Let’s talk…hair“I’ll have to do what?!”
That was my first reaction when I learned that I’d have to shave my head to use Optune.
Before then, I always believed that my hair defined me. At the age of 67, when I was diagnosed, I was still a natural redhead with long, thick locks that I was very proud of. While my friends were spending time and money dying their gray hair, I spent many hours and lots of money having my hair blown out and chemically straightened. Even strangers used to stop me to compliment me on my hair. To my friends and family I was “the redhead.”
So who would I be without my hair?
On my way into surgery, I even asked the surgeon to be careful not to mess up my hair! And as I was wheeled past my daughter on the way into the OR, she reminded the surgeon – “Don’t get her hair wet. It’ll frizz!”
Luckily, I emerged from surgery with only a tiny incision above my right ear and my hair totally intact. Not a hair out of place.
A new kind of partyBack then, I hadn’t heard of Optune.
But once I started seeing my oncologist, I soon learned about Optune. I decided that my health had to be more important than my hair. So, I chose to try Optune, and at a friend’s suggestion, I held a head-shaving party. I invited some of my closest girlfriends to witness the event.
Many came to my home and a few others watched over video. A hairstylist friend of mine did the shaving and a female rabbi from my synagogue said a prayer for healing. She asked my friends to place their hands on me and tell me what they wished for me. It was quite an emotional day. My hair was first cut off at the roots and rubber banded so that I could donate it in hopes that someone else could use it for a wig someday. Then the
shaving began and finally, we took photos of the new me!
Since that day, I’ve learned that my hair most certainly does not define me.
In fact, hair is totally overrated.
I still have my quirky, redhead personality, and everyone still knows who I am!
Optune - in styleNow, I wear the prettiest head coverings and scarves I can find (at shops or online) and a few hats to protect my head from the hot sun. I seem to have something to match each and every outfit. And, I always keep a rain hat handy if rain is in the forecast.
I have also purchased several backpacks in different colors and designs to carry Optune. I try to match those to my clothes, too. Sometimes, people don’t even realize I’m using a device! So I’d say that I’ve more than accepted my look. I’ve embraced it.
Yes, I have GBM, but that doesn’t mean I’m fighting or struggling in some way. I’m along for this journey, and if that means no more hair, so be it. With or without it, I’m still me: a fiery, quirky redhead with great taste in headwear.