Every day since my diagnosis has seen a cause for celebration. The smell of rain on the warm pavement, the sudden and powerful beauty of a late spring snow storm, static electricity in newly grown hair. The fact is that losing my hair was far more traumatic than losing my breast. And when it began to grow back, it was heavenly. From now on, I will never have a bad hair day, for any day with hair is a good one.


To the right: my wig and scarves, best friends for 6 months

 

Subject: Going topless
Date: 10/25/98 11:53 AM Eastern Daylight Time

From: QueenReg


NEWS FLASH! Yesterday I went out to the mall topless - - no wig or scarf. No one keeled over or got sick looking at me. I was delighted. But then I ran into a co-worker in the parking lot. She went on and on about how good I looked, and I lost it. I cried. I'm so tired of being a cancer patient; I need to lose that wig to get back into the normal world. I know I
don't look good. Maybe for a cancer patient, I look fabulous. But for regular people, well, I have a masculine hair "style" - kinda looks like "elf hair" lots of little curls and waves. Anyway, today I'm feeling brave again. I'm going to go to Mass au natural. And if I'm feeling up to it, the wig will stay in my bathroom tomorrow. The only scarf I wear will be around my neck. Am I nuts? Should I wait? If I wait until my hair is ready to have a decent hair cut, I'll be covered until Christmas. Nah, forget it. People will just have to deal with me. Thanks for letting me spout off.

Subject: Re: Going topless
Date: Sun, 25 October 1998 12:54 PM EST

From: QueenReg

Eileen,
I lived through Mass. I figure if anyone made a dumb comment about my hair in church, the Lord would come down and give their hair static. I had to smile to myself because it felt so good to feel nothing on my head. Picture this...it's about 60 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, the sidewalk covered with orange, red and yellow leaves and me, with my 1" hair drinking it all in. Life is good. Thanks for the encouragement.
By the way, I'm thinking of marketing an arrow-shaped pin that says "This is the one" for us to wear over our cancer boobs. Maybe a battery-operated one with lights that flash. It will save people's eyes from darting back and forth to try to figure out which one is or isn't.

Subject: Going topless part 2
Date: Mon, 26 October 1998 08:28 PM EST

From: QueenReg


Ladies....I did it. I went to school today au natural. My Keebler Elf hair was a hit. People couldn't stop touching it. It's so soft. The kids were cute too. One of my students went through a bone marrow transplant last year, along with several rounds of nasty chemo. She gave me a huge smile, yelped, gave me a thumbs up and a giant hug - right in front of the class. It was great.
We also have a running joke at school. An administrator who just left our district cuts her hair herself with a FlowBee (sp), except she uses the one that cuts it about as short as you can possibly get. Everyone said that the new requirement for her job would be having a "power haircut." Guess what, I have longer hair than she did! And, if I do say so myself, my Elf looks is quite powerful.
AH....it's so liberating! I knew inside that I was ready for this. Thanks for your encouraging words.



Subject: Going Topless- Final Installment
Date: Fri, 20 November 1998 06:58 PM EST

From: QueenReg


Today was an extremely emotional day for me, though I hadn't expected to react this way. I had scheduled a haircut for today. My hairy neck was getting to me, and I could pull the hair all the way down to the bottom of my ears. It was getting a bit shabby looking so I thought I'd go to have it shaped up a bit. Jeri, the sweetest, most beautiful person I have ever met, had come to my house on May 5th to buzz my hair. Today, I went to her shop - my first trip there since March - to get a trim. When I arrived, I found myself in a sea of pink balloons. Jeri had them hanging from the ceiling, draped around that mirror and scattered on the floor. She greeted me with a warm hug and handed my a champagne glass, the stem tied with a pink ribbon. My husband, who held my hand as I had my head shaved, came with me to celebrate this milestone. The three of us toasted the event, me blubbering and sniffing the whole time. I was so touched by her sensitivity, both in May and again today. As I'm typing, I'm sniffing. I don't look like cancer or chemo anymore. I can blend in anywhere. My elfin curls are gone, although I think they'll return if I don't blow dry. What a long ordeal this has been! I think I'll cry for the rest of the night. They'll be happy/sad tears. I'm entitled.

Regina

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Me and My New Hair, December 1998. That's one of my 5 cats, Quincey, in my lap.