The day of the big shave finally came yesterday and it’s all off now. We had a little fun doing it, starting with a New Romantics/Morrissey cut, moving to a Barcelona mullet and then an Mohawkian with a little added feminism.. coz why not. It was a team effort from Kat, Adam and Lilah with her awesome combing and cuddling skills.
I felt pretty alright about it in the end and I realised that a lot of my anxiety was sourced in this sense of losing my identity to the illness, or rather the cure. At the beginning of this process when I was going alone to appointments and dealing with two or three medical types in the room with me, it was very easy to feel my sense of self slip away. When you’re vulnerable, made more pronounced by having your boobs on display, it’s very difficult to make your personality felt by others. Your humanity and theirs gets subsumed by the language and environment you’re all in. When Adam started coming with me, that changed quite a lot. Having him telling cheesy jokes and speaking up when I couldn’t really helped the doctors and nurses remember that we were all human beings and had other parts of our identities than just this narrow set of interactions.
Anyway now it’s time to incorporate this new look into my existing identity, which has much more to it than ‘Woman with Breast Cancer’. As Lilah said to me this morning, “Your bald head is cool and inside you’re still Mummy.”