When the woman arrived at the salon, she looked a bit nervous. Then her husband arrived, armed with his camera. A few minutes later, her daughter came rushing in, out of breath as she didn’t want to be late. She didn’t want to miss this momentous moment.
What was happening? Having completed one chemo treatment, the woman had decided, since her hair was falling out anyway, that she would have it all shaved off. Sadly this is not an out-of-ordinary experience these days, as more and more people get diagnosed with cancer, but regardless, losing your hair is one of the more traumatic aspects of battling the disease.
What was unique in some ways was the way her family were treating this occasion – cameras were out, photos taken to document this big undertaking. Lots of hugs and affection. Next she would be trying on a few wigs to see which one looked best.
As I watched this all unfold, I was sitting mentally working out just how long it was since I’d gone through the same process. Twenty-five years. Twenty five years ago I was a young mother scared stiff that I wouldn’t see my daughters grow up. Twenty-five years ago I was the one getting the wig.
So I felt compelled to go over and talk to the woman, after all, it’s good to know that cancer isn’t a death sentence, that you do get through it, and with her family by her side, I feel sure she will too.
by Anne Day