So over seven years ago (time has passed by so fast, it feels like it was yesterday), I was diagnosed with cancer. I was a junior in college. Since I was a townie, I was able to go to school part-time as long as I avoided large crowds and kept mostly to myself to avoid picking up germs (a big fail by the way). I really didn’t want to wear a wig but my mom wanted me to be able to look normal so she insisted I get one. It ended up being a great idea because for the first time in my life, I had great, voluminous hair! Also, even though I was kept indoors for most of the time I was really tan for some reason. And because of the chemo, I was the skinniest I had ever been my whole life. I looked great, and that is something that I don’t say often. Seriously check it out:
Anyways, a few days ago I was reminiscing over my wig with an old friend and thought I’d share with you a few short memories about my old skein of hair.
#1) Only one person ever called me out on having fake hair. I was at Panera Bread grabbing some soup when the cashier looked at me and said “Nice Weave!” I was so surprised and caught off guard that I instantly lied and was like “I don’t know what you are talking about!” But he knew, and I knew the truth.
#2) In order to secure a wig to your head, you had to affix a super strong double stick tape to your scalp. Honestly, it didn’t work all the time. Once, I went to a one dollar store to pick up a bouquet of graduation balloons for my cousin. I was walking out the narrow door when the static from the balloons attracted my wig and it slid down my head like a baby on a water slide. I picked it up and kept on walking.
#3) A little bit of a confession, after I was finished from chemotherapy I became a little bit of a club rat / alcoholic. I’ll chalk it up to emotional issues that I never dealt with while I was sick. Anyways, once I met this guy at Modern and and after meeting a few times he started making fun of people with fake hair and took a lock of my hair and tugged on it. LUCKILY, the double stick tape gods were being good to me that night but I still can’t help but think that I was being set up for some cruel joke. I’ve seen this person several more times over the past few years and I’m even friends with him on Instagram now but I still wonder what was going on exactly in his mind during this time….
#4) Another club rat story. So once my good friend Casey and I went to a bar with my roommate Bryan. This was the night I thought it would be fun to drink half a bottle of Everclear and order double vodka tonics all night long (again, don’t judge me…I had unresolved issues and I just turned 21). Well my tiny, chemotherapy ridden body could not handle it so I ended up falling down the stairs and my wig fell off. Casey being the great friend she is picked up the wig and tucked it under her arm like it was a tiny furry purse and Bryan walked me the rest of the way home.
#5) So senior year of college, I was starting to feel comfortable with my hair growth. By March, I was starting to look like a hipster (I think back then we called it emo) girl or young boy. So I decided to get rid of the wig and rock my hair au naturale. A boy from class (you may remember him as my fiance Rob) invited me to hang out with a few of his friends at Bridges that night so I said sure and showed up. Rob had already knew about my whole cancer ordeal so he did not say anything but one of his friend’s girlfriends went up to me with the meanest, snarkiest face and said “I don’t know why you cut off your hair because you looked WAY better with long hair.” Geez, what ever happened to talking behind someone’s back like they did in the good ole’ days? I had to set her straight and basically told her it was my first time not wearing a wig since I had chemo a few months ago and I was really nervous about what other people thought. Boy that knocked that smug look off her face. Even to this day, whenever I run into her she still tells me how great my hair looks. I hope she thinks twice now about whenever she decides to be mean to random strangers.
PS: If you are reading this, I will save you the time of coming to a conclusion about me. Yes I have a MAJOR chip on my shoulder about being diagnosed with cancer at age 20.