September is the month designated for Childhood Cancer Awareness, but for the patients and their parents, it isn’t confined to a month. It is a lifetime.
This is a very informative infographic from St. Baldrick’s Foundation concerning childhood cancer stats, money allocated by the government (very little) to the cause, and where your donations may go when you donate to a cancer foundation.
I also urge you to click the graphic to visit St. Baldrick’s website. Thank you.
I used to tell my husband, who has been bald since we met, that if I could get away with shaving my head I would. I was so envious of his ability to take a 2 minute shower and be ready to go any place within minutes. No combing, no prepping, no worrying about bad hair days.
When the opportunity came to fulfill two desires, helping St. Baldrick’s Foundation raise money for ped cancer research AND being bald, well of course I was excited. I was so anxious for that day, mostly because I wanted to participate in something important, but also because I wanted to feel my hairless head. I bought a tee shirt that reads, “BALD AND BADASS.” Shaving my head was on my proverbial bucket list.
Hair is overrated. Very much by our society. If someone doesn’t have hair, especially a female, we automatically assume something is wrong with said person-either physically as in illness or something psychological: “She’s just a freak!” Sesame Street has an annoying-as-all-shit song in which the puppet sings for two minutes about how great it is to have hair. I can’t express how incredibly frustrating it was to endure it while my bald son, who was in the midst of chemotherapy, watched. What is so important about hair?
There are the obvious answers: It protects your scalp from the sun. It keeps your head warm. It’s there to flagellate your face on windy days-if your hair is long, that is. The societal custom of idolizing people with “good hair” is not so logical. People with incredible locks are considered more worthy, as is the case with everyone deemed more attractive. But, does having hair make one more attractive?
Obviously that answer is no. Many chrome domed male celebrities are considered handsome- Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Bruce Willis, Patrick Stewart (yes he is handsome), Michael Chiklis (Come on. The Thing, Fantastic Four), Andre Agassi (who I thought was more handsome without hair than with), Jason Statham (who isn’t completely bald but pretty much), Chris Daughtry (the only reason I ever watched American Idol, ever), Shemar Moore (hoooooot).
So, we’ve established that men without hair are sexy. All right, not all bald men are sexy:
But what about women? Why is it so unusual for a woman to be bald? Are women less attractive without hair? Well, maybe if you’re head is shaped like a warped cantaloupe (but we can’t all have perfect domes, now can we?)
After the first shave, I decided to keep shaving. I don’t wear wigs. I don’t wear hats, except when it was colder. I don’t hide my baldness. There are reasons for this. One of them is because I can strike a conversation with someone that leads to me telling them about St. Baldrick’s Foundation and the necessity of funding and donations for ped cancer-that is the point, really, isn’t it? Another reason is that I feel there is no shame in being hairless. People who lose their hair should not feel the need to cover their heads out of self-consciousness. If they choose to cover their heads because of personal preferences, then so be it. But no one should feel less worthy because they have no hair. I have to admit I also don’t wear wigs or cover my hair because I’ve always been against adhering to gender roles, and I like to force people to experience their discomfort at something totally innocuous, and then maybe they’ll realize it’s unwarranted. I don’t have to have a hair style. Shaving it is a style. I choose to go bald because I like it, and you know what else? My husband likes it, too (He’s really always had a thing for G.I. Jane). Other reasons I choose to remain bald are that I want to stand in solidarity with my son, who now has more hair than me. Although, it is obvious his hair isn’t growing in a usual way. I also choose to stand in solidarity with every other woman who has lost her hair due to chemotherapy and radiation, or for other reasons (Lupus, Scarring Alopecia, Alopecia Areata, Trauma . . . Read about some of the causes of hair loss at the Locks of Love website.) Lastly, I am going hairless for the summer because this is New Orleans and it is VERY HOT. Not having hair will be a plus (I will be sure to wear sunscreen). My plan is to start growing it in the fall, and by March next year, I’ll participate in another St. Baldrick’s Event. Lastly lastly, I have absolutely NO TIME for hair. I wake up, work all day taking care of RB and housekeeping, running errands, and on the phone with eighty different coordinators acting as my son’s nurse administrator, then I pass out with my GOD FORSAKEN CPAP MACHINE , but that’s for another blog.
Now, are women less attractive without hair? Let’s see: Sigourney Weaver, Charlize Theron, Robin Roberts, Kellie Pickler (who also shaved her head in solidarity with someone close to her with cancer), Natalie Portman, and Demi Moore.
I admit I’m no Demi Moore or Natalie Portman, but I am bald. And I’m a girl. And it’s okay.
Presently on the way to have my head shaved. Why would I do this? Well, I’ll explain in case you’re just tuning in.
See, there’s a foundation called St. Baldrick’s Foundation. They collect funds toward pediatric cancer research. They are the only nonprofit that dedicates all funds to ped cancer research, and they are only second to the federal government in funding pediatric cancer.
Why go bald? I’m doing it to raise donations and awareness. But also in solidarity with kids with cancer who lose their hair to chemo and radiation. One of those kids is my own son Robot Boy.
He’s currently-by definiton-in remission. The mass entombed within his brain stem and spinal cord hasn’t changed in five months, and so we are assuming and hoping that what remains is only scar tissue. There is no way to know. All we can do is monitor him, and wait.
Why should you help this cause? Well, if the fact that it helps fund life saving research that can save kids’ lives and hopefully conquer kids’ cancer isn’t enough, then I don’t know what to tell you. But I can tell you that kids’ cancer is the least funded of all cancers, and funds for research are desperately needed.
I can only ask that you consider helping our cause, and please visit our team’s link. You don’t have to shave to help a kid with cancer. You don’t have to donate a lot. Dollars add to more dollars.
Winning. Not something that’s been a big part of my life. Much like the unfortunate likes of Charlie Brown or the Amazing Luckless Peter Parker, I’ve been one acquainted with catastrophe. Literally, and I’m not misusing literally.
I’ll never be the person who wins the Powerball twice in ten years (bastards) or finds a briefcase full of a million dollars (okay, seriously, that’s mob money). You won’t see me winning any competition. I’ve often joked that if there were a contest which required its winner to be named Donnell Jeansonne and have my social security number, some identity thief would win it.
But when you are a luckless schlub, you learn to really appreciate the things in life that some people might find trivial. To be completely cliché I’ll maintain I’ll never be wealthy, but my life is enriched by the people in it. Some of those people are close friends and family. Some are new friends. Some are acquaintances. Still, some are folks I’ve never met in real life, and may never meet.
One of those wonderful people is a lovely lady and author of the blog Pinwheels and Poppies. We met as WordPress bloggers when I first read her blog The Coming Adventures of a Soon-to-be Baldie in which she writes of an upcoming trip to Chicago to participate in a St. Baldrick’s event. The blog was posted on March 19, 2012-just thirteen days after I learned my own son, then twenty-eight months old, had a malignant brain tumor.
We’ve corresponded via the Internet since then, and today she shared something with me. Although I’ve been behind in blogging (I promise all of my free time is spent working on my novel.), she’s awarded my humble blog with the Liebster Award.
Coincidentally, I studied German for three years in high school and two in college. I can’t say I’m fluent anymore as parts of my brain have gone on permanent vacation. But I do know that among the word’s meanings, one of them is beloved. And with this knowledge, I want to thank my friend at Pinwheels and Poppies for awarding my blog, and as always for dedicating herself to helping raise money for pediatric cancer research.
Now there are rules that go along with this award. Just like Spidey says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” These rules don’t appear to be carved in stone or anything, but basically they are intended for bloggers to pay it forward by acknowledging the blogger who awarded them and to pass it along to other, also lesser known, blogs. According to seemingly official Liebster Award criteria posted by P&P, an awarded blogger should recognize three to five other bloggers with less than 300 subscribers.
Past bloggers have also passed down rules that an awarded blogger should state eleven things about herself/himself, and should answer eleven questions set by the person giving the award. And that we should write eleven questions for our own awarded bloggers.
Since the lovely lady who has seen fit to give me this award has followed the eleven question rule, I will follow suit.
11 Questions for Me:
1. What is your earliest memory?
A tight squeeze and a bright light. Just kidding. My earliest memory is from last week. Who am I again?
2. What are your personal religious/spiritual beliefs?
Spiritual yes. Religious hardly.
3. Favorite comfort food?
I really can’t answer this question. I’m from NOLA. Everything is comfort food.
4. Are you crafty? If so, what’s your crafting niche?
Is sticking yourself repeatedly with sewing needles and burning yourself with hot glue guns a craft? Because if so, that.
5. Who do you think is hotter- Johnny Depp or Robert Downey Jr?
6. What’s your astrological sign? Do you believe in astrology?
I was born on the Virgo/Libra cusp. I’m a little of both and a little of neither. I lean more toward the Libra in me. For entertainment purposes only.
7. How many countries have you been to? Which ones?
Four not including the USA. Mexico, St. Maarten, the Bahamas, Grand Caymen. Also the US Virgin Islands which I didn’t count because it’s the US.
8. Have you read 50 Shades of Grey? Opinion?
9. Which decade do you feel like you belong in? Why?
The Seventies. I could see all the cool bands, man.
10. Do you garden? If yes, what kind of gardening do you do?
Does watching my husband mow the lawn count as gardening? Then yes.
11. What blows your mind more- outer space or life as we know it?
Outer space, man! Seriously. The universe is fucking awesome.
Now that that’s finished, here are eleven things to know about moi:
1. When you’re on fire you don’t remember to stop, drop, and roll. I know this from experience.
2. I say fuck a lot. But not as much as motherfucker.
3. I think if I had a British accent I’d be much funnier.
4. I once tap danced in front of the Cabildo and made $11-true story. Also, I can’t tap dance.
5. I’m pretty sure I’d make a successful psychic. I can’t see the future, but I’m pretty good at bullshitting people.
6. I like the Regular Show.
7. Me and my bestie once played Spider-Man for Playstation 2 for twelve straight hours until we finished because we didn’t have a memory card.
8. I’m fairly jolly for a person whose life’s in the shitter.
9. I am a book hoarder. I buy books I never read, some I do read, some I read multiple times. I am addicted to buying books.
10. Anyone who’s ever heard my name knows how much I love Queen and Freddie Mercury.
11. My fantasy destination in Phuket, Thailand.
And here are the next award winners of the prestigious, glamorous, delicious Liebster Award. Drumroll please……..