Cancer and Wigs
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 should be covering my little bald head. Really? Yes. And apparently it was really upsetting to a few of my “friends” when I decided not to wear a wig.
The Pressure Was Real
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 because he was just 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.
My Reasons for Wigging Out
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 thousands 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 very 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.
If you Choose to Wig In
Now a brief caveat to all this wig business. 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.
Bold, Sparkly and Bright
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.
At the End of the Day
Navigating the cancer circus is exhausting. On top of that, you feel extremely vulnerable because you are at the mercy of so many others. This is not the time for “shaming” a cancer patient for not doing what you want. By the way, those people who tried to force me into wigging are no longer in my life. At the end of the day I decided I didn’t need their drama. I needed to surround myself with people who were kind and respectful. I did just that.