How Do You Like Me Now?: Friday, May 8, 2009

Right on schedule, my hair started to fall out on Thursday (this was day 13 since my last chemo; everyone's hair typically falls out between day 14 and 21). Based on the advice I read from other chemo patients, I decided to take control of the situation and go into the wig shop on Friday afternoon to get my head shaved and my wig fitted.

I'll post a lot more color commentary on my whirlwind afternoon at Amy's of Denmark, as well as pictures of the whole shaving and fitting process, in the next couple of days. I have to say though, thanks to the warmth and experience of the Amy's stylists, it really wasn't too painful. In fact, I felt pretty darn good when I walked out of the shop on Friday afternoon.

As promised, here's the color commentary and pictures (!!!) from my trip to Amy's:

First, you should know that there are only a few reasons I ever venture to Maryland. Don’t ask me why, but I just don’t like the state that much. Maybe it’s because of the accent of many of the people that live there? Perhaps, it’s because it has a place called Dundalk in it? Or, maybe it's because no one from that state can drive worth a lick when they venture into Virginia? Really! I don’t know what it is but I just don’t like it that much. However, I will cross the border to enjoy an afternoon on my dad’s boat, pick crabs in the summer, visit with my mother’s family, and…most recently, to find the crème de la crème of chemo wigs.

Mom and I first ventured out to Amy’s of Denmark, the premiere Washington wig shop (according to Washingtonian Magazine, anyway), on Tuesday, May 5. We invited my mom’s sister Kathy, who is a cross between Kathie Lee Gifford and Samantha from Sex in the City (don’t ask…just trust me on this one), to join us for the excursion and for lunch. Somehow I knew wig shopping would be more fun if Kathy was along and I was right. I was determined to find a lower cost synthetic wig to use over the next six to nine months as opposed to a MUCH more expensive real hair wig. And that’s exactly what I did on that Tuesday (actually, I found two!). I also found some nifty scarves and bandanas, which Mom and Kathy treated me to. I left the store with one wig in hand and the other on order, ready to come back to get shaved and fitted once my hair started falling out.

As I said above, right on schedule my hair really started to fall out on that Thursday and Friday (days 13 and 14 since my first chemo). So, I decided to take control of the situation, which was advised in a couple of cancer books, and to head in to get shaved and fitted on Friday afternoon. I was traveling up to NYC on Saturday morning for a weekend of events and knew I couldn’t handle the emotional trauma of losing all of my hair in the middle of the Concrete Jungle so I forced myself to get up to Amy’s (don’t even ask about the Friday afternoon rush hour traffic we encountered on the way home!). As you’ll see in the photos below, I ended up switching wigs in the middle of the styling process (in case you’re wondering, the stylists told me that 40% of the people who come in cry during the fitting/styling process).

Unfortunately, the synthetic wig I had purchased started to look like a brown football helmet as it was styled and I knew I just couldn’t bare to wear it so I made the switch to the MUCH more expensive (think down payment on used car expensive!) real hair wig, which had just received a fresh coat of summer highlights that morning. I think you’ll agree though, it was a good switch! And one that will keep me from slipping into a deep, dark depression over the next several months. Really, what’s a couple thousand bucks when you’re talking about a cancer patient’s happiness (right, Dad?)???

Here a few shots from the Friday afternoon shaving and fitting at Amy’s. Thanks to Elan and Sandee for their support and excellent wig styling!

Let's get the party started! This is how I looked in my fairly new, short chemo cut (less hair to fall out!) before the shaving started.

Okay, so obviously I'm having problems rotating photos with my new camera software (Kristin, help!) but here's a crooked look at me during the shaving process. Not so bad, right?

Uh...not too happy at this point because I felt as though I was starting look like Laura Bush with the stiffly coiffed brown helmet. Poor Elan. He tried hard but there was no saving this thing. It was a goner.
Making progress on the new wig with Sandee. It might not be obvious from the photos but this one felt and looked much more natural than the first Laura Bush helmet.

Again, I apologize for the technical difficulties but here I am feeling like a movie star (okay, maybe a made-for-TV movie star but still...) as I prepared to leave Amy's in my new wig. I promise to replace these photos with a corrected image once I am able to connect with my CTO, Kristin, and get these fixed!


  1. I bet you look gorgeous as always Jennie. love to you and your whole family. thinking about you!! eloise

  2. Thanks, babe! Hope all is well with you these days.


  3. You go Jen! You are beautiful with or without hair...and I would not be capable of saying that to everyone! xxoo Elena

  4. Great update J and love the new 'do!