When Mom first heard she was going to have chemo, one of her first questions was how long will I have until my hair is gone.
12 days. Not 12-15. Not each person reacts differently. 12 days from the first round. Firm.
Since she was in the hospital, and was resolving to the fact that she wasn’t going to get out until after her first chemo, she put me on a mission – find out where to go for a wig.
I called Hairafter Salon and Spa, where my mom has been having her hair done for 35 years. Neither of us thought they’d have them there but the idea was they would definitely point us in the right direction.
What followed was one of the sweetest conversations I’ve had since this whole thing started.
Me – Hi John (John Colombo is the owner, and has been personally responsible for my mom’s head for at least 35 years), My mom has cancer and she needs to know where to get a wig.
JC – Meaghan, I’m so sorry to hear that. What do you mean where does she go? She comes to me!
Me – Oh really? I didn’t think you had wigs there.
JC – We don’t. I will find her one, I’ll cut it and dye it and it will look exactly like her – no one will ever know.
Me – Wow! Okay, she’s hoping not to have spend a million dollars – this is temporary.
JC – Meaghan. Leave it to me, it’s done. Send me a recent picture. I’ll order a bunch, she’ll come in and we’ll pick one, then we’ll shape it, dye it and she’ll pick it up.
Me – Thank you
JC – This is the least we can do, do not worry about it – tell her it will be perfect.
To say Mom was touched is an understatement.
She had her first chemo, and 12 days later…. still a full head of hair. Turns out they hadn’t given her both drugs the first round, and it was the second that would both knock her down for a few days, and make her lose her hair. The delay gave her some time, she was able to go down look at a few options and pick one. The entire staff at Hairafter had a hand in making sure it was perfectly dyed and coifed. She took it home, and John asked her to come in again when her hair started to fall. Once again, he would take care of it.
Thursday she went to a “Look Good Feel Better” session at the hospital, and Friday morning her hair started getting messy – so back to Hairafter she went, and to no one’s surprise the staff were nothing but wonderful. They took her to a room in the basement, where her head was shaved and her wig styled.
Needless to say, it was an emotional haircut. But having it done by anyone else – inconceivable. Having a team of staff that were so genuine and caring made it so much easier.
Fresh from her new ‘do, Mom and Sista went off to Changes in Newmarket for some accessories. While Mom is happy with the look of her wig, it is hot and kind of like a tight ponytail – you can’t wear it all the time – your head kinda gets tired. Changes, sells all kinds of head scarves. Scarves in every colour and weight. Scarves for sleeping, and scarves for fashion.
Mom has been known to collect an accessory or two, and what’s extra nice is they’re so reasonably priced, it’s easy to get one for every day of the week.
Once again, the staff person at Changes was absolutely fabulous. She walked mom through how to wrap them, encouraged her to try different styles. And even gave her one for free, simply because it was slightly smaller than it should have been.
All in all, losing her hair has not been pleasant – as anyone can imagine I’m sure. But luckily there are people in our world who care so much for her happiness and those that have been called to a profession that makes this whole crappy part, a little bit easier.
From the bottom of our hearts… thank you.
Message from Mom: “I was sitting here looking at this picture from your wedding… they did it. I have the same haircut as I did that day!”
Yes she does – and just as beautiful.