Friday, March 21, 2014

The Pros,Cons & actual Experience of shaving my head (against Blood Cancer)

  As you can imagine, before I shaved it, I thought A LOT about 
shaving all of my long hair off for charity.

I knew the Leukaemia Foundation to be a good charity organisation, 
where most of the money raised goes directly to provide free services 
for Leukaemia sufferers and their families. 
And of course also into research into blood cancers.
In addition, with the length and condition of my locks, 
a wig can be made and donated to a cancer patient who felt she needed one.
So the positives outweighed any doubts I had on my part.
But still, I weighed up the pros and cons...

PROS
Raising money to help others in need
Change - a new beginning. Starting fresh
Feel the elements on my head - wind, rain, sun
No more shower caps or timing of wet hair (that takes HOURS to dry)
No more washing and combing - save time, product & money
Less threat of nits! (Imagine using one of those combs in my thick hair!)

CONS
My children's reaction and confusion
Matching My Man, who also has a shaved head.
Sunburn!
It's not long 'til Winter.
I'm recognised for my red mane and often hide behind it...
Will I like my reflection ?

Well the day has come, and gone. 
I have had my new 'Do' for a week.
The reactions and comments have been incredible. Supportive.
Even made me blush at times.
I've discovered, yet again, that My Imagination and Reality are different.

And I made a lovely new group of friends - who live and work in 
my favourite town here on the Sunshine Coast :  Pomona.

I DO feel free. Light. Untethered.
As someone pointed out to me - our hair often dictates our style.
I now have a blank canvas.

Tears of surprise, relief and joy.
 The day and experience was emotional.
As much for the aesthetic change I was about to undergo, but also because
I have become a beacon for cancer awareness. 
I heard many personal stories and experiences of people whose lives had
been touched by cancer. Many of these stories were upsetting and tragic.
There were so few that had a happy ending, though even some of the more
positive stories brought a tear to my eye. 
I cried a lot on the day.

Now, as a result. I feel enriched by the whole experience. 
I feel more grateful
for the life I have with my family. 
I feel blessed to have had so much support 
from far and wide (THANK YOU!). 
And I feel proud to have been able to help others through
such a small act. 
It's 'Just Hair' after all.

And what of my concerns?

My children's reaction and confusion - a friend suggested that we have a ceremony
of sorts the day before. We plaited two small plaits in the centre of my head (so as not
to affect the wig ponytail). My children excitedly got to snip one each to have and 
own as their own part of Mama. 
They played, touched, hugged and wore that plait each, all day. 
That was enough.
They (especially my youngest who was convinced I "wouldn't be Mama anymore") 
then seemed to let go and accept the new hairless me.
I admit, hearing those scissors go SNIP
was a shock the first time. So it helped
me emotionally deal with it too.
Matching My Man, who also has a shaved head - I'm yet to know how that feels.
We haven't seen each other yet. He works interstate. But I think all it will do is
make others smile when they see us and our children will rub our heads
 continuously for comparison!
Tactile as our children are, that will only bring our little family closer.
Sunburn! - as an Australian, we're educated from a young age about the dangers of sun exposure. It's really just made me more aware of standing in the shade 
or taking a hat for me too when we are staying outdoors. 
That's really such a good thing, for the rest of my exposed skin too.
And in the end. I went a 'number 4' rather than a 'number 2'. I decided I didn't NEED
to shave to my scalp after all. It's dramatically shaved enough.
It's not long til Winter -I hadn't realised just how groovy beanies can be. 
I've been looking at etsy now with a keen eye!
I'm recognised for my red mane and often hide behind it... 
- well, that's a confidence thing for me. 
I'm really rather shy and my hair has helped me step out of my comfort zone with 
a little false bravado. It's a psychological thing. But now that it's gone. I'm doing ok.
I'm (obviously?) being recognised now for the shaved head, and people are saying
such nice things.
Will I like my reflection? - For all of my chatter on how amazing it feels. The buzzer on my head like a fantastic massage. The soft spikes as I rub the shower or pool from my 4mm stubble. The noticeable disappearance of the dragging weight. No. I don't really like my reflection. I'm not getting used to it. But I don't look in the mirror that often anyway. And I know it will grow back quickly and thickly, I'll just wait until I can style it. 
Hey wait. Oh, Yes - I can have a Style!

On a side note:~ I would completely recommend EVERYONE does this
at least once in their life. Shave your head and raise money for 
a good cause at the same time. Not only will you help others, you will 
feel amazing because of it.

If you would still like to, please click the link to Sponsor me 
throughout March and April 2014:

8 comments:

  1. What a wonderful, selfless thing you have done! Good on you. Your post brought tears to my eyes.

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  2. You've brought tears to my eyes, Aleta. Thank you so much for sharing this experience and good on you for doing it.

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  3. V brave and generous of you and I love that you have detailed all aspects of your experience - and as a side note I have just put 2 and 2 together have read your blog for a while and also read your story in one of the local papers recently. Small world (we are on the SC Hinterland also not far from Pomona)

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  4. PS You look gorgeous
    PPS Off to make a donation
    PPPS You have encouraged me to think about doing this at least once in my life

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  5. One of my closest friends did this a few years back and it has stuck with me. Reading your journey has increased that feeling. I think you look marvellous, just stunning. Well done on your journey, and thanks for sharing it too.

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  6. You're amazing Aleta! Loved reading this! xx

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  7. I think you look gorgeous with your new do! It suits you :D xxx

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To contact me directly, please email me at HinterlandMama (!AT)gmail(DOT)com

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