Nairobi, March 5, 2013: My good friend Sylvia Gichia published my photos on Facebook. Not just any photos, but the ones from my impromptu photo shoot over the weekend, where I reveal for the first time my bald head! Now this is a big deal because I am extremely shy and I lean towards being a private person so even on my FB profile I have minimal photos of myself.
How did I get myself into this? It all started one Saturday in March, when the girls, who are members of my fund raising committee decided to meet at my house for high tea and a mini-committee meeting. In attendance was Lydia Kamuyu, whom I have known since I was 13 years old (Bubbles days!), Sylvia Gichia, whom I got close to when we lived in Atlanta and I will never forget she gave me my first set of golf clubs which I have no clue where they are today! Then there’s Sophie Mukwana, whom I met about 6 years ago through another friend and I must confess she is the funniest girl I know and makes the meanest swine thanks to her Ugandan roots! And finally, Brenda Selebwa, whom we have come a long way together, from living in the same neighborhood since the 1980s, and attending the same school, Loreto Convent Msongari.
The girls arrived promptly at my house for our mini-committee meeting at 2:30pm to find a feast of freshly made chocolate muffins, samosas and popcorn (all prepared by my dedicated domestic manager, shout out to Corletta Nzoka). They also brought grapes, wine, juice, cake to add onto the feast! We chatted, ate, drank, laughed and discussed the fundraising event we were planning to raise money for my medical fund www.facebook.com/medicalfundappeal Time flew by and I reminded the girls we had a function to attend that evening and so we decided to step into my room to help me get ready.
Before I knew it, the girls had selected a sexy dress for me to wear, funky accessories and shoes, as Sylvia was already doing my make-up. As I was about to reach for my wig, the girls suggested I go bald to the event! Whoa! What a challenge! I had never stepped out in public bald and I was not sure I could manage the stares this time.
One of the side effects of chemotherapy is hair loss, also called alopecia. Hair loss can happen anywhere on a chemo patient’s body i.e. head, face, arms, underarms, and the pubic area. Let’s just say I am victim to hair loss in all the areas mentioned!
Hair loss often starts 2-3 weeks after chemo begins and it takes about 1 week for all the hair to fall out. They say that hair will grow back 2-3 months after chemo is over or even during chemo (www.cancer.gov).
On seeing my hesitation to stepping out bald, Sylvia whipped out her camera and suggested we first take some photos as a confidence builder. As she snapped away to my various poses in my garden, and I suddenly started feeling beautiful and confident. The power of the camera lens, I tell you! As soon as we were done, I had no hesitation but to go to the event without my wig! And despite the stares I got, I still felt beautiful!
A few days later Sylvia sends me a link to the photos which she has created into a video/slideshow. She wants to know if she can post them on Facebook. I tell her I will call her back as my heart starts racing with doubt! Then my good voice tells me to go for it, and we did!
I hope you like my new look, I certainly do!
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7