kathy getting her hair shaved off

Kathy getting her hair shaved into a Mohawk.

*In recognition of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, Dean and Val have asked me to share some stories from my book Laugh With Kathy, Finding humor in the journey through breast cancer. Each week day during October, I will post an excerpt from my book on Vinton Today. Our hope it that these articles will give you a glimpse into what it takes to beat breast cancer. Proceeds from books sold in October on Amazon and from my website will benefit the Survivors of Benton County.  Please note that I was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago, had two years of treatment and I am now living cancer free.  www.laughwithkathy.com

Thursday, November 22, 2012: Go ahead. Admit it. You have always wondered what your head would look like shaved. I know I have. Not that I have ever been tempted to shave my head. Would my scalp be nice and smooth or have divots or lumps? Are there any old childhood scars from the jungle gym or swings? Birthmarks? Moles? It is a mystery, especially if you are like me and have nice, thick hair. As it turns out, I have a nice, smooth head.

I decided to go proactive and shave my head before my hair fell out from chemo. I didn’t want the memory of handfuls of hair falling out over Thanksgiving, so I set up an appointment to shave my head on my schedule. Take that, cancer! You aren’t in charge of me!

So off to Shawn’s we went to get my new do. We were jacked up on coffee and Diet Coke—it pays to be fortified when one goes through these experiences. We entered D’aversa Salon an hour before they opened. I took part of my number-one support team of family and friends as backup: My friend, Tess—the little voice that whispers in my ear, “Oh, go ahead and do it. I’m an attorney, and I can talk us out of trouble.” My friend,Becky—the voice of reason but who will support me if I decide to listen to Tess. My daughter, Danielle—number-one camera operator and the one who occasionally says, “No, Mom. That isn’t a good idea.” And Shawn—number-one hairstylist and friend who is always good for a laugh and a hug.

I told Becky to just walk in and listen for the laughter and she would find us. Sure enough, that is all it took. Shawn didn’t waste any time. He said, “Ready?” and took a big swipe. That’s when I told him I had changed my mind. He didn’t even blink. He knows me well and said, “Too late!” and kept going. So I asked for a Mohawk. Seriously, how often do you get to do that in your life? Shawn not only gave me a Mohawk but also the Kewpie-doll curl in front for a short time. We played. We laughed. We took pictures. We had fun.

I thought shaving my head would be hard. I thought I might cry. But it was really funny. At one point, I tried to squeak out a tear, sniffed, and said, “You know what would make me feel better? If all of you would shave your heads in support.” Nope. No takers. Only Shawn is a true friend. But then, he already shaves his head.