Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Hair

I have never been particularly fond of my hair.  It has been described as thin, fine, mousy, dishwater blonde.  I don't care for any of those particular adjectives.  As a Leo, I maintain a certain exploded version of vanity that has in the past involved lots of mirror looking and hairspray.  In high school I had lots of spiral perms.  And highlights.  Leos - you know lions, manes, etc- are known for being really into their hair.  Not that I'm Miss Horoscope Believer, but I'm just sayin.  I've worked on the vanity thing over the years and toned it way down.  With it being a deadly sin and all, I figured it was best to get rid of some mirrors.

Anyway, today my hair started falling out.  I knew it would happen and I'm not particularly upset about it.  It is weird, though.  I was sitting at the record store and I twirled a bit at the ends of my hair as I sometimes do and a bunch of strands came out in my hand.  It could not be described as a clump, but definitely a bunch of hair.  Like 20 strands or so.   

I called my friend Lu.  Lu works at the Salon next to our record shop.  We had talked about this moment - the hair falling out moment - and decided it would be best to shave my head when it started happening.  So I called her up.  

"Yes, Julie."
"It's starting to come out.  My hair."  
"Oh shit."
Up until Lu said oh shit, this moment was a little bit like telling someone your going into labor.  - It's happening.  What should we do?
So I told Lu I might need to go ahead and shave it in the next couple of days.  She said, "Dude I'll come shave that shit right now."  Did I mention that Lu is cute as a doe, sweet as almond milk and funny like a fox?

Since I want to explain to Luka what is happening with the Hair, I will wait till tomorrow or Tuesday to shave it off.  She is skiing today at Mt. Hood with Scott and I don't want her to come home to bald mom.  When I told her that the medicine I'm taking would make my hair fall out, she didn't want to talk about it at first and then she turned to me and said, "It might be weird to look at you.  With no hair."

The great thing about Gilly's Salon being next door is that those ladies own things like wigs and some of those ladies, like Emie, own like a hundred wigs.   I could wear a different one everyday.  (Right, Emie?)  Or I could wear beautiful silken scarves that will be prettier than my hair anyway and I can still look in the mirror and be a little bit vain.

With cancer, it always comes down to the the hair.  I won't miss it so much as I will miss my life with hair.  Being bald is the cancer signal and from here on out, I won't be so incognito with my damn ugly mutating cells.  People will see my pretty scarf and know I am sick.  

They won't know if I am wearing a cute pixie cut blonde wig, I guess though.  Anyone got one of those?  Also, I've heard some people's hair grows back different, like thicker and curly sometimes.  Maybe mine will grow back into a cute blonde pixie cut.  I'm just sayin.


  1. All you have to do is tattoo "skins" inside your lower lip, and no one will fuck you! You might have to start wearing Doc Martens or Creepers, too...

  2. Julie - I love your writing and outlook. Love-love-love the wig idea! It has been great to read how things are going and I think we all appreciate your honesty.
    If you follow any other blogs, I'd recommend this one: Some great photos, brutal honesty and irreverence as well.
    Take care - hope to see you soon!

  3. Julie, one of the most "hidden" or unspoken announcements I've heard about cancer and the loss of hair is from my friend, Carol. She was about 6 months into chemo and radiation treatment after a mascectomy (sp?). She was back to work at the Corner's, the restaurant where I still sometimes work, with her wig on she named "Grace". She was doing great, feeling tired but fine and talking about all the different things she had experienced. The topic of "Hair" came up. We laughed about "Grace" and the rest of the wierd hair loss thing and she got real serious and looked right at me and said, " But, Nancy, I'll tell ya one thing ... I never appreciated nose hair before ... but you can't imagine what a pain in the ass it is to not have it!" Through rollicking laughter, she tried to make me understand that the snot just drips on out and there's nothing there to suck it up. It just falls out! She really noticed it when she started working again and was trying to take orders and snot would just fall out of her nose. Then we got into the whole, " Oh, sorry, I have no nose hair from the chemotherapy, blah, blah, blah ..." It was really good to be laughing with her about the stupid things we take for granted.
    About 4 months later, she has her real hair nicely coming in, no more Grace, eyebrows, eyelashes and yes... nose hair!
    "This too, shall pass"
    It's only natural to be vain. The wig for all occasions can be quite fun. My other friend went to thrift stores and created themes for her wigs. Country/Western, Tina Turner, punk rocker... It's like getting old. No one really cares if you act weird, it's kind of fun.

    Hang in there with all this, my darling niece. I love you, nanc

  4. i think it's gonna be super duper hot julie... "i'm just sayin'". also, i totally forgot about scarves! i have the hugest collection of "prettier than hair" vintage scarves. i mean, it's kind of sad really... my obsession with scarves. so when the day comes i will bring you lots to choose from.
    also, i have never had almond milk, and i was curious if it's as sweet as toast is smug?
    i'm just sayin'....

  5. The two people I know really well that went through chemo BOTH had way thicker, curlier hair when it came back. I think it's the universe's way of saying " I know I totally fucked you over with this cancer thing and all, so here, have this really nice head of hair as a small token of my ineptitude."


  6. Jules! Remember when Janine (something) had cancer in high school?! She wore beautiful scarves followed by the most fantastic pixie hair cut! You're darling with that tiny Forward nose, so you will totally be able to pull it off. Just don't go get a bad weave like post-shave-Britney when it starts to grow back.

  7. Julie, I DO have a cute blonde pixie cut wig!!!!! I sometimes wear it on halloween, but I wore it for real in the 60's. I'll mail it first thing in the morning. You must send me a picture of you in it.
    Love you sooooo much, Aunt Sue

  8. OK all you Portland girls, time for a hat and scarf party!! Jane

  9. Man jules, ryan and I just went through all our hats a scarfs and realized that about 50 hats between the 2 of us was just a little too many. I'll host a hat and scarf party any day. You are now the spokeswoman for NO BUSH IN 09!