The oncologist shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "Yes, you can," he said.
Silence. It took a moment or two to grasp the implications of getting such a grave diagnosis. I can't recall visions of bits and pieces of my life flashing by. Rather, I seem to remember trying to think of what I knew about people having cancer. And then the most horrific image entered my mind. I shouted out the question to which I already knew the answer, while still clinging desperately to some futile hope it was all a bad dream:
"AM I GONNA LOSE MY HAIR?"
"Unfortunately, yes, you will." Oh, noooooooooo! My long, thick hair which was so precious to me. Only a couple of weeks prior I had spent a fortune having it done to perfection at the hairsalon. And now, losing it all? The horror! That was when the shock set in for real.
3 months prior to the diagnosis, long hair intact, in Amsterdam on vacation with my family during Easter 2007
Stunned, I left the doctor's office clutching the request form he had given me to obtain a wig, and walked like a zombie to the hair dresser next door to the Cancer Centre. He had said it would take two to three weeks after the first round of chemo before it would come off completely, and had advised to have it cut short right away. Never! Never in a million years! I was five days away from my long awaited vacation to San Diego to join an old friend for a road trip, and there was absolutely no way I would give up on my hair a second before I had to. So I ordered a wig that resembled my hair and told the hairstylist I'd pick it up in three weeks' time.
In San Diego with friends, happy I didn't cut my hair as apart from being very thin, I don't look ill
In 2007, headscarves were all the rage. I'd seen Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Tyra Banks and a whole host of other celebs wearing colorful silk scarves wrapped around their heads. Now, that was a trend I could follow! So when visiting Las Vegas, I dragged one of the boys with me into the Chanel store in the Bellagio Hotel and shamelessly used his clean shaven head as a mannequin for trying out gorgeous scarves. The staff looked a bit puzzled, but happily took my creditcard as I justified to myself coughing up the exorbitant price of a beautiful scarf by adapting L'Oreal's slogan "Because I'm worth it!". Also in my defense, there would be no hairdressers to pay for the next year either, meaning my hairstyling budget would become a big, fat zero.
There's nothing like shopping to cheer up your mood
And from then on, I decided scarves would be my chosen headgear during my months of having
The Chanel from Bellagio
Vintage Chanel from the 60's
Chanel, won in a local auction
Vera Bradley, bought on Ebay
Vera Bradley, from Ebay
Pucci, the pattern is called Congo
2 x Louis Vuitton, Fall 07 collection, from the LV store in Oslo
Vintage animal print, purchased for USD 5 from Ebay
Missoni, from Ebay.
Wearing the Missoni with large divaish sunglasses from Donna Karan and a Burberry trench coat, I was actually stopped by a journalist wanting to talk to me about street style. I don't think she realized I was wearing it because I had no hair! :)