My son won't look at me :-(

I have a 6 and an 8 year old. On Friday I had my remaining hair cut- the children were going to be with their dad for the weekend so it gave me the weekend to get used to it.

I wore wig when I picked them up tonight (my son came out of school and said how beautiful I looked!) and when I took them swimming. But I desparately wanted to get it off when I got home. My daughter was a bit off at first but once she realised this was it, and I was upset, she got used to it. But my son won't look at me unless I am wearing a hat or a wig.

I know it is early days but not sure whether the best solution is to keep covered up, just go with it and hope he gives in or a bit of both?

I don't want to upset him or cause him long lasting damage...

Has anyone had a similar experience?

Love and hugs xx

24 Replies

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  • Oh I am so Sammy this must be heartbreaking for you.

    I have never been in that position, but frankly I could never go without a scarf or turban in the house simply because I hated my hubby seeing me bald and I also hated how I looked.

    I am sure given time he will adjust to your new look and perhaps initially do as I did, wear a turban or scarf around the house.

    Good luck

    Love Anna xx

  • Hi Sammy,

    Could Daddy have a 'man to man' with him and explain to him that Mummy needs his love and that hair is not important? I don't have children so haven't got any experience in this. Your Macmillan nurse should have some ideas too. My husband dislikes turbans and hair loss hats. I just wear normal hats.

    Love Lizzie

    X

  • Oh and my gorgeous NHS wig - but not around the house!

    A hairband is good enough at the moment.

    By the way, I think it could be more 'long lasting damage' if you continue to let him behave this way, as I think he will feel very sad when he is old enough to realize he did not give you unconditional love when you needed it.

    Love Lizzie

    X

  • So sorry you had this reaction Sammy! My grandsons did not like seeing me baldd but I made a joke of it and said I was going to have a face painted on the back of my head like the character from Harry Potter.

    I never wore my wig it made my head itch and so did most hats. I had a couple of light turbans. One was pure silk that I got from Patra Silk. Not cheap but very comfortable. Try their web site.

    I think my son had words with the boys about my hair and we talked about it, like Lizzie I think his dad might be asked to have a talk to him about it.

    Good Luck

    Margaret

  • Hi Sammy,

    I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. I have two boys one 9 and one 11. When I lost my hair first time around a year ago I talked to them about it a lot. Their dad is quite bald on top so I joked that I would be balder than him.

    My hair was falling out badly and looked very wispy. My eldest son wouldn't look at me as he said it made me look ill. I got my husband to shave my head while the boys were at school but I did tell them that's what was going to happen. When they got home we had a laugh saying I looked like a boiled egg.

    My eldest son saw the funny side but would not touch my head at all and wouldn't cuddle me at first as my head was near him. However I had decided that I had to feel comfortable and even though I sometimes wore hats in the house (mainly because my head got cold) i didn't most of the time.

    Ben gradually got used to me and eventually touched my head. It took a couple of weeks until he was really comfortable with it.

    They came to accept it quite quickly. It is very hard as you are upset about loosing your hair but you have to deal with your children as well. It will work out I am sure and he will get used to it.

    Hope this helps

    Good luck Jackie

  • Hi Sammy. It must be really hard, having gone through everything and now this! I agree with the idea of making a joke, could you make a "puppet" of your wig and make it speak to your son? Something like " I make Mummy's head hot and itchy so she needs to give me a bit of a rest sometimes" ...you catch the drift. I found with working with Junior school aged children for nearly 40 years, that they respond really well to puppet-type discussions as they feel it's not like saying it to the "real" person. Maybe you could get "wiggy" to ask him why he doesn't like Mummy's bald head ...He is probably scared about what if it doesn't grow back etc and he has lost the Mum he was so familiar with. I'm guessing he is the 6 year old? It's important to chat as honestly as you can with children, taking a positive line like "the medicines that have made me lose my hair are also making me better again" and reassuring him that the hair will re-grow and you will all get back to normal after your recovery. It all depends on how good an actress you are, but Mums are so creative with their children.

    When I got back to my class after my op, and also when a colleague got back to work after losing her hair to breast cancer chemo, we explained to the children in class that it has been a worrying time, but things are looking up and we're over the illness for now. They were very glad to be able to talk about it and it ceased to be a big deal for them quite quickly. I used to get some "Miss, when you had cancer ...." sort of questions and they were really matter of fact about it. Kids can accept things far more easily than we realise when they are given a chance to explore what is confusing them. We went on to do some fundraising for cancer charities. That's all in the future though ...you need to concentrate on getting well and helping your children, especially your son to accept that this isn't scary and it isn't permanent.

    Good Luck

    Love Wendy xx

  • Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I have kept covered up since - mainly because it is cold- but also to give it a bit of time.

    Tonight my daughter has Brownies so I will try and engage my son whilst we are on our own and see if we can work through this. My daughter is being given some emotional support at school and I may ask if she can also spare some time with my son...up until now he has taken everything so well - so maybe there was bound to be a hiccup somewhere.

    Not sure about dad being any help...I left him cuz he was a useless ...........

    Love sam xx

  • Sorry Sammy. Did not understand your circumstances.

    X

  • Oh Sammy bless you dear,

    O had a similar problem with my 3 1/2 year old grandson. He seemed to know something was changing with his grandma. He saw me in three different styles of wigs and never seemed to notice, well his mummy is a hairdresser and is always changing her own hair and others so I guess he was just used to ladies always changing their hair.

    But then we hit a hot spell in the middle of the summer and OMG was this wig hot + I was having the sergical menopausal hot flushes and it was so uncomfortable wearing the wigs at home.

    One day we were playing and Thomas decided he wanted to play hairdressers, he started to medal with my hiar and I asked him not to touch it. Imagine if he`d knocked it off, now that would have upset him. So he asked WHY? as 3 1/2 year old`s do, do. Anyway, he kept asking and asking so I told him the story about grandma getting sick and losing her hair, I explained to him what a wig was, I told him underneath it I looked like his Daddy. He kept laughing not for once taking any of this seriously. So I lifted the fringe part of my wig up to show him the no hair underneath. Well, he freaked! It was awful. I honestly thought I would give the kid nigtmares.

    More later the phone is ringing and I need to take this call xxx back later

    Tina

  • My grandsons, aged 7 and 10, saw hairloss as part of the disease the way pox are part of chickenpox. We needed to explain that it was caused by the medicine making me better. That seemed to help. They are very matter of fact. All the best. I'm sure you will find a way. love Liz

  • Sammy sorry to hear you are having to deal with this on your own, but pleased you will get some support from school.

    A tip from anyone who has problems with wigs making their head itch - get a cotton scull cap from the wig suppliers, they are so good and it really does stop your head itching. Also wig tape is invaluable as I know to my cost one windy day.

    The one thing about living in Spain is the wonderful scarves the Spanish ladies wear and the great way in which they style them - I was never clever enough to do that.

    Love Anna xx

  • Hi Sammy

    My 2 boys were 7 and 11 when I was first diagnosed. I didn't let them see me with a bare head for ages as I was sure they would not react well. Every morning I scrambled to put on a scarf before they jumped into my bed. After a while you just don't manage to cover up quickly enough and they got used to it. I don't think you should push them into accepting your baldness straight away while they are still getting used to the idea that their Mum is ill. l wore a great wig outside the house which the boys thought was an improvement compared to my normal hair and then scarves at home and even outside when the weather was hot. In my experience children are very keen that their mother doesn't look odd in front of other people. As Anna mentioned a scull cap definitely heIps with the itching and the itching gets much better as the scalp gets used to being bare.

    Looking as nice as you can and 'normal' will be good for you as well as reassuring for your children. I felt that having to put on an act for the kids,even when its the last thing you feel like, managed to drag my mood up.

    From a selfish point of view - you have got enough to deal with, coping with your own distress and emotions, without having to sort out the children's upset as well. Especially if you are on your own. Yes its tough but the alternatives are worse.

    My boys are now 11 and 15. I am still having treatment which is now made my hair turn white! They are happy but keen for me to get my hair dyed!

    Lots of love Sarah

  • Good morning twin. Just thought I'd give you a hug.

    Love Lizzie

    X

  • How are you my darling?

    I am waiting for the oncologist to ring me with my MRI scan results from Monday. I hate waiting, I feel like I can't even go out to the bin.

    I hope you are still eating chocolate. I refuse not to enjoy life (food high up on my personal list) not matter what.

    Love Sarah

  • Hi Twin,

    Feeling much better today. Had a bit of a personal crisis yesterday. Not sure if it is the bloating, the lactulose (for dreaded constipation), the chemo or the disease, but was sick yesterday for the first time since I came out of hospital last May. But today I managed to lunch at the pub down the road with my neigbour and do a walk and am feeling human again. I am just stuffing myself with fruit at the moment which is lovely and refreshing. Need to get the last of today's steroids down me so need food in me. The lactulose is very sugary - not sure how that sits on the anti-cancer diet LOL. I know what you mean about waiting for calls. As Anna says, just when time is most valuable you end up waiting around to no avail far too often.

    I have everything crossed for your MRI (eyes as always included), do let me/us know.

    So nice to know you are out there.

    Lots of Love

    Lizzie

    X

  • Poor you. You sound very brave. That combo of factors is enough to make anyone sick. Have you tried Movicol as a laxative? It might not be as sweet as your stuff. You did well to go out for lunch today. Hopefully the bloating will start to reduce soon. I asked my onc. about Caeylx and she said that the factory is closing so you have done really well to get it.

    I gave in and called the onc. this afternoon as the wait was getting me too worried. All she said was that the scan had shown further shrinkage in the abdomen and liver. That's all I needed to know. Phew! I really need to try to enjoy myself at this point. I will do a proper blog when I get the details which will be in 3 weeks time.

    I am sure I will be in touch before then!! When is your next chemo?

    Keep going. Things will start to improve.

    Love Sarah

  • Hi Sarah,

    I guess next stop is Movicol. Not really brave, just trying to get through the bad days and make the most of the good days like we all do. It is really annoying when they don't call - it has happened several times to me. They must know how important it is to us. And then when they tell you, it's all vague and not very clear 'cos I think the scans are pretty rubbish. After all my messing around with a PET scan they found something in my left breast which they now need an Ultrasound to confirm if it is cancerous. So the PET scan is obviously not the be all and end all I thought it was. I know I should be grateful about the caeylx, I just wish we'd know sooner if it's going to do anything for me.

    Great news about your tumours though (you know what I mean!). Looking forward to the blog.

    My next chemo is Feb 10. Friday I am seeing my oncologist (and hopefully not the registrar). I am looking forward to him examining me - he is very calming and gives me confindence. I want him to poke my bloating and tell me it is ascites and not a 15cm tumour :-)

    Good evening hug - take care and as you say **CELEBRATE** - I can recommned Green and Black's organic > 85% ;-).

    Love Lizzie

    X

  • Hi Sammy,

    Sorry its taken me so long to get back to you with the rest of my story.

    It took a while to calm Thomas down after I freaked him with the no hair underneath the wig. I explained to him why I have no hair and why I now wear a wig and he seemed to be taking it all in. Sooo, I asked him if he`d like to see my other wigs and at first he said a definate NO. I left it until he asked to see them and boy did we have fun. Grandad tried one on and Thomas wore the other, almost all day, we even took some photographs. Then I asked him if he`d like me to show him grandma looking very much like daddy with no hair.

    NO he said, I don`t like it!

    He wasn`t going to have any of it and I wouldn`t push him but it was ruddy hot this particular day and my head needed airing, LOL!

    Granddad took thomas out side to play ball while I got on with some house work. The hoover came on and the wig came off while I was having another menopausal hot flush on top of the summer heatwave.

    The next thing I noticed granddad holding thomas upto the window to see Grandma looking really funny with no hair and would you belive he was giggling. Never had any more problems with him after that.

    Each time he came to visit he`d ask "Has your hair grown back yet, grandma?" and he would want to see, the wig came off and he enjoyed feeling how soft the fluff was when the first sign of hair growth came through.

    Children do adapt but it needs to be in their own time.

    I made 100% sure I told Thomas that I had lost my hair because the mediacine was making me better adding, it only does that with this particular medicine and not the sort he has for his croup.

    Hope this helps sweetheart - its hard enough for us going through this but sometimes trying to be brave for our loved ones will help us through the worst of it, it certainly did me

    love from Tina xxx

  • Thank you all again...I tried a bit of puppetry last night and he was having none of it LOL... I think as Sarah1963 says eventually he'll catch me without it on and get used to it. He came into my room on Monday night but because it was so cold that night I was sleeping with a beanie on..otherwise he would have seen me then.

    I thought I had prepped him enough in the couple of months leading up to this with talk of medicines making mummy better but obviously he just isn't really yet.

    It was parents evening tonight so I mentioned it to the teacher - but I said it was early days and I'll see how it goes. My son is such a lovely caring boy (the teacher says he preys for me everyday ) - I don't want to change him. I know if he ever remembers this time he'll be horrified but hopefully it will pass quickly and no harm will be done.

    It is a good job it is winter and I don't mind wearing a beanie though...might not be so patient in the warmer weather!! today I took possession of a tights-like thing which helped with the itching.

    Bit off topic...but I have to share this. i became a volunteer dog walker yesterday - gets me out the house- and on my first day had a tremendous time walking 3 small well behaved pooches. Went back today and the 1st walk went well...was taking it back to the kennels when another newbie was asked if she would partner up on a doggie double with me. Apparently these two dogs can't be separated!!! HMMMM....The speed at which my arm was yanked from it socket certainly aided the separation of my wig from my head...They were uncontrollable. it was like a comedy..I kept trying to readjust it but I must have looked appalling..as well as sweating from the exertion.

    Don't think I'm up for the big dogs yet!

    Sam xx

  • Hi Sam

    Ha! Dogs. You have to see the funny side. Beware of sunglasses too. I raised my pair to talk to someone and lifted the wig off too. Didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

    You sound as though you have a lovely boy. Bless his little heart for praying for you. He will pick up on the fact that you can cope and be brave. He will then feel able to relax and concentrate on being a little boy.

    Yes that thing like a piece off a pair of tights is what helped me with the itching and it really does improve. Washing your bare head in the shower is a good feeling eventually. Yes I know it sounds weird.

    Lots of love to you and your lovely family.

    Sarah

  • ah...hadn't thought about my sunglasses... i am one of those people who permanently has sunglasses on top of head..so I'd better get practising the look and the manoeuvres.....

  • Yay....it took 8 days...but we got there :-)

    Just got in and he said to me "you know you can take your hat off if you like"

    I asked him if he would do it..and he did and we had a hug.

    So pleased :-)

    xx

  • Brilliant! ~What a mature boy. 8 days is good going.

    S

  • Oh, Sam! This brought a tear to my eye, I was so pleased to see your post. You have done brilliantly well in managing this situation. Well done to you and all the family. Having worked in Primary Schools for 39 years till I retired, I know how hard it is for the children of ill parents to accept new ideas, but it wasn't till we had two of us in our school being treated for cancer that we worked out how children can be reassured, while still keeping things positive but honest..

    Well done to you and your son. Now ...... get on with getting well again!

    Love Wendy xx

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