The hat brigade

December 1, 2007

buff Now that NaBloPoMo is over and I don’t HAVE to post today, I … simply must.  I think it’s high time to come clean about my hatgear, don’t you?  Hats have apparently really come back this year, which is great, since my hair hasn’t.  Unfortunately, since I haven’t gotten out much, I didn’t get the message until yesterday.  I’ve been just trying to feel comfortable here in hot, then cold DC this year.  I mean, what DOES make you feel good when you’re pulling your hair out by the roots? 

The picture above was taken just after my first chemo, when I was recovering in bed.  I’m wearing a Buff scarf sent to me by NYfriend, who I went to grad school with.  My little boy is next to me in a Buff scarf of his own, and we’re having a day of reading books and snuggling while mommy fights off the nausea.

buff4buff2

My hair fell out pretty quickly after that first treatment and was entirely gone by the second, just three weeks later.  I started wearing scarves and hats out in public, but didn’t bother much around the house.  Then again, I didn’t bother to wear hats out in public a lot during the summer heat in Washington, either.  I know it made some people uncomfortable to see someone so young so obviously bald from chemotherapy, but I wasn’t exactly comfortable with the idea of cancer myself, at that point.  I did what I had to do to survive the heat, and I like to think I raised awareness too.  Could it be that another young mom was reminded to do her breast-exam because she passed me on a walk and noticed my baldness?  Or maybe a grandmother or grandfather saw my happy boys and went in to get checked themselves?  That would make me happy.  My Buff scarves also made me happy, as they provided a secure grip on my balding head as I was losing hair by the handful and fit well both before and after complete hair loss.  The “must” accessory of the season, though, turned out to be my cute little accomplice.  It’s amazing how much better a picture of a sick person looks with a happy baby in it!

attherace

Happy cousins work well too.  Here we’re wearing our new Race for the Cure hats as we take a breather during the 1-miler.  Cancer survivors are given pink hats and pink t-shirts to wear, while cancer survivor supporters get green and white.  Memo for next year:  do NOT wear the red Buff scarf that morning if there is even a chance that you’ll be given a tiny pink cap to wear.  I was not a happy camper.  And the fact that my red Buff matched my red hoodie did not help.

widebrim

This is one of my favorite hats, worn unfortunately a little high on the head.  Would someone please tell me when I look like a doofus?  The hat is great, it’s just up too high, exposing my bald forehead.

stella

I had that problem with baseball caps as well.  Which is too bad, since I bought matching baseball caps for me and my boys at the start of all this and thought we would look cute all wearing blue baseball caps together.  The kids did, at least.  But too much of my bald scalp showed, as a regular cap exposes the forehead, over the ears, in the back, and particularly through the “keyhole” where the strap adjusts.  This was not a good or particularly often-chosen look for me.  But my friend in the picture here, Stella, understood, as she’s a survivor of inflammatory breast cancer too!  Doesn’t she look GREAT?

hairgrowsudvarhazy

This is my usual look — bald inside, simple knit cap (green, ivory, brown, or blue) outside in the cold.  I thought they looked better on me, though.  Hmmmmm…..

scarf

The scarf I like.  Really like.  I have this one in both ivory and brown, and it feels right to me.  Unfortunately I didn’t really discover that I liked scarves until the temperature dropped to 40 degrees outside here.  When I wear this now, my head is freezing and I have to put on a sweater to go with it.  I’m good like that. 

There are a few newsboy-type caps and a red beret that I really really love, but somehow I don’t have pictures of them on me.  I’d sneak upstairs and take a few, but then I’d wake the whole house and my blogging time would be up.  (Another item for my non-existent “things I like about cancer” list: lots of time to blog or brood when I wake up at 3:00 every morning and can’t get back to sleep.)

babyhat

Some days I just go with my personal favorite … the babyhat. 

That’s funny.  Babyhat looks remarkably like babyphat.  Did I ever tell you gals that Kimora Lee and I lived in the same building and used to hang out while our dogs played together?  Long, long ago, when I was in grad school and she was modeling in local ads.  To this day, I can’t flip by her TV show without thinking, “She and I used to scoop poop together.”  I kid you not.