Sunday, August 14, 2005
One More Step Toward Normalcy (if you can call it that)

There was time in my life when hair couldn't be too big and no amount of hair product was too much. Adapting to this new hair has challenged those beliefs. Never having had short hair, I've struggled with the style of the post-chemo coif. I've gotten a gazillion compliments on the short do, but I was struggling with blow drying (it would get so huge!) and then taming it down with some gel and just trying to make it all work and be fun yet professional. It was getting tothe point where I was really starting to wonder if I was the lost Gotti girl (except not so rude or disrespectful and without that enunciation problem). And then something terrible happened.

I was having a discussion with a few students on Thursday evening. It was a casual conversation. They all know why I was out last Fall term and it seemed natural that one would comment on my hair. She first told me it looked cute. She then paused and said, "It's very eighties."

Eighties? The era of big hair bands, neon clothing, and bad accessories? I may tend to have a more classic style, but I like to think of it as refined classic and not classic eighties (at least not now -- in the eighties I was all about the neon, the big hair, and those cute black lace gloves with the fingers cut off just like Madonna's). Did the student think this could possibly earn her points? How could it possibly be taken as a compliment?

I decided it was time to seek professional help . . . for my hair.

For the first time in over a year I went to the salon and had a hair cut. And really, it was nearly just a hair that was cut. She shaped it a bit and chipped it to make it easier to style. She gave me styling tips and product advice. And although I was tempted, I refrained from any color (this time). I'm still enjoying the dark brown color and soft curls courtesy of the chemo even if I do miss the ever changing colors of my "mood hair" of the past. It felt good to be normal and doing one more thing that was part of my normal life before cancer.

Well, you might be able to take the eighties out of the hair, but you sure can't take the eighties out of the girl. My double header of The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles await (once I turn off my Flock of Seagulls cassette, that is). . .
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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    "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12