. It is changing what I look like and taking something away from me.  I don’t think that short hair does much for me which is why I have avoided it since I was about ten years old. 

It doesn’t take long and suddenly I see someone quite different staring back from the mirror.  The hairdresser says it looks terrific but I think I have aged at least ten years.  Back home I tentatively put my head around the door, convinced that my husband will not like this.  Well he doesn’t go overboard but at least he doesn’t look too shocked.   

Then for the big surprise:  My daughters come to view the new me and not only do they say I look terrific (well they would say that wouldn’t they?) but they have both had their long hair cut in sympathy too.  The younger one has kept her hair and hands me a long thick blonde tress that I can use as a fringe under a turban or baseball cap.  They have both touched me in a way that’s impossible to describe.