Bad Hair Day

7 Dec



This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 2011 Boston Children’s Hospital Gala with my family. The event was wonderful and as I look today at pictures from the event, I have to admit I looked good. My dress, my makeup (thanks to my sister), my shoes, it all really came together. There is just one problem, my hair. Even though I had a professional blow dry by the end of the night my hair was flat and stringy. What is ironic is that when I was being treated at Children’s, I had no hair to worry about.


 I was treated at Children’s in 1983 for Leukemia. My treatment protocol, which included chemotherapy and radiation, was aggressive and I lost my hair. My mother and grandmother assumed that the hair loss would bother me, so they took me to a wig store. I was told of my choices: brown, black, or blonde. I thought long and hard. This was a big choice. Who was someone I liked that I could perhaps emulate?


Due to the severity of my illness, I was kept in isolation. Only adults could come visit me and only for a short period of time, so I began watching a lot of TV and movies. My favorite movie was Annie. I loved the music and the friendship between the orphans. Annie was smart, charismatic, and at the end of the day, made out pretty well by being adopted by a millionaire. That was who I wanted to be. The best way to start was getting my own bright red curls!

“I want to look just like Annie!”

My mother and grandmother laughed and decided that I didn’t need an expensive wig. I wasn’t embarrassed about how I looked. I just wanted, like any other child, to play dress up. Instead of leaving the store with a new head of hair, I was rewarded with my favorite childhood food, a Happy Meal. This, to me, was even more exciting than an Annie wig.

A very close family friend said to me on Saturday “It amazes us to watch you on the dance floor. I remember when you were being treated (for cancer) and had to live in an isolation bubble, and now you are here”.

 So as I continue to see more semi awful pictures of myself on Facebook, I am to  try to channel that child who cared more about playing with my coveted Cabbage Patch Kid than spending time looking in the mirror and worrying about my hair. Well, I said try.


2 Responses to “Bad Hair Day”

  1. Laurie Cohen December 7, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    You were beautiful then with no hair and even more beautiful now, inside and outside.

  2. alison nakash December 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    You are a beautiful person and I am so glad you are part of my life.

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