Your Smiles Make Me Smile

If you really want to get the most out of my blog, it's best to start with the first post written in July to the present since some blogs refer back to earlier posts; but any order is just fine... Thanks for visiting! Now scroll on down to the good news! ~Renae~

Friday, May 11, 2012


Just in case you haven’t gotten the memo yet, just as 40 is the new 30, and green is the new black, bald is the new beautiful! This is my shout out to all women who have lost their hair to cancer.

On November 8, 2011 when I listened to my primary physician’s message after he received the pathology report from my biopsy, ”I need to see you in my office right away so we can make some arrangements,” my first thought after “Oh my God I have cancer and I’m going to die!” was “Oh my God I’m going to lose my hair!  Death. Hair loss.  Death.  Hair loss.  Death. Hair loss.  If that isn’t a messed up thought process, then I don’t know what is.

It’s fair to say that I’ve been a little stuck on the hair thing lately, but there’s a good reason. Women aren’t allowed to be bald, not according to the unspoken world of glamour, unless of course they are a super model, which most of us are not. In fact, I haven’t seen a bald chick on the cover of a magazine since Britney was mocked on The National Enquirer and Demi Moore shaved her head for G.I. Jane in 1997.  Hence, the average priced wig runs anywhere from $200 - $700.  Why? Because we are made to feel ugly without our hair.  Consequently, there is a growing market for wigs amongst female cancer patients. I do think a lot of wigs are downright hot and sassy, but unfortunately, there are also a lot and I mean a lot of women losing their hair to cancer because cancer is a disconcerting epidemic in this Country and the last thing we should have to worry about during a crisis is the stigma of being bald when we are thrust into the shocking face-to-face reality of our own mortality.  Seriously people, it’s time to say “enough.”  So here I am leading a one woman charge to make our baldness a statement of courage, strength, a badge of honor….a fashion statement if you will because “I’ve had enough and I’m not going to take it anymore!” I think that’s a quote from a movie by the way but my memory cells have been depleted so don’t ask me which movie.

Anyway, fast forward to this bald epiphany, which I first experienced last week while I was taking my walk because exercise is good.  Exercise is good.  Exercise is good (if I repeat it enough times, I might believe it), and suddenly without warning, a chemo induced menopausal hot flash took over just as multiple cars were driving by me in a hurry to get home from work, or somewhere.  Reluctantly, I did almost the equivalent of what I did yesterday on the side of the freeway on my commute to my radiation treatment when I could no longer hold my bladder and there were only bushes in site; I pulled off my hat.  Yes, I did.  Hoping for a reprieve from the hot flash, exposing my bald head to the many of my traffic hour victims, I commited the worst of all fashion faux pas.  I'm not sure which act was worse, what I did on the side of the freeway, or exposing my bald head, but it was truly liberating to just not care!  Then, (there's more!) I pulled off my t-shirt exposing my black tank top (aka beater) and you are never going to believe what happened, not in a million years. Nothing.  Nothing at all happened.  No one cared. No sirens went off, the fashion police didn’t stop me, and with the exception of one man who maybe sort of gave me a look of “shaved head hoodlums in black beaters moving into the neighborhood” – IT DIDN’T MATTER! 

The next day, I confidently ran errands sans hair, or wig, hat, or scarf, with the exception of my new growth of porcupine sprouts, some black, some gray, closely beginning to resemble a Chia pet.  People were actually smiling at me, and it wasn’t that look of pity that I get when I wear a cancer scarf, it was that “You GO Sister!” look of admiration from others that I was shouting out to the world that Bald is Beautiful and we don’t have to wear no stinkin’ scarf to cover our God given heads if we don’t want to.  No ladies, repeat after me… BALD IS BEAUTIFUL.”  Helllloooo Glamour Magazine, are you listening????

Recently, I was having a profound conversation with my cousin about life and cancer, which she gets because she has experienced both...and she touched on something really profound.  Something about designer clothes, handbags, high heels, manicures, oh they are pretty alright, but they don’t make us real. Being stripped of everything material and still being okay with ourselves….that’s what makes us real.  Which reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite children’s stories…

"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.” Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real

Thank you for making me real.

Sweet Dreams and Always GOOD Dreams,


Anonymous said...

You look good, can I send you a razor to entertain the motorists looking in, while you are driving?

Love you,

renaedarlene said...

Got your comment! That would be too funny. Love you too. Renae