This I Believe

Barbara - Clarksburg, Maryland
Entered on June 28, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe there are doors that are invisible to us until we need these doors to become visible and opened for us. There was a door that I would never have noticed nor ventured in if I did not have that fateful visit to the radiologist one day where I learned I had breast cancer. There were many visits to doctors that involved surgeons, oncologists and radiologists, granted these doors only opened at a time when circumstances called for these thresholds to be crossed. Of all the doors that became visible to me with my diagnosis one door that was most intriguing was the shop that sold wigs.

I would never have thought about visiting this store if my path had not lead in this direction. I may have passed this door many times and never given it a glance, a wig salon, not my cup of tea nor need before my diagnosis. Then one hot July day I did a search and came up a shop called Amy of Denmark Wig Salon. I still had hair when I went to visit this shop. I was just setting sail on my chemo course, and it was very early in treatment so I had feelings of denial setting in that I would not be loosing my hair but I would go and see what this wig thing was all about. With my sixteen year old daughter in the car we set course for a new door to open. It was a little hole in a wall type of place, and the rain from afternoon thunderstorms was tapering off when I found a parking spot and readied to open this door. The shop looked worn or well used. There were beauty salon stations set up, maybe around 4 or 5. Lots of Styrofoam heads wearing all sorts of hair styles and colors lined one of the walls. It took a few minutes for me to be acknowledged by one of the stylists since everyone was busy. Eventually a stylist came by, sat me down and started asking what I was looking for. I was still adjusting to the atmosphere and climate in this small, busy space, or maybe still adjusting to fact that I would be losing my hair.

The stylist pulled out some possibilities and tried different wigs on me. My daughter and I had some good laughs. Suddenly I felt this was my chance to be a new woman. Again I tried blonde wigs, red headed wigs, jet black with bangs wigs but finally came up with one that my daughter, the stylist and I felt would do. What clenched the deal was over on my right side in another area a women in her early twenties with her mother both nodded in agreement and said that the wig was perfect and suited me.

This place became my sanctuary for me during my treatment days. I would visit every week to have my wig washed and styled. What I would find here were women of different ages and backgrounds coming to be fitted to feel better during their ongoing battles. Not all the women were victims of breast cancer but fighting other types of cancer. We shared experiences with our treatments, we helped other women decide on the right wig for them to purchase. I became familiar with the stylists and the receptionist who always had encouraging words saying how well I looked even while undergoing treatment.

As my hair grew in I still would open the door to the wig salon to have my wig tended to. The black and white tiled floor, hairdryers constantly blowing, the warm and caring stylists and the new visitors as well as the old patrons have become a part of my woven experiences through this threshold I crossed. The door had remained closed and invisible until I needed this door to open. I believe that some doors we see ahead and know we will be venturing thru and there are other doors that may quietly wait in the shadows.