Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hey, let me see your hair!

Bald & Nerdy

So, it’s been 58 days since I said “good-bye” to my hair. You’d think I would have gotten over it by now, right?  I mean, how vain is this girl?!  I never really thought of myself as vain, always thought that I was pretty well grounded, but now I’m beginning to wonder.

It’s not that I haven’t gotten used to being bald. I almost never wear hair around the house and I hardly even think about it (unless I happen to walk by a mirror).  I guess the problem is that now that I’m starting to feel “normal” again, I want to look like the “normal” me again.  Honestly, if it weren’t for my bald head, I might forget sometimes that I’m right in the middle of a battle with breast cancer (well, that and the weekly lab and chemo visits).  Anyway, I wanted to share a “hair” story that happened this morning...

I don’t leave the house without a wig on.  The only time I do is for my morning walk and even then, I’m wearing a hat.  I usually head out for my walk early enough that I don’t encounter many people, just several pick-up trucks filled with tools and men in t-shirts headed to work.  My route goes along Walnut Street, between two busier streets, La Habra Boulevard and Lambert Road.  Each morning I think to myself, “You should go farther, cross Lambert,” but each time I turn around just before I get to the corner.  Why?  Well, because I would have to stand at the crosswalk and wait for the light to change, risking being noticed by the heavier traffic on Lambert. The cars on Walnut don’t stop.  They just pass by.  It’s bad enough that I see their heads turn and their lingering looks as they drive by.  The cars on Lambert might stop at the light - get a better look!  Stupid, I know.

Once again this morning (a beautiful morning I might add), I couldn’t convince myself to go out beyond the safety of my usual route.  Too many cars out,” I told myself.  I turned around and headed back home.  About halfway there, I noticed two men walking ahead of me and talking.  They were older and one had a walker.  I tried to walk quickly around them, unnoticed.  As I passed, they said good morning and asked me how I was doing.  Still moving, I turned slightly, smiled and returned their greeting.  Then the man with the walker yelled out, “Hey, let me see your hair!”  REALLY? Did he REALLY just ask me that?!  I don’t have any hair!” I answered without looking back.  So! Let me see your hair!” was his reply.  By this time, I had picked up the pace and was a good distance away from them.  I quickly pulled of my hat and turned my head to see their reaction.  Walker Man smiled and called after me, “Ah, you’re beautiful anyway!”

Thanks, Walker Man.  Although you are most likely visually impaired, thanks for making me momentarily forget about the uncomfortable stares from the passing cars and remember that I AM beautiful and for now, this IS my “normal”!  There’s a pretty gnarly fight going on inside my body, and I’m holding up pretty well!!  I may not be heading out all GI Jane anytime soon, but if people do see me, I hope they see my strength.  Even if I don’t ever get up the courage to “expose the dome” publicly and in person, I hope I still shine with the strength, grace and joy I’ve been blessed with throughout this journey.  I just need to remember to stand confident in the new and improved person God is molding me into, hair or no hair.


  1. As a woman, we cherish our hair- it is one of our attributes that defines us as a woman. And our boobs. To lose it must feel so awkward and uncomfortable. But, our hair is not who we are and while you may lose sight of that at times, your true beauty shines through. And you are a fucking beauty Julie.. Fuck hair and fuck cancer. You are amazing!

  2. Our society emphasizes the characteristics about us that change and wither with age. What I see is the beautiful soul inside of you, who despite this momentary blip in your routine, is a caring friend, a beloved wife and mother, a cherished daughter and one hell of an amazing creative artist. Years from now. when you're 95, you'll look back on this time and laugh at how you perceived yourself. With or without hair and with or without boobs, you are a beautiful person inside and out! Love you!