Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sexy Cancer Hair and a Bit of Angst

Pop quiz: Do you recognize me?
by Gigi

As many of you know, I've been absent from the blog for the past month because I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Since I'm a health nut in my 30s with a gym in the garage, this news was not at all expected!

But I'm fortunate in so many ways. In addition to having caught it early and being treated by a fantastic team of doctors, I've learned that I've got the most amazing friends in the world and the greatest husband on earth.

And to put my money where my mouth is when it comes to seizing the day, while I've been recovering from surgery I've been having FUN (in between all the extra sleeping and resting, of course).

I'm enjoying reading alchemy books as research for my next novel. But the real fun has been experimenting with new hair looks I'll need due to chemo.

Oh yes, I'm going to have sexy cancer hair. 

I've had the exact same hairstyle for the past 20 years. (Nope, I'm not joking.) It's nice hair, so I'm not complaining, but my curly long hair always refused to be styled in any way. But it worked for me. Therefore I went with it and kept the same hair I had in high school. I liked it well enough, so I never had the guts to cut it short to try something new.

But now that I have no choice about cutting my hair short, I'm free.

Last week, I cut off my hair. (It's what they recommend you do before chemo -- less stress on the hair follicles and also less traumatic if you do lose your hair.) Here are a few photos below. I was shocked to find that it's actually rather cute!

Even more fun was another recent expedition -- the Pens took me wig shopping! Photos are below.

If I do lose my hair temporarily, hell yeah I'm going to do it in style. I've got to keep up with the rest of the Pens, after all.

The last time I posted, I wrote about starting a part-time sabbatical this summer to dive into extra art and writing projects. Instead, I'm postponing my sabbatical for one year.

This year I'll be taking care of myself and getting well. But since I'll also have more time than usual at home when I'm not working or at Kaiser, I'll fit in some creative projects as well.

I've previously lamented my lack of angst and wondered if it would keep me from creating depth in my writing. So in addition to getting myself some sexy hair this year, I'm also hoping this experience will have some positive effects on my writing.

Since I have to go through this, I might as well get something out of it!

I already have reason to believe this will be the case. Normally I'm a huge plotter, and character depth is what I find most challenging. But as I've been brainstorming this alchemist novel, I'm all about the characters and their haunting secrets. As for the plot... Well, I'm hoping plotting is like riding a bike and that it'll come back to me once I start writing.

p.s. Thanks to guest bloggers Lisa Alder and Cecilia Gray for filling in for me on the blog last month!


Liz said...

Best wishes for a full recovery. You have the best aid for that--good friends.

Chemo turned out not to be necessary for me, so the red wig on which I had my eye wasn't needed. But a wash and wear hair cut was. Holding up a blow dryer was not going to happen.

Rachael Herron said...

Plot WILL come to you as you go. This I promise. Plus, I get my best plotting-along-the-way ideas when I'm lying in bed looking up at the ceiling, and that's fun, too. Great post, sugar. And you look GORGEOUS.

Juliet Blackwell said...

Gigi, love the hair, love the attitude, love everything! Yes, you'll bring your new-found angst into your work, and yes it will make it richer, deeper, better. Because that's what life does to us, when we embrace it. Though this is such a tough time, the way you're embracing it rather than screaming and running away is truly inspiring.

Anne Spencer said...

dearest Gigi,my thoughts and prayers are with you. Shannon

Martha Flynn said...


Sophie Littlefield said...

i adore you Gigi P!!!!

Janet Reid said...

LOVE the hair. You are in my prayers.

Terri Thayer said...

The haircut is a hit, Gigi. I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis and wish you the best.

Camille Minichino said...

There is no haircut that won't look great on you; and there is nothing to block out your wonderful spirit, Gigi.

Thanks for sharing your life with us.

Mysti said...

You are so fabulous, Gigi! Love the short hair (the wig rocks too!). Isn't it *weird* how hair can change how you look so much--and that we have so many different great looks, if we just explore them...

To me, character and plot are just two forms of the same energy, like waves and particles. Plot (choices) reveal character, character dictates plot (choices).


Daisy Bateman said...

Wow, I had no idea. But hey, at least you know I was being sincere when I said I liked the new haircut. And if you're looking for more variety, there's a store in downtown San Mateo called "The Wig Palace." I've never actually been in, but it looks pretty midcentury-fabulous.

Gigi Pandian said...

Thanks, all! I just woke up from a nice long post-chemo nap, so please excuse the non-individual responses. I'm feeling really good, and even better now that I've read your wonderful comments!

Unknown said...

I am so freaking proud of your attitude. You are an inspiration to everyone. And you totally rock the shorter look. I want to see the other wig you got in your next picture. :)

Adrienne Bell said...

You are a true inspiration! And damn if that wig don't make you look fierce.

Kristin Miller said...

You are absolutely right on all counts. Sexy hair! (Who knew us long haired curly girls could go short and ROCK IT?!?) Sexy friends. (Come on, they're all gorgeous, including YOU!) And with enough rest and prayers (*prayers*good thoughts*prayers), you'll find your way through this mess.


Anne Spencer said...

Gigi, You are inspiring and I echo all these comments above. I am honored to call you my friend. Know that we're praying and thoughts are with you here in Texas.
Always, Shannon

Winnie said...

You are AMAZING! Your hair looks marvelous, your wig looks marvelous, most of all YOU look marvelous! You're a strong woman and that's why I admire you so much. My thoughts are always with you.


Ashley Ream said...

And OMG, that hair is amazing. You look stunning and mysterious and sexy. But mostly you look like my personal hero.

You go, girl.

Kristi said...

Gigi, fellow gup here, I was thinking about you and wanted to check in. You are stunning. You are my hero!

Gigi Pandian said...

Thanks so much, everyone! A big part of why I'm doing so well is because of all of you.

Vince said...

I somehow missed your post until now, Gigi. Loved what you had to say and wish you the speediest possible recovery. The hair rocks.

Shea Susan said...

Gigi, I missed the news too, but you're obviously in charge of this health development, not the other way around. Wigs are fun and hair grows back but your attitude is the best!

generic viagra said...

I think the hairstyle looks great. Kind of like Milla Jovovich style.

Anonymous said...

Gigi, I'm coming in very late on this, but I love your positive attitude. I went through the breast cancer routine in 2004. Had a lumpectomy and no chemo, but radiation did sap my energy for a long while.

My radiation tech constantly stressed the upbeat attitude, and always said to me, "As above, down below."

Stay cheerful and involved! Hope you are recovering on schedule.

All the best,

Pat Browning