Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sharing the Pain

I had previously posted about the cliche of friends and family members shaving their heads in support of cancer, or cancer treatment or chemotherapy-induced baldness, or whatever it is they are supporting when they do this head shaving thing.

As I said before, I don't think my son's baldness would support or help me in my "battle" - but his cleaning the house sure would.

Yesterday was my 52nd birthday.  And, as my family gathered at my house, laughing and chatting and getting ready to go out to a nice dinner at Bandera, I thought about all the wonderful support they'd given me over the past few months.

But, I also wanted them to experience my pain.

Yeah, I'm evil. But tell me:  why should I go through this alone?  What is family for, if not to make them suffer along with you? There is a long historical precedent for family suffering, and who am I to argue with history?

I confess: I'd completely forgotten about the pure entertainment value of watching your family and friends shave their heads when discussing it in my previous blog post.

So, as my family got ready for our dinner - as they joked and laughed, I thought about how best to inflict the torture of cancer upon them.  Obviously, I could grab my Wustholf and cut off various parts of their bodies,  but honestly, my house was semi-clean for once and I didn't want to have to clean up blood.

I could fall back on the cliche I hate and request they all shave their heads in solidarity, but again, there is that hair-cleaning up thing, and anyway, I'm pretty sure they read my blog post where I said it wasn't helpful.

I don't want to be a hypocrite.

If I wanted to be really cruel I could grab a syringe, line them all up, make them put their arms out and and poke them repeatedly in the veins pretending I couldn't find a good one.  But it's just not the same without the Naugahyde barcalounger and a pillow with a paper pillowcase, and I am not buying a Naugahyde baraclounger, nor am I purchasing paper pillowcases.

Think of what happens when you drool on that flimsy paper.

Then it came to me.  A brilliant idea.

I'd make them wear wigs.

Uncomfortable, woven-weft constructed wigs.

After all, we are going out to a nice restaurant, and I was going to wear one.  Scarves are well and good for day-to-day life, but to be frank, my face exposed for all to see isn't the prettiest picture in the world and hair can cover a multitude of sins. 

On my birthday, I wanted to be sin-free.

(Well, sorta.)

So, I grabbed my wig collection, all unworn, and came up with the idea of the ladies in my family supporting me by wearing lawn chairs in the shape of hair on their heads.

And, they did.

From left to right: me, my sister, my son's girlfriend. My poor sister got the more matronly one but if it's any consolation, it's the one I wear the most as it's the lightest and least likely to hurt me.

We bewigged ladies all went out to dinner and had a great time discussing how much we wanted to rip them off our heads.

This is what it means to have cancer: The two girls took them off by dessert, scratching their heads and sighing with relief, natural hair shining in the spotlight of the restaurant. And I kept mine on to the bitter end because I didn't want to reveal my bare pate in that same glare.

And, I was even stuck putting the wigs in my purse.

Oh, but lest you think only women participated, here is my son:

Now I feel fully supported.


  1. That is great. You have wonderful friends (and sons!).
    - Ingrid

  2. Ha, ha. What a great idea. When I was done with my wig, I stuck it on my cat and took his picture. I don't think he has forgiven me yet.

  3. Cute post! And I hope you had a great birthday!

  4. Chris looks quite dandy in your wig! The beard is a nice touch.

  5. Great Pictures but I don't see one of the husband...

    Angel Sue

  6. Great post!

    I had just one wig. All my loved ones took turns modeling it, but never actually went OUT wearing it.

    I can feel the love from here...


  7. Thanks! No, the husband didn't wear one. I gave him a break - he has been the one to take on most of the chores, after all. I should have put him in my pink one. :)

  8. Oh my goodness that is gloriously hilarious!

  9. haha, you are ridiculous. it must suck to be your friend though. you're going through rigorous, pain-in-the-butt chemo yet you look dare i say: better than your friends!. hot hot hot. you're rocking the jeggings, the strappy sandals, mani/pedi. but that physical beauty is superseded by your inner confidence and ease. that's awesome.

  10. Ha ha! Cruel indeed! Lol. Well, I'm glad that your family and friends are supportive. That's what they're supposed to do after all. My wife is also supportive of her friend who has the same illness. Instead of letting her friend buy new wigs, my wife gave a couple of her own Forever Young wigs for starters. I really admire her for that.


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