Can my optimism be absolute?

Betsy B | Patient |

Long before I started losing my hair, I did some research and found the cutest, most fabulously fashionable head scarves I could find.  After all, I am young and I care about

looking nice in my personal life and in my professional life as a school leader.  Of course, the cute Beaubeau scarves are not cheap, so I bought a few myself, then swallowed my pride and asked family and friends to help me build my collection.  Throughout my chemo and now in the months after while I wait for my hair to grow back, I have a myriad of options to choose from each morning, which has made the experience of hair loss significantly less traumatic for me.

I promise this is going somewhere related to optimism…

Here’s the question:  when my hair grows back, what will I do with my Beaubeaus?  I am an optimistic person to the core of my being.  I believe that good things will happen for me, that I will come out on top in whatever I do.  I believe the doctors when they tell me that the clean CT scans and blood tests mean that there is “no evidence of disease,” that the chemo worked.  I believe them when they tell me that there is a very good chance that I will be able to call myself “cured” five years from now.

But what will I do with the scarves?  I want to get rid of them, to donate them somewhere for women with cancer who need of support.  But then … what if my own cancer comes back?  I know that there are no guarantees.  I know that clear cell ovarian cancer is a beast.  I know that as good as things look now, that it could come back.  So am I really so optimistic, and do I have so much faith that I will get rid of the scarves when my hair comes back?  Will I keep a few of my favorites, to hedge my bets, hoping for the best but planning for the worst?  Can my optimism be absolute, or has cancer robbed me of that privilege?

I really have no idea what I’ll do with the scarves.  I’m open to suggestions…


  1. Hi,

    I don’t know how many you have but maybe you could donate half of them. I also have cancer and lost my hair. I had the attitude that “Bald is Beautiful”. I might wear a baseball cap now and again. With winter being in PA I wear a tossel hat now when I go out.

    I’m sure you will make the right decision that will make you happy!!!!

    Take care,

    Denise | | 2:08pm

  2. beautiful blog, just so authentic. Thank you for sharing this. The scarves could be a project for a high school community outreach club like Beta Club, K Club, or Health Sciences Club. Having students distribute and track the beloved scarves and keeping them circulating as patients no longer need them would be a great way to connect young populations to local cancer centers such as MGH and through hospital volunteer services as well. This intimate contact with patients may inspire them to go on to health care careers too.

    Cynthia Spake | | 8:36am

  3. I think the involvement of high school children is such a great idea!!!! Children do like doing things like that!!!


    Denise | | 8:56am

  4. I want to share a heart-warming story. When I was going through treatments, I kept working when I could. I worked in a library in a childrens room. I was wearing a hat to work. One day a boy, about 10, asked me why I was wearing a hat. I briefly explained I had lost my hair because I was sick. He smiled at me and said, don’t you know, it’s whats inside that counts – I bet you have a heart as warm as a polar bear so who cares about hair? When his mother came to the desk, I asked if I could talk to her about something her son said. She looked nervous, not knowing if it was good or bad. I told her it was the sweetest thing anyone ever said to me. She told me that her sister just went throug treatments so her son was familiar with the effects of chemo. The next time he came in I was not wearing my hat – he told me he was proud of me and then said by the way yo do look beautiful!

    Jen P | | 1:40pm

  5. JenP thank you for sharing that story. What a special little boy. I applaud your bravery and wish you continued good health. Take Care, M

    M | | 1:28pm

Share Your Thoughts

Please remember that your posts and comments are available for all to see. For your privacy, you should consider carefully before posting personal medical information to the internet. This site does not offer medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

We reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive or that contain foul language, spam or advertisements for commercial products. Disagreements and feedback/criticism are welcome, but mutual respect is a must.

Part of the conversation "Optimistic"