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Exploring the Beauty of Ohio and Beyond...

Quick health update: Feeling really good (as far as side effects will allow). I'm also on steroids as I just had the second chemo which went very well, just very long. The effects will wear off and I will probably crash this weekend. But I've got a long weekend to do so. I've gotten a few projects around the house done, saw Endgame, and hoping to maybe go to church this Sunday.

Before you read the rest of this, I want to say, first of all, what anyone chooses to wear on their head during chemo treatment is a very personal choice and I respect each and every choice anyone makes. This is about my choice and why.

When I first started in nature photography several years ago, I realized I had a problem. My head and face sweat profusely, always have. My solution to the problem was the same solution we used growing up on the farm, bandanas. So over the next few years, my collection of bandanas grew. They were also useful when I ran photography meetups. I would just say, "Look for the gal in the purple bandana". Then in the fall of 2017, I went with a group of photographers to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was not lost on them that every day I had a different bandana, usually somewhat coordinated with what I was wearing. By the end of that trip, bandanas were officially, "my thing". Not one to stick to only the traditional paisley, I've since added a bright orange REI, a souvenir Badlands, and several other "fun" ones to my collection.

Photo Credit: Roberta Kayne. Me shooting tulips at one of the last meetups I hosted before we shut the meetup group down. Notice the bandana. Spring 2018 at Inniswood.

Fast forward to April 17, 2019...the hubby and I are sitting in the oncologist's waiting room and I turn to him and said, "I've already made a decision. If it's cancer, and I have to have chemo, and I lose my hair, I'm not wearing a wig. I'm using bandanas." He looked and me and without hesitation said, "Of course you would, it's your thing". After a close photographer friend said basically the same thing when I told them, I knew I'd made the right decision. I've since bought some plain ones and have commissioned two from local artist to round out my collection.

There may have been one more factor in this decision. In the hospital, I re-watched Marvel's Black Panther. It's one of my favorite from the Marvel series, with its rich story-telling and beautiful scenes of Wakanda, a fictional Marvel-created country in Africa. One thing that struck me was the beautiful, strong and completely bald female royal guard. In one scene, the king (who is the Black Panther), his "fiance" (long story...watch the movie), and his royal bodyguard, Okoye, must go on an undercover mission to Hong Kong. Okoye has to wear a wig. You can tell she doesn't like it and she doesn't look like herself. She makes a comment early in the scene about getting rid of it. Later in a fight scene, she uses it a defensive weapon...so she does end up getting rid of it. Like Okoye, I, personally just wouldn't feel right in a wig. Plus, given my scalp still sweats (some things never change), I think a wig would be hot and uncomfortable for me.  I never even liked them as a child playing dress up. I could relate to Okoye in that scene and may have sub-consciously started to realize I would do something different.

But unlike Okoye, I do lack the confidence to just go bald, and I do feel like myself in the bandana. Whether it was from wearing them as a kid or wearing them now as a photographer, they just feel right. They are my choice. They are "my thing".

About the photo (left): This a custom bandana by fellow artist Jackie Ayres of dyetology.com. Check her website out, beautiful clothes, scarves, coverups, etc. Pardon my hubby's less than steady hand at phone photography.

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