Monday, 1 March 2010

My real mummy...

I'm a bit obsessed with my hair of late... *avoids cries from nearest and dearest who have put up with my hair moans for the best part of two years*

The weird thing about my post-chemo hair is its excessive curliness. I was a long-haired gal with a slight wave before the evil chemo made it all fall out and I liked it. There are many stories to be told about the day my hair went and the day my lovely friends held my hand, held me tight and helped me through the shock of having it all shaved off, but I think that's for another time.

So - this curly hair. I hated it at first. I'd had a cute crop when the hair started coming back and it was all Sineady and pixie-like. I felt quite edgy and stylish and enjoyed the compliments that came my way. Then, slowly but surely the curls appeared and I soon looked like I was wearing a clown's wig or had taken hairstyle advice from Vera Duckworth. Yes, I was grateful to have my hair back, but alarmed by the alien nature of the hair and quite aggrieved that I looked like a brunette version of Harpo Marx

Happily, the curly mop gradually lengthened,  I softened in my curlist attitudes and grew to love the cascade of ringlets and now I am out and curly and proud. I even bought a hairdryer with a diffuser last week to really go to town with the frizzles. Now O and I have both got super-curly hair and I no longer get asked where he gets his curls from, as obviously it's from me.

Looking back to the bad old cancer days, I think the worst thing about losing my hair was telling O about it and the look of shock on his face when I came downstairs for the first time with my bald head. He was only three and so distraught and confused by the whole thing at first - it was quite heartbreaking. I remember one day he asked me not to wear my scarf when picking him up from school and to wear my wig instead. That was a difficult day. However, we're way down the line now and he doesn't really mention the time when I was ill anymore.

Yesterday I decided to straighten my hair using my new hairdryer and my trusty GHDs. After a tussle and a half with the unruly hair and various serums and potions, I looked in the mirror and there was the old me staring back. I felt wonderful and when M & O came upstairs I twirled and preened and waited for their comments. O's face was alight and smiling, but I was not prepared for what he said next:

"I've got my real mummy back!"

His comment has been haunting me ever since.


  1. Something similar happened to me about a month or so ago - I was about to finish chemo and told my boys that my hair would soon grow back. Number One stared at me for while and then said "It is OK I am used to you having no hair". On the one hand that was good - 'cos he wasn't scared or embarassed. But on the other hand he is ten years old ... and I felt sad that he didn't think of me with hair ... which is what I had for the first nine years of his life.

    Love and best wishes - P x

  2. Aw, the tyke's just craving something familiar. Don't take it personally. I'm sure he'll come to love the frizz eventually.

    I can identify with your struggle. My hair turned wavy sometime in high school, and I'm still trying to comb it like it isn't, with disastrous results. Nowadays I just get out of the shower, dry my hair, shake my head, and call it even.

  3. This post kind of caught me out. I am a curly haired mum and I dont like them and you lulled me in to a false sence of security and then made me cry at the end. Children say some strange things and it can be hard watching them grow and develop when you are going through so much.

    Minimad gets his doctors kit and kames sure he cuts off peoples boobies so that they dont get ill!

  4. What a moving post.I don't know what else to say - it makes my bad hair days seem so pathetic.
    Glad that you have embraced your curls x

  5. Paula - it's really tough, isn't it? Am glad to hear you're at the end of your chemo - I hope it's not been too tough. Love to your boys too.

    Postman - I think you're right. It was just a shock when he said it and I couldn't get it out of my head. I laughed at your wavy tales though - sounds like shake, drip and dry is the way forward!

    TheMadHouse - you are right about them saying strange things. But I'd rather he said them than not. We were upfront and honest all the way through the cancer treatment and it really was the best way. Bless your Minimad operating on people to stop them getting ill. Sorry for making you cry - I konw this is a subject that's close to your heart...

    Suzanne - thank you. But please don't feel bad about your bad hair days. I am always moaning about my hair - people who don't know about the baldiness must think I'm really vain!