I’m still bald-ish with the gnarly scar carved across my head. The scab is slowly disappearing, and things are definitely looking up.
Ever since this debacle started, specifically when I shaved my head, I was faced with the option to leave my head exposed or to cover my head with a scarf, hat or the possibility of a wig. When I’m home, or with close friends I leave my head exposed, but for the longest time while I was in public I left my head covered.
I was covering my head, not for myself, but for those around me. I was trying to avoid the stares and the uncomfortable reality about my situation. I also didn’t want small children to run in fear (although the only child that’s actually seen my head was more concerned about my “owie” and wasn’t afraid in the least).
I’ve noticed that people stare while I’m wearing hats or other covers. They can already tell that I don’t have much hair, and eyes just naturally gravitate toward my head. They don’t mean to stare, they’re just curious. They probably don’t even mean to keep staring. It has to be confusing that I still have my eyebrows and eyelashes, so they know that I’m not going through chemo, yet I don’t have much hair and there’s definitely something going on.
As I’ve been grappling with this head situation I’ve been increasingly comfortable exposing my head, and I’m starting to walk around in public without hats, or scarfs. Without a cover on my head, people know that what they see is what they get. They can see that I’ve had some sort of traumatic surgery on my head and then they move on. In my own (very unscientific) study I believe people are more comfortable with the truth than the unknown. They want to know what’s going on under my hat, and by removing the secret I am effectively taking away the unknown.