Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 71: GI Jane

So, it's July 15, about 10 weeks into my cancer diagnosis, and...I'm bald. It's late at night so I'm not going to write much. It's been quite a day. I could write about my first acupuncture, my visit to the gp to see if she had any insights into my insomnia, my various attempts to self-diagnose my sleep issue. I could write about the neurologist visit yesterday, or about how every doctor is giving me conflicting advice. I could write about how I've lost 4 pounds in the week since chemo, and they told me that just doesn't happen on this regimen.

I could, but, you know--I'm bald.

So I'm going to write a little about that. I was having some kind of anxiety attack about my hair earlier today. More evidence that the insomnia I'm STILL having is NOT anxiety-related. I know what that feels like now. I thought my heart would leap out of my chest and I couldn't sit still.

I cried in the car on the way to the wig place for ten minutes or so. I was fine the whole time I was waiting, having my hair put into a bunch of ponytails so I could have it turned into this Hat-hair thing, even was ok when she started chopping those off. But at some point I lost it, once most of the ponies were gone. I looked like someone in a labor camp, hair all choppy, like someone did that to me out of spite. Since I was crying, Lisa, the stylist, turned the chair around so I wouldn't have to watch her shave my head. I cried the whole time she was shaving, and I dreaded looking in the mirror when she was done.

It took just a few minutes to shave my head, and when she asked me if I was ready to look, I said no, but go ahead. And my first thought was, I look like a boy. If I was a guy, that's what I'd look like. Gabe disagreed and said he thought I looked beautiful, that I looked like me and he was surprised at how perfectly my head was shaped.

He's required to say that stuff, right?

Anyway, I finished crying pretty quickly. I thought I looked like a boy regardless of Gabe's opinions, but like a boy version of myself, I guess. It's as if I look like a very close sibling of myself. Not me, but me. At least for now I have some stubble--I know I look more normal, odd as that is, than I will in a little while when my head is just smooth. And then there's the eyebrow thing. But I don't need to go there yet--I think this is enough for now.

It's done, right? No more anticipating it, no more feeling my head hurt because my scalp is so sensitive and my heavy, pretty hair was just waiting to fall out. I'm going to be bald for a long time, so I need to start getting used to it. In some ways, I think I look more like myself bald than with these wigs on, but as I'm used to people looking at my head out of appreciation, I don't really look forward to the idea of people looking at me out of curiosity, pity, or revulsion, so I might wear them relatively often. However, in next week's 100 degree temperatures--probably not much. So there are some scarves and bandanas too.

Gabe took pictures the whole time, and there are lots of "in process" pictures that are very hard to look at where I am very upset. Even though this is my cancer blog, I don't have any desire for people to see those. Look, it's me, at one of my weakest cancer moments! Look how much this sucks!

Not appealing.

Until today I somehow never figured out how to post more than one picture per blog. We'll see if I do it right. If so, here's what you'll see--all of these are no makeup pictures, so if ever I can tell what I really look like, it's here: There's Katy with all her ponies in, waiting to have them chopped. There's Katy bald. And then there's Katy with her two new wigs. Let's take a vote on which looks best.

Someone had better pick the bald one, even if you're lying. Good night.


  1. What about the one we took where your old hair was in pigtails? That would have been my favorite! You should know I love you no matter how you look, and you always look so well put together to me whether you've got hair on your head or just the sun shinin'.

  2. Katy,
    You are beautiful bald!! I mean that so sincerely. I'm voting on that above the two wig pictures. I don't think that Gabe is just being nice. You are a beautiful girl with or without your hair. I'm sorry that it is such a difficult thing to go through. I hope you get some sweet sleep tonight.
    Take care. Thinking of you.

  3. I'll pick the bald one on the logic that it makes your eyes look somehow bigger (which, as mom would say, would have seemed impossible).

  4. I collect GI Joe toys, so I'm gonna vote for the Demi Moore / GI Jane look. Easy choice.

  5. 100% bald. Sorry if it's not your pick, but it's definitely mine. You do look just like you. But, if I HAVE to pick one of the wig ones just for you to make other people feel comfortable (?) at work or whatever - I'll pick Pic #2. Bald with scarf or just bald is the way I think you're the cutest little Katy self that you are.

  6. Ooo, I also like the bald look! "Lucky" is probably a word you're tired of hearing, but I must say you *are* lucky to have such a beautiful face and head shape. Now we can see it all even better.

    By the way, I'm generally partial to the photos in which you're smiling, so I hope you have more reasons to do that (read: after a long and rejuvenating sleep) very soon!


  7. I agree with your brother and with Gabe (and everyone else for that matter). For one thing, speaking as someone who has absolutely NO style, you are ALWAYS stylin' - Gabe is right on that count. And of course your big black eyes have always been, if I have to pick a physical part of you (and that's not my style you know) my favorite aspect of your being, so I'm also pleased with the bald one. When you came home last night you really did look beautiful to me. If I have to pick a wig I can't since I helped pick out the two of them and I like them both. The Meg Ryan look is pretty cute and so different. The other one just looks like you. Mostly, as you've heard me say again and again, I am just glad that the chemo is underway and that the future beckons.

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  9. (sorry, bad typo in that last post)

    Um, right, so here's how it went. I said to myself, "Okay... I gotta check Katy's blog, because this is it. It's The Bald Blog. And I have be honest with her because she really has no tolerance for bullshit and she never has."

    So I braced myself for impact before I hit the little KatyDid shortcut button that I keep at the top of my browser.

    And here's what happened when I saw The Bald Photo.



    I will continue to not lie to you and I will say that you do not look professional, or sleek, or Hollywood or anything with the bald head.

    You. Look. Unbelievably. Cute.

    Not baby cute, though. Because you definitely look like an adult. And, excuse me, but you do look like a woman, by the way. No, what's the right description for this kind of pretty, adult, sort of cute?... hmmm.... HIPPY CUTE! That's it, you look like a super-cute freakin' hippy! Bust out some long skirts and patchouli, Babe, cause you are workin' it!!! (Maybe we should go back down to Alabama when all this is done, where everyone kept referring to us as Those Hippy Girls?)

    As far as the wigs, you're right. You're a red-head, and they look good. If I had to pick, I'd say #1, but it might just be because you're smiling. I'm calling that "Sweet Wig." With the #2 wig, you look like you could kick my ass. I'm calling it "Power Wig." I say you wear that one to work whenever you want to get your way.

    Your head is awesome. I know cancer sucks, so much, so very far beyond any descriptors I could place here. But your head, however, is awesome.

  10. OK, I was going to say you looked beautiful even if you didn't, but OMG, you're a frickin' knockout, drop-dead gorgeous hottie with no hair. I never would have guessed, since I'm totally with you on the red-hair identity thing. You have the perfect face for it and a nicely shaped head. And you do NOT look like a boy, Miss Halter-Top. I believe in your case the wigs are not going to be necessary. The short wig makes you look like your mom (which is a good thing, Martha, but she looks younger w/o). The bob wig is OK too. But bald, you look like a rock star, crossed with an edgy intellectual.

  11. (This is Danielle - on Michael's google account)

    I have to agree wholeheartedly with everyone and tell you that, girlfriend, you do bald FABULOUSLY! You really, really, REALLY do. The shape of your dome, the shape of your face (and the smile on that face) - you look amazing. I'm blown away. For the runner up, I like both wigs and agree with Julie. But please do rock that bald head!
    Love you so very much,

  12. So - my guess is that you don't believe any of us (and I'm a bit late to the comment party here having been traveling the past few days), but the fact is you actually look really good bald. And let's be clear - lots of women don't really look good bald, in fact they look completely weird. And I'm happily willing to admit that prior to these pictures I had no sense of whether you'd be in the first group or the second. But for whatever reason, it's actually a good look. Not that you'd choose it, but nevertheless I think you're a pretty bald lady. :)

  13. I know I'm late as well in the comments, but I want to concur with the other comments. Having been a huge fan of Sigourney Weaver's look in Alien3 I'm all over the bald, and as someone else said, not many people can pull it off but you can. Your head is so perfectly shaped--I hope that doesn't sound weird. I think bald is very cute and trendy on you. But of course you're one of those women who could pull anything off and still look amazing.