A wig. A silly wig. That’s all it took to bring me to tears that dreadful day at Doris’ Wig Boutique in Overland Park.
My cousin Nicki had come to town from Pennsylvania to take me wig shopping. She had flown many miles to be with me as I chose “the wig” I would wear while I was bald from chemo. I had been diagnosed with breast cancer on October 29, 2012. I was counseled to have a wig ready as soon as I began chemo on January 17. Sure enough, two weeks after the first treatment, my hair began to fall out. I went ahead and shaved my head on January 31 to save myself from cleaning up clumps of hair around the house.
Shopping for the wig was aggravating for me. I was bitter and resentful just walking into Doris’ salon. I asked the sales clerk if she had ever lost her hair from cancer. She replied “no” and I mentally threw some daggers at her. How dare she wait on me and anticipate a sale with eagerness. This was a horrible thing I was going through and she did not deserve to earn a commission from my diagnosis of cancer.
Nicki wanted me to try on several wigs and with each wig, I cried. I sat and looked at myself in the mirror and asked God, “why me?” I think He said, “why not you?” He assured me he would turn my mourning into dancing. Yea, right. I didn’t fall for that trick.
I ended up purchasing a wig that looked like my own hair and hairstyle. I didn’t want anyone to realize it was not my own hair. Funny thing is, today I can spot a wig a mile away. By the end of chemo, I had purchased two more wigs just so I could have different styles. I rationalized that I would need all three wigs to get me by for the 8 or 9 months I had no hair.
As soon as my hair began growing in, the 3 wigs went back into their original boxes. I kept them there until last week. It was Halloween and my employer was going to have a Halloween party. I thought I’d bring in the wigs and see if any of the individuals in the day service would want to wear them.
Sure enough, my three favorite guys with Down Syndrome chose to wear my wigs with their costumes. They beamed with joy and satisfaction as I placed the wigs on their head. Then they danced to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in their costumes and my chemo wigs. I danced with them and realized the silly wigs I had once despised were now making me laugh and dance. God was right…He could turn my mourning into dancing. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!