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Wait–You Can Get a Prescription For a Wig?

So today I met with Dr. D to get some more details about the upcoming chemotherapy stuff. I am on the schedule to begin my first treatment on December 27. My course is called TC, and I will have 4 treatments, 3 weeks apart. Somewhere within days 10-16 after the first treatment, I will lose my hair. Thus, Dr. D handed me a prescription paper that listed my needs as “1 or 2 Cranial Prostheses”. Insurance companies pay for wigs? Wow!

If you know me at all, you will realize that this is devastating news. Seriously, I am really concerned that I may have an oddly shaped head. What if there are weird moles or a crooked indentation? Way back in October, about a week into my diagnosis, I laid in bed one night sobbing over my hair. I needed a trim and I needed to touch up my roots. And I needed to get it done FAST. I think the reason I was so adamant about getting my hair done was that it gave me some control over something in my life. I could say when the appointment would happen, I could determine the right color, I could get a late 80s perm if I wanted to. I was in charge of my hair destiny (at least for a little while longer).

So today, after making the appointment and seeing the lounge chair area where they fill you with chemicals, I left Texas Oncology and headed over to Top This, (http://www.topthisaustin.com/) a salon in Austin that is owned and operated by cancer survivors and caregivers.Previously, I had decided that wigs were dumb and that I would only wear cleverly tied scarves. But something inside me said that I should at least check out the wig place.

I walked in the door and felt a sudden feeling of extreme nausea and mysterious fortitude. The people in the shop greeted me and I loudly announced: “I am losing my hair in January, so I’m here to see what you have for me.” I was immediately engaged by some very nice, knowledgable, and entertaining people. A man named Ron came over and immediately looked at my long hair and started making suggestions. He found my color, he found my style, and explained how I needed to contact the insurance company to get approval for my prescription. This man was so wonderful–he made the trip to a store I never wanted to enter feel okay. He went on to explain that they would teach me everything about hair loss and wig care. He even suggested coming in for a shave party, which is where the cancer sufferer is at the point where he or she just can’t take it anymore and needs the rest of the clumps of hair shaved off. Apparently you can make the moment fun and exciting by inviting friends and toasting with champagne. I don’t think my brain or heart will let me celebrate going bald, but I am interested in the champagne.