It is more important to know where you are going, than how long it takes to get there.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hair Raising Event...

I'm bald! I'm bald! Actualy...I have stubble! I have stubble!

Last night about 81 people came by to witness the most visual side effect of chemotherapy, hair loss. It was also an opportunity for me to say "thank you," first hand, to many people who continually support me through this adventure. But, before, I could muster the willfulness to shave my head in front of a crowd, many boys stepped up to shave their heads; and girls, moms, boys, 3 dogs, and one old "townie" dad added pink their hair! The first brave, maveric head-shaving volunteer was an 8th grade boy who is a caddy at a private golf course - he better keep his hat on! Not only did get his head buzzed by and electric shaver, he lathered it up and shaved bald! His 6th grade brother followed suit! Amazing! Yes, this was voluntary on their part, and their mom looked on the entire time. Their scalps were very white, almost bluish, compared to their skin color. I thought they looked like a couple of fireflies guiding their mom in the dark. My 4th grade neighbor lathered up again for a fresh clean shave of his perfectly round head, and then his father (who was already follically challenged) went for the freshly shaven look! Two second grade boys are now sporting pink mohawks around town! One second grader cut off his beautiful curls to get a close buzz, and one 5th grade boy got a very close (almost bald) buzz, revealing the biggest, bluest, Irish eyes in town. Every single one of the boys looked so handsome - their eyes and attitude sparkled!

I am at a loss for words to describe how touched I am by the conscious decision by the boys to shave their heads out of concern and respect for breast cancer and my journey. (I am especially moved by the older boys because they are aware of all the fallout (no pun intended) that can result from shaving their heads.) Angels come in all forms.

Manchester has gone pink! There are a lot of people walking around Manchester today with pink highlights and streaks in their hair. This is the real deal hair color, not that spray on stuff in the drug store. Fortunately, it will wash out in about 2-3 weeks, without any grow-out lines.

Just before dark, I stepped up to the plate ( bar-type stool) for my big shave. My mom, dad & brother T watched the shave in Green Valley, CA and my sister and her husband watched in Los Gatos, CA via skype. Riley and Chubba each held a laptop so that they could witness my buzz. I removed my pink hat to reveal my pink hair that had not been washed in two days. It was a little matted down, and not so pretty, but realtively intact. With many eyes watching, I stood on the deck and demonstrated how I cold effortlessly pull chunks of hair out of my head. I didn't feel a thing. Watching the faces in the crowd as I was pulling out the hair was interesting. The expressions ranged from shock, to horror, to amazement, to awe. Because I still had thick hair - in certain areas, the master barber, Sweeney Steve, had to cut some of it with a scissor. (I chose Sweeney Steve to cut my hair because he was an expert after shaving all the kids, and I trusted he wouldn't cut off an ear or take an eyebrow. Plus, he has a little experience with his own head!) I only closely buzzed my head, I didn't lather and shave. My scalp is a little sore in the front/crown area, as if I had a deep bruise, but it was sore before the shave. It must be the cells dying. Upon completion, complements were generously offered to me. Some said that my eyes look bigger. Some said that I have a nice shaped head. What I was hoping for was "taller and thinner." Oh well.

My only comment is that my ears are very small. Really. I didn't realize that I have such small ears. Have you seen my dad?! He wasn't called "Dumbo" as a kid for no reason.

When I look in the window or mirror, it is hard to believe that this fuzzy headed person is me. It doesn't make me sad or depressed, just puzzled. There are some white spots where the hair had already fallen out to the follicles amongst the dark fuzz . In no time, I will look like a dalmation. At that point, I might need to think duct tape. Pictures will be posted soon.

I hope last night shed a little light on breast cancer for young and old, and possibly instigated unique family converstaions. Maybe it ignited a spark in one of the many children running round to become the Jonas Salk for breast cancer.

Last night is an incredible memory that I will keep with me forever...

I feel truly blessed.


  1. And we are blessed by you and your incredible spirit! Nancy

  2. Keval, I want you to know that I follow your (incredibly funny and well-written!) blog religiously and think of you more than you could imagine. I routinely send up good wishes for your continued recovery, and I greatly admire the way that you are handling your illness. If a bit of sassiness and an irreverent attitude is the guarantee of total and complete recovery, you are sure to kick cancer's ass.

    Anxiously awaiting your next installment~Tracy Trumble

  3. Keval, it was our priviledge to be there with you. You are an inspiration. They say true character shines in the face of adversity. And yours is exemplary.