A HAIR RAISING EXPERIENCE WITH A CANCER PATIENT
A HAIR RAISING EXPERIENCE OF WORKING WITH CANCER PATIENTS
You may think you have seen it all in your industry then something else comes and tops all your various experiences put together. This particular day was one of those days.
Late this evening and completing training with a student; rolls in an elderly couple – maybe husband and wife. Husband was holding the hands of the wife who could not walk properly but the husband was also being supported by a walking stick. They were struggling through the door so I ran to help. I rushed a chair for the wife and she sat down in a heap. “How can I help?” I asked. “We want help with a wig.” She had on her head a scarf that was held in place with some other hairband. So she takes off the scarf and I noticed there were very thin strands of hair here and there on her head. I was in shock but did not show it. So they went on to explain the situation. “We are going to a family party but we need to have a wig so she can look presentable to the family. She is suffering from Cancer and the chemotherapy has taken away her hair. Can you help us?” So we went into the usual details, and luckily we found a wig that was a perfect colour for her.
We went through the process of trying it on. Pop comes the wig cap to protect the little strands of hair she had on – I had to pick just any colour as it was for a trial and this turned out to be a black wig cap under a blond wig. Tried on the wig and she loved the look and the colour. Only problem was it turned out to be too long. Being synthetic wig, we could not cut it to avoid changing the original shape so we held it in place with a lovely hair clip and she was very happy with it. Now she wanted to pay for the wig but I had to change the wig cap as it was black and showing underneath the wig. Eventually found a colour that was okay for her wig colour and I had to change the black to the new colour. This required that I remove the black cap to replace with the new cap because she wanted to go with the wig as she was fed-up with the scarf she came in with.
minutes we had tried the wig on with the black wig cap and now that I needed to change it to the right colour, the few strands of hair on her head had fallen off and stuck onto the wig cap. Imagine my shock of the reality of what cancer could do to someone. Losing every strand of hair on the head can be really traumatic. I was close to tears but had to hold myself together as this brave lady has been facing this trauma for so long. According to her, all she wanted was to have hair on her head.
In-between our sorting out the right wig etc, the husband had to go and park the car properly as the traffic warden was about to give them a ticket. So to kill idle time, I wanted to find out how she had been coping with this sickness. It was cancer of the eyes, she said. It started over a year ago and in-between this, she had gone through so many types of chemotherapy treatment which had not worked to cure the cancer but had taken away all her hair in the process. It has been a very traumatic journey for her and all she does is live by the day to see what happens next.
To say the least, I was dazed throughout all this. I have seen quite a few Cancer patients in my salon but this one sort of really touched every nerve in my body.
It makes you look at and analyse life again. I see people who constantly do everything they can to damage and remove every hair strand they have on their head deliberately or how do you explain someone bleaching her hair constantly with all types of colour. Some of them change their hair colour weekly – green, red, blond, honey blond, purple etc and then come to you to give them hair extensions after the hair starts drying out; breaking off and falling out. And here is a woman who did not contribute to this hair falling off her head wanting just to have her hair back on her head. How do you explain this?
This is the irony of life and every day I am faced with similar situations, I simply shudder and analyse life again.
We will like to hear your experiences if any with Cancer patients or if you suffer from Cancer and going through same experiences as our client above. If you have been affected by anything in this article, please feel free to contact us and we can chat with you to give support.
Tel: +44 1702 339 858, mob: +44 7946 439 057