Publicity

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It began with Twitter.  And a hashtag.  I flirt with Twitter.  I am not a great tweeter but I do like to dabble (@wildsidejam if you are interested).  On one such dabbling, I noticed Cancer Research were running a campaign. What did cancer mean to me right now?  Or #CancerRightNow.  So I told them.  I had just done a collage of different head looks.  I thought they might like it.  They did.  Quite a lot.

My original tweet got their attention and landed in the #CancerRightNow gallery.  Which is a bit like the Vision On Gallery.  Only without the music.  Or Tony Hart.  I then had some lovely email correspondence asking if they could further use my photo and information on other social media platforms.  Being the shy, retiring type, I hesitated for about five seconds before agreeing.  So last Monday I was the subject of Cancer Research UK’s twitter feed, resulting in 185 likes and 44 retweets.

Then on Saturday we did it all again, this time on Facebook:

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Somewhat shockingly, that has resulted in 1.4k likes, 116 comments and 70 shares to date. In under 24 hours.  Which is the closest thing to going viral I am ever likely to get.

There is a possibility that the world of Instagram may be hit by my mug shots this coming Thursday.  You have been warned.

That Cancer Research wanted to use me is rather flattering.  That so many people took time to comment, like, share or retweet is also rather lovely.  I hope it helps to raise awareness for the splendid work that Cancer Research do.  Other than that, I am not really sure what to make of my 2 minutes of fame.

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Test Driving Miss Wiggy

Wig 6

I have been delaying wearing my wig.  I am not entirely sure why that is.  I know it looks convincing but it really does not feel it.  Normally, I am a hair toucher.  It is one of the reasons I do not wear hair spray.  Getting my hand stuck as I go for the rake through is not a good look.  When wearing The Wig I cannot, under any circumstance fiddle with the ‘hair’.  At all.  Not even a little bit.  And this is disconcerting to say the least.

Last week I felt the time had come.  Everyone talks about wigs being hot so I chose a coolish day.  There was a breeze but not so much of one that I would be worried about hair raising flights.  I applied the slap – which has become something of confidence in cosmetic form – dressed wearing an adaptable scarf as a just in case, and stepped forth.  The result?  No comic moments.  No howls of hilarity.  No nothing really.  It was utterly ordinary.  And that was really rather nice.  It did feel odd but I soon forgot and only during hot flushes was I acutely aware of it, or when my scalp felt itchy.  Scratching while wig wearing is something that I have yet to master.

I was not so convinced that I intend wearing The Wig from now until my hair has grown back but I am convinced enough that I will wear it more than I expected.  It was delightful to pass unnoticed.  Because whichever way I dress it up.  And however much I attempt otherwise.  Having no hair means I look like a chemo patient.  Wearing a scarf means I look like a chemo patient.  Admittedly ripping The Wig off in the car because I was Just Too Hot also meant I looked like a chemo patient but it had the added thrill of causing shock and mayhem to the drivers surrounding me.

Hair today, Gone tomorrow!

Hair

Today has been all about hair.  It began with hair removal.  You know, just the routine stuff.  Slapping a bit of Veet on the bikini line.  Running the razor over the legs and arm pits.  It is a routine I will not miss.  But it did feel odd.  Doing it all today.  The irony was not lost on me.

I did not plan it this way.  It just happened.  You see, today I had an appointment at the wig fitters.  And it is not every day you get to say that.  ‘What are you doing today?’, ‘Oh, nothing much, just popping along for a new syrup.’  It does not run off the tongue, does it?  Yesterday, during my pre-chemo chat, I was given a voucher for a wig to take along to a supplier.  Gone are the days of NHS Wig Woman hiding in a cupboard somewhere in the bowels of the hospital surrounded by boxes of grey hair pieces all looking much the same.  Now, I had to make an appointment and go to the specialist retailer which was by far a much more preferable experience.

Knowing this was coming, I had booked some weeks ago and arranged to take my hairdresser buddy with me.  We share much else besides the same hairdresser but it did seem appropriate.  Although the pressure was on: ‘Make sure she chooses well!’ our hairdresser charged her.  I was guessing this meant that the Donald Trump toupée was out and the 118 scouser look was a definite no no.  The look I went for in the end, was as close to my norm as possible.  I reasoned that on the days I choose to wear it, I will want to feel like me rather than striking out in a new style.  I am going to have buckets of time for new styles once it all begins to grow again.

Before making a decision, I tried on several wigs in many different styles and varying colours.  But true to normal shopping form, the first one I tried on was the one I came away with.  I have an Attract Petite in Sugared Walnut and am besides myself about it.  I have never, but never, owned anything before with petite in its description.  This is indeed a moment to savour.  I am not sure what the petite bit refers to as my head is on the enormous side.  Hats are generally a struggle, even Christmas cracker hats split immediately.  So I just cannot wear them.  Shame.

How often I shall don my syrup remains to be seen.  After only a few minutes wear, and with a layer of hair for comfort, it was still hot and itchy.  But at least I now have it as an option.  And it is not bad.  Not bad at all:

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To complete the hair raising experience day, on my return home I decided to book an appointment with HeadStrong, the Breast Cancer Care advisory service for hair loss through breast cancer treatment.  That will be happening the day before my first chemo.  I will have an hour of one to one tuition on scarf tying and hat wearing.  Excellent.  I like a hat.  It is a fair old trek from our home but the Captain is coming with me – possibly to brush up on his piratical bandana skills – and we will go out for a Last Day Before Chemo Lunch.  Sounds like a plan.