In February when I was diagnosed with rectal cancer, my neighbor, Harold Neel, said, “If you lose your hair, I’ll shave mine.” I insisted that that was not necessary and that he should not do that! He said he would and that was the end of the conversation.
Seven months later, Harold noticed that I was wearing a wig. “Have you lost your hair?” he asked. “No, I have not lost all of it, but I have lost enough that I need to wear a wig,” I replied.
Again, that was the end of the conversation. That is until the night of the Greer Education Foundation Gala. During the evening, Harold came over to me and said it was time for him to shave his head. I told him I didn’t want him to do that. It was not necessary and that I still had some hair. “I am a man of my word and I am going to shave my head in honor of what you and others have gone through and are continuing to go through.” Well, how could I argue with that?
Attached to this article are the pictures of the shaving! Harold handed me the clippers and as I began, I wondered where Mike Bullock was when I needed him? Shaving a full head of hair (on and man) is harder than I thought. I clipped as far as I could go. Then Peggy, Harold’s wife put shaving cream on his head and the next layer was shaved by Peggy and other neighbors who were standing by to be sure it was done right….not that any of us would have known whether it was or not. Again, where is Mike Bullock when you need him?
I asked Harold, a pharmaceutical representative, what he was going to say the next day when he made his calls. He said they probably wouldn’t even ask as they know he is quite the practical joker.
So here we are several weeks out from the head shaving. The good news is that Harold’s hair is growing back. The not so good news is that mine isn’t, so I will continue to wear my wig until I am sure I have enough hair to equal the wig, which could take several more months! Harold’s, on the other hand, will be back at full strength in a few weeks.
The very good news is that everyone should have as good a neighbor and friend as I do that would honor me and what I am going through by such a selfless act. I am a lucky gal to have such a precious friend that not only wanted to honor me, but wanted to honor all of those who have lost their hair because of the cancer treatments. Bless you Harold and all of the other Harolds (though I don’t know any others) that live with and love women who are bald. May we all have hair again, but more than that, may we all be cancer free!
Thank you, Harold Neel.