• 63°

I learned an important ó and expensive ó lesson last week.
That is, don’t ever leave a wig in the car on a hot day. You got it ó the wig my family and friends swore didn’t look like a wig when I bought it shortly after starting chemotherapy for breast cancer still doesn’t look like one. It looks more like limp straw.
The wig was fine when I wore it to watch my niece, Amanda, graduate from Davie High School last Friday evening. I knew it would be tough for me to make it through the ceremony, so I planned for it in advance.
I rescheduled my last chemotherapy treatment so I would have enough recovery time to rebuild some strength, arrived an hour and a half early so I could get a seat near the front, took a couple of bottles of water and waited.
The ceremony was everything it should have been ó poignant, fun, meaningful and packed with lasting memories for everyone there. I made it fine until everything was over, and family and friends were invited to join the celebrating graduates on the football field.
I couldn’t find Amanda and could barely walk, so my cousin’s wife, Diane, and her son, Zach, offered to look for her. I held onto the fence and waited, retreating twice to the bleachers to sit down.
When I had recovered enough to make it to the field again, I stood in one spot, looking for the black-and-white outfit I had helped her pick out to wear underneath her gown. The problem was, every graduating female seemed to have on black and white.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, I spotted her. I have never been so happy to see anyone in my whole life.
After a brief photography session with her and my family, Diane and Zach walked me back to the car. We stopped several times along the way where I could hold onto something and rest.
When we finally made it, we waited a long time for some of the vehicles in the parking lot to clear. After a while, I took off my wig and covered my bald head with a black scarf.
The problem was, I forgot and left the wig in the car when I got home. The next morning, I was so exhausted it was midday before I remembered the wig and ventured out into the sweltering temperatures to retrieve it.
I knew when I saw it that something was wrong. It seemed to have shrunk several inches and looked like hair that had been fried by a bad perm.
My Aunt Bonnie spent at least an hour curling it that afternoon, but the curls fell right out. After my weekly visit to the Cancer Center Wednesday, I took it by Chic Wig, where I had purchased it just a few months before, to see if the store owner had any suggestions.
She would try to work on it, she said, adding, however, that it would NEVER look like it did. I haven’t seen it yet, and I may end up buying a new one, but in the meantime, I’m the woman wearing the green “Bad Hair Day” hat.
Mallory Allen of Gold Hill brought it to me shortly after I had my head shaved. I still had some vanity then and doubted that I’d ever wear the hat, but I realize now that I greatly underestimated how miserably hot a wig can be in the summertime.
– – –
Some more news. I went to see a plastic surgeon about having reconstructive surgery in December. That will allow enough time for my body to recover as well as get all the work done before I have to start all over on my insurance deductibles.
I have a choice of having tissue expanders put in followed a little later with silicone or saline implants or having my stomach tissue used to create new breasts. Muscle tissue in the lower back can also be flapped over to create new breasts, but I had that procedure done to replace tissue removed during my last surgery for a fibrosarcoma in my scapula 17 years ago. I’m reluctant to go through any more surgery, but it will be nice to feel whole again.
My next Taxotere infusion is scheduled for June 25, after which I’ll have only one more before I’m through with my chemotherapy. Hooray.
I’m not sure life will ever be normal for me again, but I’m so excited about the prospect of having my own hair back, going back to work, having fun with family and friends, just being able to do anything without having to lie down.
The part about chemotherapy that makes it so difficult is the amount of time it takes. Chemotherapy takes months ó long, hard, seemingly 90-day months that drag by and seem like they will never end.
As much as I want to forget certain things about this time, I hope to always remember enough to think of others going through treatments and offer them encouragement and hope.
“I survived,” I plan on telling them, “and life is good again.”
In my heart of hearts, I believe that it will be, and I can’t wait.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at kcwriter99@aol.com or 2593 U.S. Highway 64 West, Mocksville, N.C. 27028 or put responses directly on the Post Web site at www.salisburypost.com, which features a new link archiving all “Faith, hope and fear” columns.

Comments

Comments closed.

News

Man killed by deputy recalled as storyteller, jokester

News

Rowan’s Sen. Ford backs ‘Election Integrity Act’ to move up absentee ballot deadlines

Business

Salisbury earns ranking on national list of best small cities to start a business

Crime

Supreme Court makes it easier to give minors convicted of murder a life sentence

Local

Quotes of the week

Local

Salisbury Human Relations Council offering online Racial Wealth Gap Simulation

News

Bill seeking permanent daylight saving clears NC House

News

Friends describe Elizabeth City man killed by deputy

Business

With second hobbit house now complete, Cherry Treesort looks toward future expansion

College

Catawba Sports: 2021 Hall of Fame class announced

Crime

Supreme Court makes it easier to sentence minors convicted of murder to life in prison

Local

Overton dedicates tree to longtime volunteer Leon Zimmerman

Coronavirus

First dose COVID-19 vaccinations up to 24% in Rowan County

Crime

Blotter: April 22

Crime

Lawsuit: Salisbury Police, Rowan Sheriff’s Office tore woman’s shoulder during traffic stop

Business

‘Believe me, they’ll be fresh’: Patterson Farm welcomes strawberry crop

Local

City appoints more members to boards, commissions, with 9 seats left to be filled

News

Virtual play groups the new norm at Smart Start

Local

City meets in closed session to consult with attorney on two ongoing litigation cases

Education

Summit takes art out of the classroom, into the student’s home

Education

Education briefs: Gene Haas Foundation donates $12,500 to RCCC

Business

County’s restaurant grant program dishes out funding to eight local eateries

High School

High school football: Yow out as South head coach

Education

Shoutouts