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when you want to stop...UPDATED with long awaited pic LOL


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Sometimes you just have to stop. Take some time for yourself and just be you...without a cause or a fight, an illness or a disease...just be you. Ask for a hall pass...do normal things...

Someone PM'd me about this the other day. About how they wanted to not be So-in-So who has cancer...but they want to just BE....for once since this all started...a person..simple as that...to recapture alittle bit of the normal they once knew. Be a living being instead of a being living with cancer.

I bring this up because something just happened to me today that reminded me of that special PM I received.

I hadn't seen this lady in a while....in fact, about a year- when my dad died. And she commented on the fact that my hair had grown so quickly.

(Some of you guys remember I donated 11-12 inches of my hair--it used to be SO LONG- to locks for love.)

Well, it's grown past my shoulders again and is considered "long-enough" to cut again......so she asks me when I'm cutting my hair again.

I tell her I'm not.

She says...but aren't you all "into" that lung cancer thing and helping folks? Like I can't be serious about support and advocacy if I have hair?


It's weird the perceptions people have about you.

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Katie---that made me laugh, you can't be "into lung cancer" and have long hair? If she were to visit La La land, ie, Los Angeles, do you know how many long haired blondes there are? And not even real hair ;) Looks can be deceiving :)

I would chalk up what she said to people saying STUPID things and probably not meaning any harm.

As to the person who PMd you, if he/she is reading this, my mom said the same thing last week. My dad now always wears one of his LCSC t-shirts, or his Relay for Life t-shirts. And I almost always wear (like I have on now) my blue LCSC t-shirt for awareness when I am not going anywhere special and just roaming around doing errands. My mom asked that we wear different shirts b/c she is tired of it.

So being a nice good daugther, when I see her, I am in jeans and a regular shirt. And on days when I don't see her, like today, I am in LCSC t-shirt. Her point is that she just wants time away from thet disease and to be normal and not "Marsha who has Lung Cancer".

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Andrea, that's funny...and on that note...too many blondes (too many blonde jokes! HA!) I dyed my hair brown (with highlights) right after the michgan bash. I'll post a new picture soon. Now I look like I am related to my children! HA!

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I laughed when I read your post because I was accused of being "selfish" and "not supportive of cancer patients" the other day--because I still have long hair.

"With everythng you've seen your mother and Geoff's mother go through, you still insist on keeping your hair long?"

Frankly, I'd been so busy worrying about/taking care of them and trying to keep up with life--I hadn't given a darn thought to my hair! I wasn't "insisting" upon anything!

Then, I learn that my female students (from last year--current 6th graders) are all talking about chopping their hair off and giving it to locks of love (most likely, partially, as a result of the fact that the administration made me tell them what was going on in my life--bad call on their part, but that is another story). Were they feeling they HAD to do this? That made me feel awful. Or maybe, they are all just 6th grade girls who want to experiment with new hair cuts? (I know that's the age when my friends and I all chopped off our hair in the quest for glamorous new looks.)

I was feeling really gulity--and thinking that I SHOULD really chop it all off. (Esp. if the kids do...).

Geoff "forbids" (ha!) me to cut it, though.

What's a gal to do?

Thanks for the post, Katie. It gave me some--much needed--perspective.


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We've PM'd on this subject, but wanted you to know - the reason MY hair is short is NOT because I've donated it to Locks of Love, but because I donated it to my shower last year. I WOULD donate, but it grows so *&%^$ slow that it's STILL two inches too short (and that's a full year of growth).

Whether you donate your hair again or not is up to you. If you feel your hair is part of who you are, that's your choice. To me, it's just hair - but it was far more important last year at this time when it was falling out! :shock:

Hey, personal choice, democracy...maybe they should have buttons for hair donation and a "club" like blood banks do - instead of gallons, it would be yards or something equally awe-inspiring... Give the gift of locks... :wink:

...and if the woman is a sarcastic shrew, well, small people and small minds... Go figure, consider the source and let it go....and if she has long hair, maybe suggest SHE donate. Couldn't hurt...(and you'd get the last word in - sputtering on her part doesn't count).

Take care, enjoy your time away!


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Oh, the things people say!! You have to wonder if their brain is in gear before they open their mouths!

Just today, I went to my Cancer Clinic to pick up a prescription. I hadn't been there in about a month or so, and the when girl at the registration desk heard my name, she looked at me and said, "I thought that was you, what did you do, dye your hair?".....I went into hysterics laughing and said "No, it just grew back!" Her jaw dropped and then she got into the laughing fit, too......made my day!


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Okay, just so no one feels the LEAST bit guilty about letting their hair grow long... Locks of Love is a wonderful organization, but most of their wigs do NOT go to people with cancer, but to people who've lost their hair for all KINDS of health-related problems. (All of whom, of course, it's nice to help!) It's great, and I really admire everyone who donates their hair. But for Pete's sake, there are LOTS of ways to help people with cancer -- like raising money for research or for support! :wink:


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While I was having radiation, a young woman and I met just about every morning in the waiting room, so had a few minutes to chat. She was fighting metstatic breast cancer, and would relate how different her radiation setup was from mine, we shared stories, smiled at and for each other, etc.

One day after we'd been talking like this for a while, (keep in mind that we knew fairly personal things about each other except neither knew the other's name!) we started talking about hair. She is a lovely woman, and had a wonderful wig that was very attractive. We're talking about it, and she starts saying things to me, and it occurs to me that she thinks my scraggly hair is a wig too!

I'd had my hair cut really short before chemo, thinking it would come out, but it never did. So, for the first time in my life, no perm, no highlights, just short straight hair. And she was talking about how cute and stylish my wig was, and how she wished she could find one like it! I bought 2 wigs and about a dozen scarves/hats, but haven't used them, but am keeping them in case I have PCI eventually.

I often think of her and hope she's doing well. We promised to meet at the cancer center survivor's reunion in the spring.


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hey katie,

i too cut off 13+ inches of my hair and donated it to locks of love two years ago. my hair has grown so much since then (i'm all about low maintenance...i haven't touched it since), and now i have this unmanageable mane (haha). i'm planning on cutting it again sometime soon (i didn't have the time while taking care of my mom). but it's totally a personal choice, and just because you like to have your hair long doesn't mean that you are less of an activist for important causes. if we donated time and money to every cause out there all the time, we wouldn't be able to survive for more than a second. you have done an amazing job with this website. we are all indebted to you. keep your beautiful hair, and if/when you want to donate it, do it because you want to, not because you have to. don't let others' negative comments get to you too much. i've learned throughout this process that even though some people mean well, they really don't say things tactfully or they butt in when they really should keep their thoughts to themselves. there have been so many times that i too have had to bite my tongue (it's funny how some people thought they were "experts" and kept telling me what to do with my mom when they have never taken care of a cancer patient before). i'm sorry that you have to go through that now...please take care.

God bless,


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I don't even think it's an issue of whether or not to donate your hair. You give so much for this disease and the people who are going through it. What about advocacy means you have to sacrific everything you have to a cause in order for it to be considered a priority to you? How much has that woman given to any cause lately that she has the right to judge or comment to you?

Besides, I went to donate my hair to locks of love (I have about 20" to rid myself of), and they refused to take it. I had dyed my hair once previously, they said they could not take it until it had outgrown and cut off all the dyed area. The dye had long since faded out, but they said that they can only take virgin hair, undyed, non-permed, undamaged.

So, keep your beautiful brown hair. You deserve it.

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Heaven forbid you keep your long hair for your own enjoyment. How selfish of you. Shave your head, and while you're at it, sell all your clothes, sell your house, donate all your money to "The Cause", and live bald-headed in rags in a cardboard box under a bridge.

Locks of Love is a nice concept, but it's given nosy people a "righteous" reason to tell others what to do with their bodies. I don't go around telling people what to do with their hair, what clothes to wear, or what makeup to put on, and I expect the same consideration. It was called "manners" back in the day.

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People say the dumbest things.

When I was in the hospital after my lung collapsed, an orderly was taking me to radiation for a treatment. She mentioned that the people she transports start to disapear. She said she thinks they either die or get discharged.

My mouth hit the floor, to this day I am still surprised how people act!

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OK...so here is the hair..brown now...

do I need to draw some sunglasses on my face or do you guys recognize me? LOL :wink:

(My avatar pic with my dad is about 2 years old.)



Pictures of me and Hunter (about an hour ago) with his little pup "SPIKE" lol ! Kennedy was already in bed and Rick was taking the picture.

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