Thursday, January 18, 2018

When a shave and a haircut are the same thing

May 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Patricia's Journey

Our favorite fish and burger grill

Tonight I went to dinner at the Kahuku Grill with Laurie and Beth sans hat or wig.  Going to dinner the day after chemo? Priceless.  Prior to dinner Laurie used her clippers to give me a shave and a haircut, which for me are the same thing.  It was time to see what this scalp looked like without the distraction of scraggly gray hair.  Beth is a cancer survivor as well and remembers the emotions of having her hair shaved off.

My favorite barber... or is it barberette?

It was a bit unnerving at first to be out in public completely bald.  What led up to the choice to do this was a realization I had a couple of days ago as to why I didn’t want to go out without at least a cap or hat on my head.  The stares from people were sometimes uncomfortable even with a cap on.  What would it be like completely bald?  As I thought about the people’s curiosity, it was my perception people were looking at me as a sick person. Perhaps they were wondering what my diagnosis was and my prognosis.  It is a rare sighting to see a bald woman, so it must be bad news.  I didn’t want that energy projected at me from others.  Then I laughed as I realized I already had that energy running in me.  As I thought about this, it was clear these were my perceptions of how I had been seeing myself and I was projecting it onto others and they were simply reflecting it back to me. People are our mirrors.

Two weeks ago this self image began to shift.  Previously when I would would awaken in the morning the first thought was “Oh, yeah, I’m having this cancer experience.”   Then one morning two weeks ago, I woke up and forgot about my cancer experience.  I went about my morning and it was over an hour before I had the conscious thought.  This was prompted by taking my morning supplements and remembering the purpose for some of them.  Even then, it was a consciousness that separated my Self from my body.   Just a noticing and no emotional impact.  This morning as I was making coffee I noticed my stomach felt a little queasy. I wondered why and then I remembered  I had chemo yesterday.  I had completely forgotten.  It finally feels grounded in me that I am not my cancer.  It was a milestone moment.   And it has stuck.    Might people be staring for another reason?   Maybe wondering if I was a rock star or trendsetter or donated all my hair to a charity to make wigs for other people who lost their hair?   Or my favorite…I lost a bet.

Laurie, Me the Rock Star and Beth

During dinner, I was waiting for someone to stare…yet no one did!  When I do catch a curious onlooker, I want to laugh and tell them “I lost the bet!”  Then they can wonder what the bet was about.  If they ask, what do you think I should say?

Comments

6 Responses to “When a shave and a haircut are the same thing”
  1. Gerardo says:

    You would say, “I bet that if I shaved my head, people would stare at me – but I did and they don’t, so I lost the bet”.

    XOXO!!!

    Gerardo

  2. Jan Johnson says:

    I think you are simply gorgeous! Not many people can get away with being bald and great earrings….showing off that gorgeous face. There is your bet…do I look as gorgeous with no hair as with long hair. You win both work!!! :-)

  3. Laurie says:

    Patricia, I would tell them you were the last one in the group to make it to the top of Mt. Everest.

  4. Christine says:

    I helped a girlfriend about 30 years ago with a haircut/shave. It was Haloween and we were going to a bar in KC to a costume contest. I was going as a wizard and she as an alien (like from space). She made our costumes (which I still have mine) and went to the contest. We won 1st place, split the prize money, and there were quite a few people that approached her angry saying..”I can’t believe you shaved your head for a costume contest”…Finally she started responding…”no, I shaved for chemotherapy”…lol. It was quite the evening.
    I’m so glad you are having fun and it is amazing what we project on others. Takes the steam out of thinking we are puny and powerless!

    Love your stories, perspectives and most of all you.

  5. Steve says:

    Patricia, I would tell them you were the last one in the group to make it to the top of Mt. Everest.

  6. Steve says:

    I think you are simply gorgeous! Not many people can get away with being bald and great earrings….showing off that gorgeous face. There is your bet…do I look as gorgeous with no hair as with long hair. You win both work!!! :-)

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