I don't want to shave my head

fade

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#1
My mom has cancer. It was caught very early and the prognosis is good. They started chemo and my sisters who live in my old hometown unilaterally decided we would all shave our heads in support. I feel like an ass for saying this but I don't really want to for many reasons. Most importantly because the decision was made for me without my input or consent. I also live a thousand miles away. Does this make me seem like an ass?[DOUBLEPOST=1395930258,1395930203][/DOUBLEPOST]I should mention that I ask because I'm catching flak from my sisters.
 
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#2
Years ago, I shaved my head to support my niece who was having surgery for something in her brain. It wasn't cancer, but I can't remember what they were removing now. Anyway, I remember I cut my head badly while using the razor and thought, "Well...maybe she'll bleed less because I didn't bleed as much." In a strange coincidence, she didn't. According to the doctor, my niece didn't bleed very much compared to other surgeries they'd performed. Just coincidence, I'm sure, but I thought it was interesting.

Anyway, to your post. Out of curiosity, what ARE some of your many reasons? Because a few of mine to counter would include:

-To show solidarity in the family to show support.
-Hair grows back
-Just to shut your damn sisters up.
 

Cajungal

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#3
I've always thought that was a kind thing to do, but it can be overrated as well. It's an automatically visible thing you're doing to support someone that might not go any further. Looks nice, but it doesn't guarantee the people who did it are doing anything else whatsoever to support the person in need. Do you live far away? Are there more meaningful things you could do to support your mom? Visits and help with chores would probably be well-received.
 

Espy

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#4
I get that. I wouldn't want to shave mine either, especially if the decision was made without my input and I wasn't anywhere near them. Honestly, it's a symbolic gesture that THEY feel is important. You don't have to do it but you will have to accept the (potential) damage to your relationships if you don't. Which sucks because it SHOULDN'T damage your relationships. But they've kind of set it up to.
 
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#5
There's other ways to show solidarity. Maybe if you embrace some of the other ways you'all show that you're being supportive without doing something you don't want to do. Wear pink or something, you know?
 
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#6
My mom has cancer. It was caught very early and the prognosis is good. They started chemo and my sisters who live in my old hometown unilaterally decided we would all shave our heads in support. I feel like an ass for saying this but I don't really want to for many reasons. Most importantly because the decision was made for me without my input or consent. I also live a thousand miles away. Does this make me seem like an ass?[DOUBLEPOST=1395930258,1395930203][/DOUBLEPOST]I should mention that I ask because I'm catching flak from my sisters.
It does make you seem like an ass, but they are the actual asses, if I may say so. I think the meaninglessness of shaving if they are pressuring you into it is reason enough not to do it.
On the other hand, in your place I would do it just to shut them up, and madly resent them afterwards.
 
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#7
Were it me, I would decline. My head is my own, both inside and out.
If they press the issue, tell them you didn't think your hair was long enough to donate (unless it is), and encourage them to donate theirs for a wig for mom.

--Patrick
 
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#8
I'd just shave my head, but if you or any male family member ever gets prostate cancer, announce on Facebook that your sisters will be getting Brazilian waxes in solidarity.
 
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#9
If you do it, do it for your own reasons, not because you were pressured into it. Like phil said, there are other ways to show your love and support of your mom.

I'm also not sure of this but is it a guarantee that her hair will fall out on chemo?
 
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#10
You will also get over feeling like an ass... and nobody shaved their head in solidarity with me.

Of course most men my age shave their head anyway. So each time I saw one of these friends that shave for bald-fashion reasons, during my treatments, I thanked them for their support.
 
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#11
is it a guarantee that her hair will fall out on chemo?
Unless I'm mistaken, chemo is sublethal like heartworm medication in that it is designed to poison the environment (the host) enough to kill off parasitic, highly active cells while not being able to sufficiently damage the entire organism enough to kill it.

This means that follicular cells (being highly active) tend to be slammed by the chemo also.

--Patrick
 
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#12
I think the decision of whether or not to shave one's head (or buy a ribbon, or participate in a fund-raiser, or buy pink shoes, or red gloves, or whatever else we do) in solidarity for someone with cancer/heart disease/AIDS/etc. should be that individual's decision. It should mean something to the person who's partaking in the solidarity, not just be done because "that's what we do when someone we know/love has X", it devalues the sentiment. Don't want to shave your head? Don't. Do something else that you feel demonstrates your love and concern for your mother, not what society (or in this case your sisters) says is the norm.
 
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#13
Yeah, I can't say what you should do, but I know I wouldn't do it, at least not under those circumstances.
 
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#14
I'm also not sure of this but is it a guarantee that her hair will fall out on chemo?
Depends on the severity of the cancer. My mother found out she had breast cancer last summer, and had it removed surgically, and had a few rounds of chemo to follow it up. She never lost any of her hair. Hell, most people didn't even know she was sick. (She told very few people, and most of those were AFTER the fact.)
 
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#15
Unless I'm mistaken, chemo is sublethal like heartworm medication in that it is designed to poison the environment (the host) enough to kill off parasitic, highly active cells while not being able to sufficiently damage the entire organism enough to kill it.

This means that follicular cells (being highly active) tend to be slammed by the chemo also.

--Patrick
So it's very likely but not an absolute. Merci.
 
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#16
When I shaved my head it was not because it was falling out, but because I wanted ownership of it.

For years before my diagnosis, I had dreams about my hair falling out in clumps and getting the diagnosis. I decided I would rather leave my hair on the Barber's floor than on my pillow.
 

GasBandit

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#17
Pauline did lose her hair. My grandfather lost his hair and it grew back in curly. Much to my grandmother's delight.
 
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#18
Hair is very culturally important, particularly for women. Very, very rarely will you see women choosing baldness as a hairstyle.

So when a woman loses her hair due to something outside her control, she suffers in our society in a number of ways.

Men don't have this issue so much because many men, particularly older men, choose to be bald, and they still appear male and attractive. Women who go bald not only lose their hair, but in our society lose a significant portion of their femininity and attractiveness.

It's hard for a man to ever know what it means for a women to lose her hair.

It's hard for women who have not lost their hair to know what a woman goes through when she does lose her hair.

I think it's great that your sisters are willing to face the public without hair so they can, in some very small part, experience a little of the pain your mother is going through.

Even if you did shave your head, you would suffer few to no consequences. At most people would ask you why the change, and you'd be forced to share the news of your family's medical problem.

However, I suspect your sisters aren't just trying to force you to show solidarity with mom - they are looking for support for them as well in their endeavor to experience hairlessness with their mother.

I know you feel like you are being forced into this without consent, and it's the unilateral nature of the situation which is most galling.

But it's just hair.

Your mother is going through a harrowing experience. Your sisters are trying to cope, and are willing to go into society completely shorn.

You don't elucidate your other reasons, but were it me I'd attach a much larger importance to my family relationships than my physical beauty (or lack thereof, in my case). It doesn't have to be meaningful to you. It's a very small way to help them deal with a terrifying disease.

Them knowing how important your hair is to you would only make your contribution more meaningful in their eyes.

Shave. Take a picture. Tell them you plan on letting it grow out with the expectation that mom will be in remission before you get back to your current hairstyle. They probably won't insist on you continuing to shave your head.

Don't be stubborn over this. It's not worth it.
 
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#19
I'd just shave my head, but if you or any male family member ever gets prostate cancer, announce on Facebook that your sisters will be getting Brazilian waxes in solidarity.

This. This made me laugh out loud.


[DOUBLEPOST=1395961271,1395961187][/DOUBLEPOST]Fade, I shaved my head in January, and it grows back really fast. You'll be sporting the sexy Brad Pitt Fight Club stubble in no time.
 
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#20
I suspect your sisters aren't just trying to force you to show solidarity with mom - they are looking for support for them as well in their endeavor to experience hairlessness with their mother.
This is pretty much what I expect is going on. They want some validation of their decision, some form of justification of their gesture. This is part of the reason why I suggest mentioning to them the idea of donating it...they get a cause attached to their efforts, which increases the act's meaning and cushions the social blow of having no hair whenever someone calls it out. However, I am against the idea of peer pressure for "stunts," and so I would still leave the option open to your own personal interpretation. I mean, shaving your head in solidarity is one thing, but are you also going to promise to throw up every 6-8hrs? Eat only 1000 calories a day? Take lots of laxatives? There's only so much solidarity you can do, y'know.

--Patrick
 
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#21
Fade, I shaved my head in January, and it grows back really fast. You'll be sporting the sexy Brad Pitt Fight Club stubble in no time.
I think (but am not certain) that @fade has long hair. As a man who both had long hair -and- is balding, I understand very much his want to keep it.

Though, since I decided to cut it short and just own my baldingness, I actually find myself not missing the long hair. I once had a glorious mane, but without it, I'm reminded of just how much upkeep it was.
 
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#22
I shave my head on the daily and it's actually pretty nice.

Still do what you want to do and don't let others give you crap.

BUT!

It's super nice not having to worry about it and a cool breeze never felt so good.
 

fade

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#25
The other reasons aren't vanity. Well I mean I'd be lying if I didn't admit it was some small part. I have had long hair forever and shaving it, while not drastic on the whole for men, would be a major cultural impact in my own little sphere. I know it's just hair but it's a bit odd for me to be out here by myself a thousand miles away from everyone else shaving all alone.

One major reason--and believe me I've heard it all before about burying the hatchet--is that there was a lot of animosity between my mom and me. Makes it feel a little artificial. Our family has never been close on the whole and it feels a little forced, like big fake grin.[DOUBLEPOST=1395974756,1395974622][/DOUBLEPOST]My wife has suggested doing something else to show solidarity.
 
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#28
Get a full body wax instead and do a full twirl while wearing a banana hammock and turn that into an animated gif.

Shows you were willing to actually suffer.
 

fade

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#30
My dad did it. Now I want him to put a yellow hazmat suit on and walk through town. He already has the camper.
image.jpg
 

fade

Staff member
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#33
And yes, my parents were very young when they had me. And I'm the second.
 

Cajungal

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#35
Not to get too far off topic, but is that a velvet Jesus in the background?
 
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