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Opinion from Moms

Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 2014

I am NED after having had stage 3C ovarian cancer. Tomorrow is my 2 month anniversary of ending chemo. Now that my hair is growing back, I finally went out in public this week without a scarf or hat. This was a huge step and I was very proud of getting past my vanity and celebrating that I made it through. Everywhere I went this week, I held my head high and strangers were incredibly supportive and friendly. 

My two boys (ages 14 and 11) told me today that they are embarrassed to be seen in public with me with my very short grey hair. They've asked me to keep covering up until it's longer and I've dyed it.

I'm really torn about what to do. On the one hand, I really want to tell them to deal with it and that this is important for me to start feeling back to normal. On the other hand, I understand their embarrassment and don't want to cause them any more distress than they've had to deal with while I was sick.

Would really appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

debrajo's picture
Posts: 1095
Joined: Sep 2011

I Know a little of what is going on with you all!  Kids that age are still trying to figure out who THEY are and here comes this huge  change in Mom!  My  yongest was just 15 when I lost all my hair and looked like heck, but poor kid has never said a word.  He had time to get use to me embarrising him over the years.  I was 42 when he was BORN and have been mistaken for his grandmother many times!!!  You have over come and should celebrate the fact.  Time for the boys and mom to have a heart to heart talk.  Go with your gut..each will probably react differently.  You know your children best.  Their mother is a surviver of something terrible that tried it's  best to kill her!  I have six kids, five boys and one girl from 42 to 20 and I have been clear and out of chemo since May'10.  They will live and be proud of you.  This is "you" time....do what makes you feel better!  Sorry for the   sermon, and congrats on your hard won battle!  Best. debrajo

wholfmeister's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Dec 2012

Congrats on being NED! That must be the best feeling!

At the risk of being un popular, I have to question why we care so much what others think, even strangers. My two year battle has been very personal; I have never wanted to share my cancer status with the whole world.  Even when I make those all to frequent visits to the cancer center, I wear my wig and prefer if strangers think I am staff not a patient. I never go out without my wig.  Even at home, I usually wear my wig when my husband is home. After 40 years, he deserves to see me the best I can be.  That is just me, everyone is different.  I don't begrudge any of the brave women who feel differently and are comfortable with the scarves, hats, or just plain bald head!

A calm mother-son, one-on-one chat is in order.  Remember, your cancer was not yours alone.  It has affected and changed all those who love you. Don't assume you know what is going on in a young teen's mind.  Whatever the outcome with your head, a chat will be good for all.

it sounds like your hair is coming in quickly! That means this head situation is temporary at worst.  The love of our family is forever.

Kaleena's picture
Posts: 1767
Joined: Nov 2009

I am with Debajo.  You need to have a heart to heart talk with your sons.   Also know that know matter how hard you try, you will embarrass your sons (even if you didn't think  you would).   I have three sons.   At first we didn't tell them what was going on because they were so young but they knew something was.   We tried to act like it was nothing.   But when I had a recurrence, we had a heart to heart talk and they were very supportive.   

Also, by not trying to stress them out, you are actually making yourself more stressed which is not good and then you may start to feel angry, sad, depressed about the whole situation when it could have all been avoided by having a heart to heart talk.   If they don't understand after the talk, you can be sure that you did everything possible to help them understand and it is out of your control.   You have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of everyone else.  Moms tried to be strong and strong for our children - to protect them from hurt and such and the world.   But sometimes they have to know what is really going on and realize exactly how much you care and have protected them. (Not always easy though but doable)

My best to you.



PS  Congrats on your NED!

Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 2014

Thank you for responding. It helps to get different points of view about this and I appreciate your taking the time. I know in the scheme of things, this is a pretty trivial matter relative to everything else we've gone through but it's an emotional thing for me since I just want to get this behind me. Sending healing prayers to all of you dealing with this horrible disease.

Mwee's picture
Posts: 1341
Joined: Nov 2009

Congrats on being NED. You are dealing with not only your own feelings about getting back out there post chemo, but the comfort level of your children. This is not easy stuff.

                                                                        ((((((HUGS))))))   Maria

Alexandra's picture
Posts: 1311
Joined: Jul 2012

My daughter was older than your kids, she was 18+ when I was first diagnosed and on chemo. I was wearing a wig both in the house and outside and a cotton cap to bed. Once she caught a glimpse of my bald head coming out of the shower and she covered her eyes and ran out of the room. I suppose she was scared or embarrassed, we never discussed it.

On the other hand at the age 12-13 she was embarrassed of my accent and told me not to talk in front of her classmates. I shrugged it off then.

Kids will be kids, they will get over it. If you feel comfortable "topless", I say go for it. In 3 more months you will have decent amount of hair and you could color it if you want to.

Congrats on being NED!

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