Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Can I die from this?

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:


"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 bad no hair days. The wig was tucked away in it's box, unused until my hair started growing back 6 months after I first lost it. Then I sold it. The collection of scarves I accumulated though, I still have and intend to keep. Adding a scarf to any stylish outfit will never go out of fashion.

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! :)


  1. Hi - inspiring post...and the scarves are a great investment and a gentle reminder of previous times I guess...

  2. That is my problem. When I lost my hair, I started collecting baseball caps. I should have been collecting beautiful scarves!

    I am so glad that we both have our hair back and are trucking along. You with your beautiful scarves and me with my, strange for a 38 YO woman, ball cap collection.

  3. What a lovely Missoni scarf! I love a good silk scarf, too!

  4. For ett inlegg! Burde ha vært i ett magsin dette her! Urloig rørende, inspirerende og sann historie. Og hvem har sagt at man ikke kan ha stil og god smak selvom hverdagen ikke er like enkel!? You go girl!

  5. Thanks all, for your kind comments!

    @Heather and Style, She Wrote
    Yes, the ones you mention are two of my absolute favorites.

    Some women say they burn everything that reminds them of the illness when they finish the treatment. I couldn't bear to look at the wig, I hated it from the start. But the scarves I have no problem with at all. Maybe that's because I bought something which I really liked as opposed to something I were forced to get?

    I did get a few baseball caps and other big sun hats, too. They were excellent for protecting my face on sunny days. I got a whole lot of brown pigmentation spots on my facial skin because my hormones went wild. When treating them with prescription medication I was advised to shield my face from the sun as much as possible. In fact, I still use the caps and hats on sunny days. So I believe your investment isn't so bad after all. Sun = wrinkles, and headgear shielding us from the sun will help keep our Botox budgets low when growing older. ;)

    @Lill Beate
    Koselig kommentar, tusen takk! :)

  6. I remember that day! Good to know that my bald head is good for something :-)
    And I must say, the Chanel from Bellagio is my favorite scarf, 'cause it represents a really nice day. Despite cancer, chemo and hear loss (for the both of us), we actually had a great time!

  7. The best! Let's do it again! :D

  8. What a wonderful post and a wonderful scarf collection! My friend chose to wear only scarves when she lost her hair. And she actually inspired me to buy a few and I wore them quite frequently a few years ago. You're inspiring me to break them out again :)

  9. Thank you for shareing your experience about this! Love that you are able to look for something positive in a diffcult situation. Great that you treated yourself with silk scarves. You definatly deserved it! Stay positive and keep up the good blogging! See you;)

  10. Welcome to my blog, and thanks for your encouraging comments!

    Have a great weekend! :)