Tara Werho

Director-Information Technology, Cancer Survivor

Getting the news that I had cancer was overwhelming and in many ways unbelievable. It was difficult to wrap my head around it. To then hear the news that I would need chemo and radiation and that I WOULD lose my hair was devastating. If I was ever complimented on one thing throughout my life, it was my long, thick hair. My hair was important to me and I believed (falsely) that I would be ugly without my hair. I immediately tried to wrap my head around it and began considering my options. I really struggled with the thought of getting a wig, wearing one, and feeling like I was myself in it. The process of trying on and choosing a wig turned out to be fun. I had my mom and sisters with me and we made a day of it trying on wigs of various colors and lengths. I ended up opting for something quite different and much shorter from my “real-hair” style. Once my hair started falling out, I buzzed my head and began to wear my wig.

I’ve been wearing my wig now for nearly nine months. I cannot count the compliments I have received from total strangers. I was shopping one day and a person came up to me and said “Your hair style is spectacular on you. Never change it.” Another time while visiting a salon with a friend, I was complemented by a hair stylist who loved my cut and style. Of course, I just smiled and said ‘thank you!” Neither of these people knew I was wearing a wig. It just looks like me. And an added bonus to the wig is it cuts about 30 minutes off my morning getting-ready routine. I just put it on and off I go. I might just be sad once my hair grows back out.

The wig has truly helped to make my cancer news and hair loss much easier to accept. It has allowed me to feel like I’m somewhat in control of the situation and what I look like. Cancer wasn’t able to take that from me.

My youngest son recently got married. I felt beautiful in my wig at the wedding. I’m so thankful I have the option. I highly recommend anyone going through cancer treatment and hair loss to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity provided by the American Cancer Society.