• Nathira Salim

My Vanity - Part 2

If anyone out there with cancer and is worried about having your head shaved bald - let me let you on a secret. Have a party and get it shaved with your friends.

In my old post which I will link it here, I went on about how I would feel getting my head shaved bald. I was pretty worried about how I would look at the mirror and so on. After that post, I went on trying to visualise myself sitting on a chair at the hair salon, closing my eyes tightly shut, while letting the stylist shave off all my hair. And then I will look at the person at the mirror and accept her no matter how she turns out. Trust me, I tried. All I can think of is how would the other stylist and customers sitting there look at me? Will I cry? Will I make a fool of myself?

Then I decided - no way. I will do it at home. Get the hubby to do it for me. But then - I didn't want him to do it. I mean I made a joke of it then saying that he's bad luck. Since the plants he prune don't grow, he shouldn't get to shave my head as well I said. The truth is the process will be more painful for him than it is for me and I don't want him to go through this. He's been there for me in every step in this cancer journey but I want him to sit out on this one.

I was still trying to figure out how to get it shaved, when I messaged Ruzana about my scalp pain on a Friday. I may have skipped this information out in the previous blog. The hair doesnt just fall out naturally. It begins with a scalp pain. It feels as if whatever hair that is on the scalp is being pulled out forcefully. The more I massage the scalp, the more hair will fall.

I told Ruz my plans to get my head shaved outside. I don't know what came over her or me actually. She said she will get it done for me FOC. And I was like, ok come over tomorrow. And you know what? She did.

Ruz has always gone on about how she would help me cut my hair whenever I tell her that I need a haircut. She always carries a pair of scissors in her bag and will take it out and wave it about to make a point. And I guess this is the year where whatever we want happens it seems.

My crazy girl, took the 40 mins train journey from one end of the island and 15 min bus journey from Clementi to come to my place. I wouldn't do that. ( I would take the cab!)

Akshata wanted to come along as well when I told her the plans the night before. But Sat was a Deepavali and its her day. So I asked her to stay with her hubby and enjoy the rest of the day.

On Saturday morning, we found out that the trimmer we had at home is missing the charger. Its the wireless one. So I got the hubby to rush down to SS and get something cheap. So by the time Ruz came over in the afternoon, we had the trimmer ready and Ruz has already looked up in the YT to learn how to shave a person bald.

Since the cheap trimmer was a wired one, we decided to have it done in the master bedroom toilet. We set the chair inside the toilet facing the mirror, and I sit there while Ruz will stand just outside the door and trim. The toilet is a small one. Ruz was all prepared, sleeves rolled, trimmer manual read, trimmer wired and switched on. And I was prepared, seated with a loosely wrapped towel around me. We took a picture before we started. Then once I placed my glasses and mobile on the toilet bowl cover, she started after saying a prayer.

Once all the curly hair was shaved off and piled on the floor, we realised that the trimmer was not trimming the roots. So we whipped out the mobile phone, checked out the YT again and found out that we can shave the head with a razor blade. Off Ruzana went to ask my hubby who was lazing out in the hall for the disposable shaving blades he bought in the morning. With that, we also realised we needed some sort of foam to shave. Ruz wanted a shampoo - but I went for the body soap instead saying that shampoo would tear my eyes. I shaved the front portion - while Ruz went with the back. I did not note the time it took for the whole episode to come to an end but she did well. Both she and I were proud of her effort as well as the outcome. And the body soap teared my eyes. I had to wash my face and neck couple of times in between the shave.

Because we laughed and giggled a lot during the shave, I didn't feel sad. In fact I was excited. I didn't cry, nor did I look horrible as well. We took a pic and a video after the shave and I am telling you - I think I look beautiful. Hubby was silent, but I think he was upset. But my son loved it. He ran his hands on my head and said he was loving it. I realised that it is true - what they say. You need to rally your friends and people you love during hard times. I may feel its hard on me because I am in a hard place. But there are people who want to help you and I think we should let them help. It makes them feel good that they managed to help you in the ways they know how and it also makes me feel good that I did something that would have been hard on my own, but did it nevertheless because of my friends.

So people, whatever issues you have, if you are in a hard and lonely place, ask for help. Or accept the help that is coming your way. Its hitting 2 birds in one stone concept ( though I don't usually throw stones at anyone). You make yourself happy, and your friend happy as well.

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