So, I’m sure all of you reading this will know that I have had a few issues with my brain over the years. I’ve also had a lot of help with those issues, over the years; a fantastic neurosurgeon dug out the nasty growth, a wonderful charity has reached out to me and given me endless support, and counsellors have worked with me on the nasty feelings.
Now, a lot of you reading this will also know that there are few things I really give a sh*t about when it comes to my appearance.
These few things would be: my jewellery (I need at least 1 silver ring on each finger every day, or I feel very odd and not at all like myself), my tattoos (sorry, Dad), my lipstick (the brighter the better!) and...my hair. It’s always been my way of expressing myself. Well, I never really do more with it than pull it back in a bun or leave it to hang – but the colours I dye it (with Mama’s help, since I was 12) are me changing my appearance and choosing how I get to look. I’ve had dull brown, almost blackish, deep purple, bright pink, shocking orange, yellowy blonde, silvery blonde, sun-stained blue and most recently (my favourite), bright lilac.
I have been so lucky in my journey with this particular illness, in that I’ve managed to keep my hair. In both operations (2014 and 2015), they only shaved a sliver off so they could cut the scalp, and then during radiotherapy in 2015 I lost a patch behind one ear, almost invisible beneath the top layer of hair. I also have experienced general thinning of my hair in recent years, as a result of the traumas my body has gone through. I still felt incredibly guilty though, throughout my radiotherapy when I was seeing frail, wispy-haired old ladies and kids running down hospital corridors in wigs. I donated over 6 inches of hair to The Little Princess Trust before beginning my treatment, and so was able to provide material for other kids’ wigs, plus I got to rock a bob for a few months.
But I’ve always wanted to do this – to properly get it all shaved off.
I am currently a Young Ambassador for The Brain Tumour Charity, and attending weekly sessions at Counselling Plus, Hastings. Both of these charities are now extremely close to my heart, and I am repeatedly astounded by the incredible work they do for people like me – that is, those with misbehaving brains.
I want to raise money for *both* these charities in doing this – so I ask you to please donate to the JustGiving page for The Brain Tumour Charity, and give me donations in person – or via PayPal, just ask for my email – so I can write a cheque for Counselling Plus.
Donate to whichever you feel is right for you.
A friend of mine recently passed away after over 3 years spent battling with a high grade brain tumour. Emma Warden was a gorgeous, brave woman, and I know she’ll be missed by so many people. I’m doing this partly for her, because I remember once talking with her about the many things we share (our terrible diagnoses, major life upheavals...and various hospital-related annoyances) and I was so blown away by her positivity. I told her this, and asked her about her chemo – and she said ‘it’s fine, but I wish I didn’t have to lose my hair.’
She always looked beautiful, though. And I want to do this a little bit for her, as well.
Finally, PLEASE nobody worry about how I’ll look when I’m sporting a #2 buzz. A profesh barber is doing it for one thing, AND I am actually so excited to get a proper look at the scar across my bonce – and I’ll be excited to try a new look. And, as Mama Latter always quite rightly says: ‘it grows back’.
I will be holding a little party for the actual act of head shaving; as soon as I secure the venue, an event page will be made and all those who wish to attend (there may be a few quid entry fee, as I would need to actually hire a place) can DM me for details. The page should be up by the middle of this coming week. Thanks for bearing with!
PHOTO: Copyright, Sophie Mayanne's (@sophiemayanne) incredible 'Behind the Scars' project. Google it, or see my photo shoot snaps on my Instagram, @_gracelatter.
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