It’s still about the hair

After the second chemo and an eight-hour day in the hospital, Tessa, my man and I went to a wig shop. The days of the short haircut I am really trying to like (it is a masterful cut I can make into a Mohawk or feather toward my face, but will never look like me to me) are dwindling, with baldness about a week away. The shop was closed, but since it is part of huge department store, the sign was up, and all that separated us from a wall of wigs were heavy red velvet cords and upholstered chairs. Tessa and my man said “Oh, we’ll have to come back tomorrow” but I’d taken a good look at my chemo-green face before we left the hospital, and I no way was I going home without looking at those wigs. Time’s a’ wastin’ people. So I pushed a chair to the side, and ducked under the velvet rope. It was an education. All machine-made, synthetic, thin, not a natural-looking one in the place. They felt plastic to the touch. Prices ranged from $299 to $699. They were hideous. I wished I hadn’t looked. My oldest and best friend, from my hometown of Stratford, had said she wanted to buy me my wig. I thought $300 would do it. This showed me $300 wasn’t going to get me anything.

The ride home was quiet. I had bought stewing beef in a burst of energy on the weekend, and lacking that energy now, I cut up the pieces into smaller bits and set kids to work: Graydon making the flour mixture and dredging the beef, Tessa browning it in small batches, Luka peeling carrots. Would this have happened pre-diagnosis, all four of us crammed into the kitchen working at the same time? No. Me and one kid, yes, all three? Na-uh.

The wig prices were freaking me out.

Tessa finished the browning, and I let them all leave so I could finish with the veg and dumping everything in the stewpot. I while later, Tessa came in and asked me if I knew about GoFundMe, a website for raising money. Of course. I’ve contributed to a number of causes on GoFundMe. She brought her her laptop into the kitchen and showed me a campaign for raising money for a chemo wig, and said “We could try this.” I was touched that she was as bothered by the hair situation as I was, and impressed that she’d be that proactive. All I was doing was hacking beef, potatoes, onions, garlic and carrots into smaller and smaller pieces. I said that it would feel weird, asking for money. She pointed out that she would be asking, not me. And then she went back to the living room.

After dinner (stew was pretty good for the first night—it’s always better on the second), Tessa showed me her GoFundMe site—titled Raising Money for my AMAZING Mom’s Wig. She wrote the most wonderful intro and explanation, I teared up. We have always had a strong bond, and been very demonstrative and open about how much we love and look up to each other, but this was so, so concrete a show of love, I said yes, put it up. I was so flattered by what she wrote, I just wanted to share.

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8 Responses

  1. You, three kids, one dog, four cats and a partridge in a pear tree…. LOL!!! That’s an amazing dynamic happenin’ there Ma!

    • I know! Too funny having three enthusiastic kids in the kitchen working hard alongside Mum making dinner. And it took getting this sick for that happen? Small steps! And for the record and anyone reading this, I don’t really let Clover or any of the four cats help with food prep is any way other than floor food rescue, and that is entirely Clover’s domain!

  2. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say excellent blog!

    • It’s happened to me too — you finish an excellent comment, and poof! It’s gone! I wouldn’t rewrite it either. Thank you for reading and thank you for the compliment. I hope you visit again.

  3. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the site is extremely good.

    • Like the Joni Mitchell song Yellow Taxi! You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. Hair and beautiful-looking hair is so very important!

  4. You are looking great Jacquelyn!! And now that you have that great new do, you will have found (by now, I hope) another treat, left in a grey plastic bag, inside your front door. Our friend Julia Greenbaum contacted me about wigs so I had one that actually looks pretty similar to the one your’re wearing! The two containers have shampoo and “spritzing” conditioner in them tho, by now, you may have full bottles of the stuff with your new wig. Well, always good to have some extra. Enjoyed your blog…peace and blessings, Mary Quartarone

    • Thank you so much, Mary! It looks great on! Now I can alternate, which means more wig-time, less bald-time. Thank you so much!

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