Sunday, August 3, 2014

My G.I. Jane Moment

So on Friday Jamie, Owen and Jacob were all going in for haircuts.  I have been thinking about shaving my head for awhile now and just haven't had the courage to do it.  I ALWAYS wear my wig, I wear it pretty much from the second I get out of bed until the second we turn off the lights at night.  I think I have posted one or two photos of my hair starting to grow back in but for those that haven't seen the photos...I would say that I lost about 80% of my hair after radiation.  Radiation kills off any fast growing cells which is great because it hopefully killed off any cancerous cells as they are fast growing but it also makes you loose your hair any place that you had radiation.  Just about my entire head received radiation.  So what I was left with was a patch of hair about an 1" x 1" on the very top front of my head (think really weird ugly bangs) and then the bottom of my head didn't receive radiation so I had the world's WORST mullet ever or best mullet.... guess it depends on how you look at it.  So I have just kept that hair because it was almost comforting just having that small bit of hair even though it was simply tucked into my wig all day, every day. 

Well that small bit of hair was just annoying.  I had to wash it and dry it since I couldn't put the wig on over wet hair.  Owen has still only seen me without my wig the one time  when we were robbed and the wig was knocked off when I was hit in the head.  So any time I want to shower I have to make sure it's after Owen goes to bed or that Jamie is home to make sure he doesn't come barging into the bathroom to see me.  We really contemplated telling Owen about my hair and letting him see it more openly but decided against it.  SO..... finally on Friday I made a quick decision that I would just go to the salon a few before the boys and have them just shave off what little hair I had.  That way I could shower and pretty much put my wig on instantly, it would be cooler without the extra hair under the wig and it can start growing back in and maybe in like a YEAR I will actually be able to just sport my real hair! 

I have heard LOTS of women say that when they shaved their head it felt great, they felt empowered, liberated, strong, brave....I just knew I wouldn't feel like that.  I knew that I wouldn't come out of there feeling like I wanted to yell from the rooftops "I did it, I am in charge, that was amazing".  That is probably a lot of the reason I hadn't shaved my head already. 
 I was totally right about how I thought I would feel.  As soon as I pulled off our road to head to the salon I started sobbing and couldn't stop.  Emily who cuts our entire families hair didn't even know I was coming!  So there I was in the lobby by myself crying.  I knew I could have someone come with me but I just didn't want anyone there with me. I felt like a dork for being so emotional and just wanted to get it over with.  So I stood there in the lobby staring at my phone while Emily finished up with her customer and then when she came to get me I lifted my head so she could see my pathetic face.  She asked what happened and I just tried as best as I could to get the words out "just shave it off before the boys get here".  So we walked into the salon, thankfully the only other people there was the salon owner and her sister and they quietly walked back to the hair washing stations as they knew was happening. 

I took off my wig which I have NEVER done outside of my room or bathroom unless at the doctor and Emily started cutting.  I stopped crying right when she started cutting/shaving.  It wasn't bad but I definitely did NOT feel like this was lifting me up or making me strong.  I felt kind of like.... "meh, this totally sucks...cut it fast so I can put my wig back on and let's PRAY my hair grows back quickly".  It seems so superficial.  With all that we have going on that I would even CARE about my hair, write a full blog post about my hair... but the truth is.. it IS a big deal.  Being FORCED to lose your hair by some stupid sickness you never wanted!  The hair that is growing back isn't like your normal hair either.  Some of it is coming in nicely, other areas that  received more radiation are coming in VERY thin.  There is a large bald spot and scar from brain surgery and another bald spot where the GPS was inserted in the back of my head during surgery. Hair will probably not grow back in these areas. It's not like, oh I just shaved my head and it will start growing back into a "cute pixie" cut.  It's a combination of shaved hair, bald spots, thin strange areas.  I just try not to look. 
When I wear my wig, I can feel normal, feel healthy, walk around and no one even knows... it's like my little secret.  But walking around with a shaved head full of scars from brain surgery.. it's like announcing to world and I just want to be like everyone else.  Have a normal day where no one thinks of me any differently.  That people see me as the same Alison that I was before all this non sense happened! 

I surely hope this post does not offend anyone, I know there are TONS of women that choose not to wear a wig the entire time and I think they are amazing too!  I think everyone copes with things differently, you do what you need to do to keep your sanity, keep your mind in a positive place... whatever it takes.  For me, I need the security blanket of my wig, it allows me to live life without constantly thinking about my health.  It's already on my mind all the time as it is.  Hopefully I won't need the wig forever but for now I do, and that's ok!

The second Emily was done shaving my head I put that wig right back on and haven't really even looked at my head since.  Thank you so much for all the love and support!  Jamie took me out for a nice dinner downtown on Friday and I had a few glasses of wine to help get me out of my funk.  :)  Snapped a few photos before we left.

Can't even tell I shaved my head can you?
(when you read the sentence above, does anyone else instantly think of the movie Christmas Vacation?
"Can't see the line can you Russ?")

Alright, I am off to bed.  Had a long tiring weekend.  Friday was super emotional but had so much fun yesterday photographing the wedding of Owen's speech therapist!  Such a fun day and I was so honored to be a part of Emily's day, she has done so much for Owen over the last two years and was the most BEAUTIFUL bride!

Special thanks to Emily R. for shaving my head.  Sorry for just SHOWING up!  Also thanks for making my three boys look so handsome!  Thanks to Lindsey for helping me with my wigs and a HUGE congrats to Jake and Emily! Wish I could come to Mexico with you.  :)

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