No hair means no shaving or waxing. No greasy grossness just because I took a fifteen minute nap. No need to find a new hair dresser in a new city, at least not for a while.
All good, in my book.
But I have to say that all the literature (and trust me, the doctors have given me a whole bag of books and pamphlets to read so that I can understand my cancer and my treatments better) recommended that I get a wig BEFORE my hair began to fall out. Since my first treatment was last Thursday and most of my hair should go by the by in another week or so, I felt like the pressure was on.
It was sort of like finding out that prom was in a month, and you needed to have the perfect dress in a week just in case it had to be altered.
Thank goodness I didn't have to rely on Sean to do his part to properly accessorize . . . I can just imagine the fiasco that might have occurred if he had to find a corsage and tux to match my new 'do. I still remember this one combo he always wore when I first met him: a plaid flannel shirt (pink and green stripes on a black background) and army camouflage pants. It wasn't pretty ladies, and it took a lot for me to see past his scary lack of clothing taste.
Or at least, that's how it seemed when I first looked at the list of wig shops and hair treatment centers that they gave me at the Breast Center.
Not as many choices as I thought, I soon found out, although there are a couple of really good options. First, there's this website put together by the American Cancer Society called tlcdirect.org, and that's where I started my search. Kindly, the Breast Center had put a copy of the TLC catalog in my bag of literature, and I looked through it before hitting the web. It was a great place to find out some of the basics of wig shopping -- seriously, who knew all the necessities included in wearing a cranial prosthesis?
Did you know there is a specific way to measure the three dimensions for your head? I didn't, so it was a great lesson, and that one was soon followed by an introduction to all the accoutrements that go with wearing a wig -- a stand, a band for your head, hats, scarves, "hat hair," wig shampoo stuff, and so on.
The hat hair might be my favorite thing, and I'll definitely be getting some of that as well. It's basically a hair rim, so there's no hair on top, just like those monks from the middle ages.
I think it will be a good look for me. Not that I'm prepared to wander around pretending to be a monk from that era (despite it being right up my alley of study!), you understand. But a hat with a bit of hair peeking out the sides will be a hearkening back to my dorm life years. Ah, good times.
But I haven't ordered anything from the tlc website yet, because Sean suggested that I visit a shop and put my hands on a wig or two to get a feel for what I wanted. He was right, as usual.
My first attempt at a local establishment failed, but my second one was a success. Despite how much I hate talking on the phone, I called a hair replacement institute where they basically make you a custom wig. I'm sure they charge a pretty penny, but I can't say for sure. When I called, the sweet young lady told me that she didn't have the information that I needed (I asked about their process and cost), and that she would have someone else call me back. I gave her my number, and waited the rest of the afternoon.
It's been over two weeks now, and I still haven't heard from them, but I'm taking that as a sign. A sign that I'm too poor to be their client, or that they're swamped and just can't take on any new business.
My success came to me a couple of weekends ago, and it was a pretty good day, all in all. I got up early (for me) and went to the Music City Quilters Guild meeting, listened to a guest speaker, and met the members of the guild for the first time.
Since I had my port installed on the Thursday prior, I didn't want to drive that Saturday -- my port is on the left side, and I was afraid that the seatbelt would put too much pressure on my chest. Sean, in his role as supportive husband and encourager of me hanging out with other quilty people, dropped me off and picked me up to take me wig shopping afterward. I think he enjoyed the experience almost as much as I did, no kidding.
The Wig Shoppe, located in Brentwood, has a great atmosphere, and the owner herself waited on us. Her fun personality and sensitivity to cost really put both of us at ease as soon as we walked in. I picked a couple of models, she picked a couple more, and I tried them on.
|With a name like that on the box, I'll have to look great wearing this wig, right?|
It was sort of like being at the beauty shop: she has three booths with mirrors and the chairs that spin. I sometimes spin a little too much and too fast, which is bad for the stomach, but I always feel like a kid when I get in the beautician's seat!
The wig I chose was pricier than the ones I saw online at tlcdirect.org, but . . . I have to admit, it was worth it. Although I brought my new hair home with me, after my hair falls out, my head will be smaller, and my wig will need to be resized. The shop owner will do that for me. She's also going to cut "my" bangs for me.
There is nothing like paying for customer service and feeling like you got your money's worth, especially when you're under the gun and facing some pretty unpleasant tasks ahead. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I felt so good spending so much money.
(And no, the Wig Shoppe isn't sponsoring this post. I feel like it's only fair that I share both the good and the bad, for anyone in the Nashville or surrounding area, who comes across my blog. I know I've appreciated all the help I've gotten over the past few weeks.)
|Hello, Lydia. Nice to meet you. I know we're going to be such good friends. ;)|
Now, time for me to go play dress up with my new best friend. I think I'll call her Lydia. One of my old suitemates from college made Lydia my alter-ego because she could never remember my name, even though we lived right beside each other.
See, even in crisis I'm sticking with what I know. It usually works for me.