I go with Gene each month to chat with my hair stylist as he cuts Gene’s hair, and we laugh at the progress I have made since my last visit. This month, Shawn declared my hair “perfect” as it is. No stray runaway hairs, no bald spots . . . just perfect. You have to love positive reinforcement.

hair growth 32 weeks

Shawn and Kathy 32 weeks after chemo ends.

It was a year ago that Shawn graciously and kindly shaved my head. I remember my decision to shave my head rather than watch my hair fall out. My doctor had told me that my hair would fall out over Thanksgiving weekend, and I did not want this memory to cloud future holidays. More importantly, I didn’t want Gene to have to shave my head for me if all the salons were closed. So I asked Shawn if he would do it before his normal open hours and let my friends come in for support.

breast cancer haircut

Shawn gives me a Mohawk haircut in November 2012

Choosing the friends to go with me was important. I needed people I could trust to support me if I laughed or cried or both. I needed people who get my sense of humor and would understand that sometimes it is easier to laugh than cry. Most of all, I needed people who would not treat me like I was fragile or sick. And I needed the best hair shaver in the business . . . because I wanted a Mohawk for a once in my life experience.

It is probably just as well that I did not know how long I would be without hair after that day. It might have been discouraging. But I will always remember the laughter and kindness that was shown to me that day. I would not have chosen to do this any other way.

I have surrounded myself with great friends and family who support me and laugh with me as I make the best of bad hair days. We joke about asking Santa for bangs for Christmas and how much money I have saved on hair products and haircuts. But most of all, they see past the surface and help me celebrate life. Thank you my friends.