Could Gray Hair Be My Silver Lining?

Filed Under All Posts, Beauty, Cathy Fischer, Reinvention, Style | 29 Comments

December 2007, photo by Michel Bocande

December 2007, photo by Michel Bocande

Cathy Fischer’s third and final installment of her “hair trilogy”

I thought of writing about a topic other than my hair, but my dear friend and chemo companion Wendy (who accompanied me to all four treatments, where we’d yak for a few hours, leaf through magazines, then go out for a fabulous lunch) insisted that I update those who are anxiously waiting to know if I’ve gone gray or returned to being a slave to color.

First, a quick recap/update:

In January, I posted “Wigging Out” which chronicled my going from hirsute to hairless, in just three days. It started when my hair began falling out after my first chemo treatment for breast cancer. I shaved my head, preemptively, to avoid the horror-induced depression of finding clumps of hair on my pillow or even worse, having a head resembling the cruelest of all male baldness patterns—the Franciscan monk look.

In hindsight, the quote about the “joy” of being hairless was true. It was a relief not having to shave or pluck, cut or color, for a few months. I’m pretty sure that most of the money I saved on hair maintenance went directly to shoe purchases. “Do what makes you feel good” was my motto, which often manifested itself in the form of new shoes, dry vodka martinis or extra crispy french fries. Read more

Gray Matters

Filed Under All Posts, Beauty, Cathy Fischer | 28 Comments

brainy woman

For Cathy Fischer, being post-chemotherapy is great, but soon she’ll need to make a choice about how she looks and how she might be perceived.

By now you probably know about Susan Boyle, the middle-aged television show contestant whose awkward and dowdy presence had the judges and studio audience of Britain’s Got Talent ready to laugh her off the stage. But when Susan Boyle began to sing, her matronly gray hair and bushy eyebrows disappeared and her enormous talent smacked everyone upside the head.

Like millions who’ve watched the video, I laughed, cried and cheered for the underdog. This real-life morality tale has people examining their own looksist and ageist stereotypes.

Now that I’m finished with chemotherapy, my hair is growing back—on my head, eyelashes, brows—and other places, I’m afraid. (Dang those mother pluckers!) My formerly bald pate is covered with hair soft as duck down, dark with smatterings of silver at the temples and marbled throughout. The Jane Fonda Klute wig I’ve been wearing will soon be a relic, so here I stand at the crossroads: go gray or say nay? Read more

Gray Texture

Filed Under All Posts, Beauty, Carine Fabius, Humor | 17 Comments


Photo by Pascal Giacomini

Can I just bitch for a moment about getting old? I know, I know, there are people starving in America, and I should just be grateful for my wonderful life. And, I am. But let’s face it. Regardless of bombs going off in the world and in the lives of people you love, if a missile has landed in your little universe, you can’t just wish it away. Pettiness and substance often occupy the same space. Life is like that. Okay, disclaimer taken care of. Now can I bitch?

I’ve written on this site before about going gray, and I thought I had a pretty good game plan in place: because it blends so well, start with platinum blonde around the crown, where it’s coming in at a speed rivaling the action in Charlie Chaplin movies; and, that’s been working very well. Until now. Who knew that my nice, soft curls would morph into coarse, wiry pubic hair? Gray pubic hair at that! Read more