No, I'm not talking about which doctor to choose, or a crucial surgical or reconstructive determination. (Although, the nipple tattoo choice does present some tantalizing options.)
This determination is far more difficult.
We chemo girls all must come to it. The big choice? When to reveal your hair to the world after finishing treatment. When is the right time to give up the security of our cancer chic scarves and big earrings, which many of us have been wearing for six months, and just walk around with what is actually growing on our heads?
In a sense, this is the decision where you finally give up your identity as a cancer patient. In exchange, you get an identity as a person with an unfortunate haircut.
I'm not sure that's the best trade-off.
Me? I feel like I'm Linus giving up his security blanket.
I'm not alone: I've seen women in the chemo room whose hair is peeking out from under their wigs, because they aren't ready to show it yet.
For younger women, I imagine the choice about when to reveal regrowth is easier. Your locks may grow back a different texture (as mine has) but you are unlikely to have it grow back in an entirely different and unattractive color.
As mine has.
I wasn't grey when I got cancer.
And, it cost me $100.00 every six weeks to be able to say that.
Nobody has ever seen me with grey hair, including me. I intended nobody to ever see me with grey hair. Including me.
But, here I am. With enough hair to go out and not look like a balding man, but not enough to dye and get the real me back.
So, what do you all think? Am I ready?
For frame of reference, and so you know why I may not be ready to walk around with this short look - this bad photo is the way I looked one year ago on my 51st birthday, right before I found my cancer:
Does that woman look like somebody who wants grey hair? I think not.
But, out it comes..