In this post I’m chatting about cancer and wigs. To Wig or Not to Wig. That is the question. Cancer is such a personal journey that it came as a shock when people started telling me, the bad ass unicorn, what covering should go on my bald little head. Really? Yes. And apparently it was really upsetting to a few of my peeps when I decided not to wear a wig.
I was at a party and my friend Steve approached me demanding to know why I wasn’t wearing a wig. It hurt my feelings. Deeply. I also realize that the scarf around my head reminded everyone I had cancer. I ignored Steve for the rest of the evening cause he was being an asshole. Interesting thought, men who lose their hair through treatment aren’t expected to wear a wig, but women are? It’s just another example of our double standards.
Jane, Margaret and Sara were no better, they “pressured” me to wear a wig by constantly offering to buy me a wig or loan me one of theirs. This after I repeatedly said I didn’t want a wig. The “pressure” was demeaning, as if I wasn’t good enough just as I was. And it was my friend Leigh who watched some of this non-sense take place on Facebook and sent me a soft and colorful Boho Bandeau. I cried when I received it. She got it and I love her for it.
I am sharing my reasons for not wearing a wig. If you think cancer patients should wear wigs, then I really want you to pay attention to the following.
#1. It was just one more thing. There were days I literally struggled to get to the bathroom. Fussing over a wig was not a priority.
#2. Wigs are very expensive and very personal. A good wig can cost a thousand dollars. We had so many medical bills I couldn’t image spending that amount of money. AND organizations that help with wigs often just pay a small portion.
#3. Wigs are itchy and smelly. Did I mention fussy?
#4. I have a twelve-inch scar that runs from the top of my head down to the back. It is still sensitive. I want soft and comfy on my noggin.
#5. It’s time to get real. If me not wearing a wig is upsetting to you, then that’s about you. Not me. If you don’t get that read my post about the Redwoods.
Now a brief caveat to all this wig talk. If you are a cancer patient (or just a person) and wearing a wig makes you happy then PLEASE wear that wig with JOY. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about people who tried to force me to conform to their ideas of social norms. Big difference.
A few weeks ago, I was in the Café at Barnes and Nobel. I noticed a woman in line behind me. She was completely bald. Seriously, not one hair on her beautiful head. I know this because she wasn’t wearing a wig, hat or scarf. She was wearing a Robin blue dress that matched the cool fire in her blue eyes. She was stunning. Our eyes met and she smiled and nodded and I thought to myself, she’s a bold, sparkly, bright, bad ass unicorn just like me.
Sing it like Aretha! You may not agree how someone is navigating thorough cancer or any chronic health issue. And guess what? I don’t care. It’s not about you. AND if you are truly their friend, be kind and respect their decisions.
I am a certified life coach and am in the process of developing a coaching program specifically for those with cancer and other chronic illness. If you are interested please join my mailing list and I will let you know when the program is ready. I promise I will not send you a gazillion e-mails. Just the good stuff.