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A Hug for My Head

Every new day brings important questions that must be decided such as

“What shall I eat for breakfast?”


“Should I take the walking trail clockwise or counter-clockwise?”

Now another enormously difficult decision faces me each morning;

“What shall I use to cover this head of Baby Monkey Hair today?”

If you are sitting there asking yourself how this question could possibly be that important then you should stop reading this immediately and check out this page.  The first, fourteenth, and twenty-second images could be me.  After viewing these photos I believe you will then understand the importance of this question that I ponder every morning. Small children and other timid souls could be traumatized by unexpected exposure to my uncovered head. Only my family and those close enough to me to still be hanging around my house after about 9 p.m. are treated to this disturbing sight, along with the occasional unfortunate soul that happens to be standing on my porch when I forget and answer the doorbell bare-headed.

Fourteen days after my first chemotherapy my hair started falling out, slowly at first, then by the handful. Most of it is just a memory now, but strangely enough a small fraction of it remained. I thought these survivors would disappear with the second treatment, but after three treatments those stubborn few hairs refused to give up. Catching glimpses of myself when I got out of bed each morning made me want to giggle, but I couldn’t quite come up with the right description for the strange new look I was sporting until my husband’s high school friend and cancer survivor, Paula, came for a visit. She shared some of her experiences with me and we compared notes about adventures of chemotherapy, radiation, and hair loss. When she spoke of her “Baby Monkey Hair” I finally had the perfect description for my new look. Now that you have that image in your mind you will understand the importance of the question of head coverings is. It is my duty to protect the innocent.

I have several options available to me. Thanks to the American Cancer Society I have my “Cancer Hair.”  In some regards it is better than my real hair, but since we have had forty-some-odd days of temperatures over 100 degrees, that option is not always appealing. In fact, when out in that heat my “Cancer Hair” tends to cause me to want to tear it right off of my head and throw it as far away as possible, which could be disruptive in certain situations.

For the morning walk a baseball cap is usually my choice. If I wear my sunglasses I convince myself that no one will recognize me anyway.

For times when I’m going to be out in the sunshine one of the nice hats I’ve been given are the best option. Chemo and sun exposure don’t play well together, so I keep a hat near the back door for my frequent trips to see which plants are about to bite the dust and need rescuing due to unrelenting heat and drought conditions.

A thin cotton African chitenge makes a great head wrap.



I own a ridiculous number of these, so there is no need to wear the same one twice in a row, though I do have my favorites.

These are some my husband brought back from his recent trip to Zambia.  Their colorful prints would clash with some outfits, but since jeans and a plain solid t-shirt are my usual attire this doesn’t present much of a problem for me.


For days when I want to get adventurous I can wear this beautifully bright headwrap I received from Good Wishes, a program that provides a free scarf or headwrap to women and girls experiencing a thinning or loss of hair due to illness or treatment .


I chose this 100% silk charmeuse It’s a Wrap in the print called Bob Marley White from a gorgeous assortment of fabrics and patterns.

The scarf came embellished with a Swarovski crystal Good Wishes Fairy, the company’s symbol to honor the recipient’s courage and spirit. Along with the scarf was a booklet of instructions about how to wear the scarf and a card with the words “Sending you heartfelt good wishes for peace and healing!” I was very touched to find fifteen handwritten personal messages from company’s staff inside the card.


This beautiful scarf really is a “hug for my head” and I am grateful for this company’s thoughtful expression of caring. And the folks around me are grateful for one more way to be protected from exposure to Baby Monkey Hair.




  1. Lisa
    Posted 26 Jul ’11 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    You are so funny! An inspiration to me. I can only imagine how beautiful you look wearing your chitenge headresses. Elegance personified!
    Keep laughing as well as praying. Each heals in its own way.
    I love you, my friend.

  2. Posted 28 Jul ’11 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Love this post! Yay for baby monkey hair :)

  3. Posted 10 Aug ’11 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Thinking about you! :)

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