Today was the day I was going to lose my hair. About a week ago, I cut it shorter as I was too tired to take care of the long hair any more. But last night it started falling out into my hand as I tried to wet it down with water, so I knew the end was near. People at the clinic recommended just shaving it when that started happening because they said it was messy and comes out in patches. I knew it was going to be an emotionally trying day, so I called my fun sister over and told her it couldn’t be done without her. I spent most of the morning at Huntsman running tests and such. By 1:00 we were home, met by my darling sister with bags full of scarves, hats and hairless options. After a brief fashion show by Sondra, we browsed through some wig catalogs to find an appropriate wig. Sharon (my darling friends and daily caregiver) was pushing the Jacqlyn Smith wig with the “flirty bangs”, Sondra recommended we not forget the Raquel Welch wig series. We settled on trying some on before buying. With that decision made, Sharon made us a wonderful lunch of whole wheat pasta with pesto, kalmata olives and watermelon.
After lunch, I had worked up enough courage to do the deed, so I retrieved a brand new, unopened pair of electric hair clippers I had bought originally to take back to Mexico for my boys’ hair. Conveniently, I had not sent them off with Paul.
Sondra retrieved a plastic lawn chair and insisted we do this in the shade under the apple tree. Sharon found me a pillow and an ice pack to sit on during the experience so I could keep working on certain “therapies”. Sondra found a very long orange extension cord and we wrapped a towel around my neck, double ports and all. For added protection, we cut open a white trash bag to protect the port. She shaved me down using a #3 and then used the micro shaver to get a closer shave. I don’t know really what my boys complain about when I give them buzz cuts, because it felt kind of buzzy and sort of good. Now I can tell them I really know what it feels like. Both Sharon and Sondra complimented my head shape (a bit TOO much), which they swear is not deformed in the least. You will just have to take their word for that, because you will never see that for yourself. Once she was done, she washed my head and it felt very mentholated, even though we were just using $1.99 Pantene shampoo. No more need for conditioner and Sharon says she can always use more, so we have a definite plan for the conditioner in my bathroom. Sondra wrapped a t-shirt around my head in the fashion shown me by my terrific mentor, Sarah.
At this point I was totally ready to bawl. It is true that I have had a love/hate relationship with my hair over the years, but in reality it has been mostly a love affair. I started to burst into tears and Sondra could see it coming, so she suggested we grab a lawn chair and spend some time outside in the shade to gain some composure. Sharon brought out chocolate and ice waters and took the “after” picture which you will never see. We all sat outside and chatted about family, friends and things happening in our lives.
After a pause, Sharon brightly said, “Well girls, this is just like a spa day!” The thought of sitting on an plastic lawn chair, pillow and ice pack getting my hair shaved completely off reminded of no spa experience I’ve ever had. Sharon insisted that we had shopped, had fashion moments, gotten a haricut, had Megan paint my toes the day before, and eaten chocolate while relaxing outside. It was well noted that it was completely FREE!
The irony hit me so hard I laughed harder than I have in years. What should have been a day of trauma was a day made bright and fun by my sister and friend. It will be a cherished memory for the rest of my life. Sondra professes to have a secret desire to be Sinead Oconnor (I’ll believe it when I see it), but Sharon was comforted that I had not wanted anyone to be a “shave buddy” and encourage others to share the head shaving experience.
Do I feel beautiful? Not quite yet and probably not until I get real hair back, but what a fun day. Just know that you too can have a FREE spa day in the Bentley back yard but that it might involve an ice pack, an extension cord and and electric clippers, but that it will be under the apple tree in the the cool breezes of August. Sharon will throw in some chocolate. It’s on the house.