I’ve gotten all sorts of reactions from my newly shaved head. Some were predictable, others were just plain funny. All of them are worth writing down so I can remember them.
Nate still forgets occasionally. He’ll walk up to me, and I see a glimpse of surprise in his face, then he says “one of these days I’ll remember you shaved your head!”
The wig on the foam head in our room still takes both of us by surprise every now and then. And sometimes it’s creepy.
The boys didn’t react much. Noah didn’t even notice, which is typical. The only way he would notice my hair is if there were food stuck in it. Barrett stared pretty hard at me for about 30 seconds, then grinned and reached out for me to hold him. Whenever I put the wig on or off, Barrett laughs at me, but Noah has no clue anything changed.
Most strangers automatically think I have cancer and am having chemotherapy treatments. It’s surprising how many people go out of their way to offer encouragement and comfort because their mother or sister or father or best friend (or they personally) had cancer, and they want to make it easier on me. They usually start out with, “you know, my (insert relative here) had cancer and had to shave their head…” I get lots of tips on how to cope with chemotherapy. I am told on a regular basis that the chemo hairloss doesnt last long and it will grow back in no time, so hang in there! Of course, when I say “Actually, I don’t have cancer,” people aren’t sure how to respond.
Lots of people walk up to me, put a their hand on my arm, and say in a very sympathetic and sincere voice, “So…. how are you doing?” I have found that 100% of the time, these people also think I have cancer.
Sometimes it’s just a basic, “are you in treatment?” My favorite way to respond is to look confused and say, “For what?”
And of course there are those people who think I am just making a fashion statement. One girl stopped me and said, “your hair looks AWESOME. I love it. How did you get those cool designs shaved into it?” When I explained that the “cool designs” were are the spots where my hair fell out, she was a little embarrassed.
My neice, Jane Bradley (4), saw me without my wig on. She rubbed my head and said, “Nik-Nik, you look silly!” Later that night she told her mom, “Nik-Nik’s hair looks SO COOL! and I got to TOUCH IT!” So I guess that means I have a 4-year-old’s stamp of approval. But then, she is a pretty stylish and fashionable 4-year-old, so I will take it as a compliment.
I get lots of reminders to wear sunscreen…which is actually very helpful.
I get stared at by kids. (But I expected that.)
And as far as my own reaction – I was surprised that I liked it, and that it didn’t take long for me to get used to it. But I’ll confess that my shadow still totally creeps me out.
And thankfully, my friends and family have had exactly the reaction I needed… Y’all have been amazing, extremely supportive and encouraging, so THANK YOU! Y’all made something potentially difficult into something really simple and easy, and I’ll never forget it (: