Paul here again! I think she looks awesome, don’t you? Andrea has a really cool looking head, which is proudly on display. Plus new new ‘do shows off her cute ears, which used to be hidden from view! I come from a long line of Polish barbers, and am quite proud of our handiwork…
Seriously – I won’t tell you that shaving Andrea’s head wasn’t a traumatic experience. It was – as she detailed in her earlier post. But it wasn’t the end of the world. Just another crappy step in this crappy journey that we’re on. And in a few short months, all of this will be completely behind us. As I said to Andrea yesterday: Hair gone, Cancer gone. The hair will grow back.
I get that it is a big deal though. So much of women’s identity is tied up in the haircut. Shaving your hair off is huge hit to this. People act uncomfortable around you. It announces to the world that you’re “sick”. I think this is all BS. As I said to Andrea – and would say to anyone else that has to go through this – shaving your hair off is bad-ass and announces to the world that you’re fighting cancer off. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Just the opposite, in fact. Wear it proudly. So what if you look “different”? You are different. And stronger, and wiser, and tougher. Take that.
One thing I did (in addition to the half baked motivational speeches) was make Andrea cut her own hair, at least at the beginning. She didn’t want to do it, but I thought it would be great to take control for once. Even for just a minute. The cancer process is very scary, largely because so much of it is out of your hands. Things just happen to you. Picking up a pair of clippers and cutting your hair off before cancer gets to it first is one small but important FU to cancer. You might have a hard time getting started – but once you make the first pass with the clippers, there’s no turning back. And then it’s a little easier. Andrea whimpered a little bit, but as she kept cutting away, she calmed down a lot. I stood behind her the whole time and after the initial trauma passed, she got a look in her eye…it may have just been a look of perfectionist concentration (go figure), but I like to think that it was the steely determination of a woman who knew that she would overcome anything life put in her path.
Pretty bad-ass, when you look at it that way.
Reminded me of the video that Andrea mentioned in her post. It’s of Demi Moore shaving her head from the movie GI Jane – here’s the clip: