I have a total fascination with seeing my mom bald. She won’t be surprised to read this. For years, she has been known for her signature black bob, straightened into perfection. You can spot her coif – dyed black in homage to her pre-grey colour – from blocks away.
Let your hair dry curly! I have begged her. Let it go grey! I even photoshopped her picture with a grey bob to show her how elegant it could look. But she has held onto that stubborn, armour-like black bob forever. Until now.
Now that round 2 of chemo has begun, the hair loss is happening in earnest. Everyone who has gone through chemo will tell you that the shedding is what drives reality home. There is no turning back. No denial. This is cancer. This is chemo.
Yesterday, my friend and his mom came to visit the chemo clinic around lunch (I mentioned the bizarre coincidence, right? Less than 3 per cent of cancer is unknown primary source and they were both diagnosed around the same time). It was so good that they had a chance to meet. She’s 3 weeks ahead of my mom and even revealed her bald head (which looked very cute!) She said when her hair came out in the shower it was startling, “like a dead cat lay at my feet” she said.
We had a good laugh about that. Last night, over dinner, mom ran her fingers through her hair and handfuls were coming out. It is totally fascinating – for me, at least. “Let me brush it out! And then let’s cut it! I want to see you bald! It will be so neat!
And she tried not to sound freaked out by my morbid zealousness when she refused. “It’s my right to be in denial one more day.”