House Arrest

So I just wanted to take a minute to say how nice it has been meeting and knowing all of you. I will be hibernating in my house for the next 6 months so, BYEEEE!

I gotta say, I am shocked by how intensely baldness has hit me. At the risk of sounding horribly vain, I don’t identify as myself, I barely identify as human.

You guys know me. I seriously thought I would become bald and wear it as a badge of honor. Rock out with my top out kind of stuff.

I woke up this morning and just thought to myself, ‘nope.’ There was no way on God’s green earth I would be leaving the house today. The wig is beautiful, but it feels like a clunky hat and I feel like a phony in it. A scarf, despite my best efforts, makes me look like I escaped Slovenia in the 1940s. And go somewhere bald? That’s just ludicrous.

After I sent the kids off to camp, I got right back in bed. I couldn’t think of anything else to do except close my eyes and pretend it is not happening. I could practically hear Adele singing, ‘Hello (depression)? Is it me you’re looking for?…’

After awaking from my half-day long shame-slumber, I turned the corner into the kitchen and was face to face with one of our dogs.  He didn’t recognize me. To the point that he howled in home-defense terror and promptly peed himself all over the dining room floor. That charming little episode did not help matters.

As I Swiffered up the shocking amount of urine that came out of a 30lb dog, I thought to myself, ‘Well, I guess that is a sign from the heavens that I should eat these delicious enchiladas (Thank you, Heather! They are seriously crazy-delicious) and get right back into my bed ’cause my own dog, who sleeps next to my face and knows my scent from a mile away, thought I was Joe Pesci from Home Alone.’

My dome feels cold and wet at all times. Touching it feels like touching a phantom limb. I am so disappointed in myself for so closely tying my femininity, my homo sapien-ness, to my hair. Why am I not proud of how I am fighting? Wearing my baldness like a Purple Heart? How did this outspoken, seemingly very strong woman, get reduced to self-inflicted house arrest because she is afraid of her own head?

I am currently taking suggestions from anyone willing to give them, on ideas to get me out of the house. Because, as I see it right now, I have enough gift certificates for food delivery that we can safely live off of for a while, and I can pay someone to shuttle my kids around so…

See you guys in 2017!!


9 Comments Add yours

  1. Meghan says:

    It sucks. I so wanted to be able to rock the head scarf. Didn’t happen. Baseball cap and halo hair piece is my uniform these days. (Or fedora) Invest in the halo hair piece.


  2. lindseasnow says:

    I make custom beanies. Been thinking about making a batch that say “Fuck Cancer” on them if you want one! Super soft on a bare head….
    Maybe as winter approaches. Thinking of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lindsay says:

    Hi! I did not have cancer but had my head shaved for an emergency brain surgery 2 years ago. I completely relate to that attitude of “of course I got this! This is a badge of honor!” And of being totally shocked by how upset I was by being bald. It SUCKS. And makes you feel un-feminine. It makes you second guess all of your current clothing (who has this many fleece vests?) and makes you wonder if you will ever like what you see in the mirror again. It’s going to take a little while but I promise you, you will. Channel your strength and the energy and positivity you’ve tapped into so far and just ride that till the wheels fall off. You can do this!
    The littlest pony tail. But a ponytail nonetheless….


  4. Ashley Atkinson says:

    Girl, you have got this!!!!! Take the time morn the loss of your hair, Then ROCK this!!! You know you can!!! You are AMAZING, and FUCK cancer!!!! I read your blog every night. I laugh, I cry, and I am completely inspired by you!!!


  5. Kate Cloud says:

    Time is your friend. Take all the time you need to feel your feelings. Try to remember that the phrase “everything must change” is not just some stale platitude but reflects reality. My 2 cents, with love.


  6. Stephanie says:

    I rock a hat. I’m burning my wig. I’m cool with the no hair…mine is actually starting to come back! (yay!) You are strong. You rocked the cool hair, now rock the bald head :).


  7. Laura says:

    Grace, I so admire your openness and honesty. I have never been in a position even remotely close to the one you are in. I applaud you for listening to your self and admitting to the fact that this part is harder than you ever expected. Baby steps. Your inner warrior won’t let you wallow in this for very long. You are a fighter. You are strong. You are entitled to struggle with this. We are with you.


  8. Tracy says:

    Sending you so much love and positivity. You are a true beauty inside and out no matter the state of your follicles. And sometimes a little online retail therapy can lift the spirits…Jennifer Ouellette makes beautiful hats. Brighter days are ahead.


  9. Kimberly Kyllo says:

    I must say… I thought I would rock my baldness, too, but in the end (and the fact that it was winter…), I ended up wearing my wig most of the time. I actually liked my wig, though. It was a really, really good wig and no one suspected that it wasn’t my real hair even though my real hair would never, ever behave that way on my very best great hair day. (And trust me, I had/have great hair!)

    OK… and here’s another thing. I had a very similar experience to yours. I cut my very long, blond hair before I started chemo although I never thought to do the whole fun rainbow My Little Pony thing (which was fantastic, BTW!). I, too, was secretly holding out that I might be one of the lucky 4% whose hair didn’t fall out. Alas, when I woke up in the morning to a soft layer of hair on the pillow, I knew that was not going to be the case.

    I did everything in my power to keep my hair through my 2nd chemo treatment so I could show my nurse my cool new hairstyle before I lost it all. BUT! My head hurt as my follicles shut down and forfeited the hair from their collective shafts and I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I had been joking with people all week who admired my new haircut that I could take my canister vacuum to it and suck it all off in a heartbeat if I wanted to because I could, literally, pull it off of my head before their very eyes.

    Therefore, I did just what I said and used the vacuum on my head! Miraculously, when I finished, there was still hair on my head! Alas, like you, when I hit the shower (something I’d also been avoiding in effort to keep my hair for just a few more days…) and washed my head, the hair just finished coming out in clumps. I thought “OK, that’s it. It’s over.” But it wasn’t. Ha, ha.

    When I stepped out of the shower to assess my baldness, I was not greeted with Bruce Willis, Telly Savalas, Sinead O’Connor. What was staring back at me was something I’ve dubbed – “Crazy Old Lady Chickenhead”. I could not stop laughing. Seriously. I wish I could post a picture. It would make you laugh. Every time I caught sight of myself sideways in a mirror, I laughed uncontrollably. There was still a halo of fine, yellow, inch long hair clinging to the entire surface of my head! Yeppers – definitely NOT rocking the bald look!

    My head still hurt so much from the hair falling out that I didn’t buzz it all off until the next day. Ironically, all the hats I’d purchased in anticipation of this event were done when I still had hair and were all TOO BIG! So much for the “I’m going to wear cool hats” idea. Fortunately, like I said before, I had a great wig. It was a bit mom-like but it has a natural hair line so people really couldn’t tell it wasn’t mine and it was winter, it kept my head warm so it felt a lot like wearing a hat. When I didn’t wear my wig, I wore a white ski hat and no one thought anything about that either.

    In that other weird mindset that us chemo treatment people have, I was very grateful that I was going through treatment in the winter because I wasn’t sure how gracefully I’d be able to handle baldness in the summer when it was SO hot!

    It’s been almost 4 months since my last chemo treatment and my hair is growing back and frankly, I LOVE my new short hair. As you know, there really is such a thing as a 5 minute shower now that you have no hair and post chemo short hair means being able to towel dry my hair. That has been a positively revelatory experience since it used to take HOURS for my hair to dry!

    I actually, eventually came to love the fact that being bald meant that I didn’t have to do anything with my hair (even if it meant pulling it back into a pony tail) but never got accustom to the fact that my head was always cold when it wasn’t covered. I know you, too, will figure out a way to rock this part of treatment, Grace! Stay strong. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do! Stay indoors, binge watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, give yourself a “pass”. You’ll get through this one day at a time and with a boatload of love from your family, friends and blog followers!

    Much love and support…

    Kim (AKA Crazy Old Lady Chickenhead!)


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