And the winner is…


During treatment last year at MD Anderson, I passed many idle hours in various waiting rooms holding awards shows in my head, judging the bald pates of fellow cancer travelers.

The Baldies. The Noggins. The GI Janes. I never settled on a name.

I started with a single category of Best Shaped Head, but depending on wait times or frequency of appointments or lack of any captivating reading material, I expanded the show’s categories to include  Smoothest (least bumpy), Best Proportion to Ear Size, Best Head for Resting Glasses Atop, Most Like Sinead O’Connor, and speaking of Sinead O’Connor, Best Tattoo (surprisingly there was only one contestant for that one during the whole six weeks the awards were held), Best Skin Tone, and so on.

There were awards for head covers or hats, too: Best Overall, Most Whimsical, Best Use of Upholstery Fabric (a one-time fluke), Best Knitted, Best Configuration, Best What Were You Thinking with That One Girlfriend, etc.

I envisioned myself in a bouncy little Medusa ** number, but couldn’t find any retailer that sold head covers festooned with coiled snakes. Oh to be crafty with some felt and wire! [See update below]

Judging was exhausting.  MD Anderson is a big place. So many heads, so many head covers. While the exercise served to kill time, it also made me realize that a well-shaped head or an attractive head cover can make all the difference in your attitude.  Giving you that extra little kick of energy and confidence you might need, right before chemo and/or radiation pummels it back out of you.  But for that moment in Camelot, you can revel in your pulchritude, saying to yourself, “My head is round and perfect.  My head cover is stylish and smart. I am Audrey Hepburn at Tiffany’s.  Bring it on, cancer.”

I do not have a well-shaped head, nor could I ever get the hang of scarves or head wraps, especially those clever ones with the knot on the side.   Also made my arms tired trying to tie them on my misshapen head.

Had I included a cancer shlub category, I would totally have won.

** Update:  Thanks to fellow traveler and master knitter Anita Figueras aka SciFiKnitter for the link in her comment below.  She knew exactly what I meant when I said I envisioned myself in a head cover with snakes all over it.  The link also prompted me to correct Hydra to Medusa.

Happy New Year!  Grace, inspiration, peace, kindness and humor to all of you.  I look forward to your comments and your blogs.

13 responses to “And the winner is…”

  1. That’s just TOO comical…I’ve often thought the same thing. And like you, I don’t have the makings of a svelte head. Yul Brynner, I’ll never be! But, I know you were complimenting everyone on their innovations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The things you do in a waiting room besides waiting…and waiting…and waiting.


  2. I loved this one and can imagine you doing this. Hope you are doing okay and the new year is a good one. Always happy to see your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. High praise coming from a REAL writer! Thanks.

      I’m doing well (15 months out, still NED*) and hope to start blogging more. I’m so far behind on blog reading, including yours. Apologies for that.

      *No evidence of disease

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am very glad about the NED. When I don’t see you for a while, I wonder how you are doing. Very good news!

        Liked by 1 person


    Liked by 1 person

    1. AND.

      Nah, I think I’m just weird and cancer makes you weirder.


  4. Oh, I have just the hat for you!

    People watching is a fascinating but scary pursuit in a cancer center. Fortunately most of the people in the Thoracic clinic at Roswell usually don’t look too bad. It’s not a place to assess the perfect glove of a head, there are few of them on display. I am struck by how normal most people seem. We’re just there taking care of business.

    Happy New Year, it’s great to see you in print on day one.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG, Anita!!!! That’s exactly what I envisioned!. I wish I’d known about it while I was bald. If you know that knitter, please thank her for me!

      On another note, I have a little memory problem from chemobrain — although I’m aware that some dispute the condition as authentic and attribute it to stress. I’ll make no judgment on that. — in that I struggle to speak and write the “right” words (evident in my writing I’m sure). MEDUSA is the word I was looking for but HYDRA kept sticking in my brain. So, thank you for the link and the right word, friend!


  5. Dear Maizie,
    I love this! (Big Grin) After a lifetime of wondering, (and 20 years of wanting to shave my head) I have my answer. I do look good bald! This and so many other questions are being answered. Yay Cancer? So far, most of the people I have met still have their hair so your observational experience is much more varied than mine. I really enjoy your writing. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So glad your treatments are over! (and you are NED) Cancer does bring out the whimsy in people (along with courage and fortitude). I had a good friend who wore costumes to her chemo. People kept changing their appointments so they could be there at the same time to see her. I admired her. Treatments suck up energy yet with 4 kids at home she found time to concoct costumes. It was her way of staying sane.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a spunky, humorous spirit must reside in you, Maizie, to be able to entertain yourself so well by musing about heads and mentally handing out awards. Your writing made me chuckle, but there was a deep appreciation behind each laugh for all waiting with you to do what you had to do with dignity and patience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, AB. leave it to you to make a person feel good!

      Liked by 1 person

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About Me

This blog started out as letters to my dog maizie but devolved into meaningless observations from a half-deaf cancer alumnus introvert navigating the noise you other people make.


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