No one tells you about these moments once the side effects of chemo click in. The realization that while you may have shaved your head, you often forget until you look in the mirror. That others see you 100% of the time as a balding female and their eyes say it all – despair, sadness, or not a look at all.  But the reality is, unless you’re fresh out of the shower, or have a memory lapse, your shoulders feel lighter and you get ready in the morning quicker than ever.

So, I started wearing a hat. First it was about me. Summer bugs and a bald head do not blend well 😊 But then it became about everyone else. Mainly for my daughter’s sake. Walks around the neighborhood, quick trips for errands, I saw the “looks” and it hit me every time. So I wore a hat most days. Suddenly I felt almost ‘normal’ that was exactly what I was craving. It became my safety net at times – “normalcy”.

The other day, I went for my daily morning walk, got halfway up the first hill and realized I forgot my hat. I’ve done it before, and usually turned around and jogged back to snatch it desperately off the counter where I left it. But not today. Today – I left the hat behind. And I walked. And I walked. And I walked.

Cars drove by – I waved. The mail truck stopped nearby – I waved. Every single person I saw, I waved too.

And when I got back home I realized that it wasn’t about the hat at all. It was about me.

I provide my own confidence and my own interpretation of others looks (and looks away). I see a strong, vibrant woman who is healing. Every. Single. Damn. Day! And for that I’m proud. I’m proud to be my daughter’s best role model. Because now, especially now, it’s not about how you look, it’s about how you accept and own it. ALL OF YOU. Because you are uniquely you, no matter what your skin says 😊

Go confidently into the world and be your best self. And next time, leave the hat behind!


  1. Tiffany Atcheson on October 22, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    Well said, Jill. You are a strong and gorgeous woman, with and without your hair! Hats off to you, sista.

  2. Sue on October 22, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Bravery continues. I see hope for us all in your optimist attitude Jill 😘💕💕💕

  3. Arriane on October 22, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    💗💗💗💗💗💗 so good, Jill.