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Brave the shave

(52 Posts)
MagnumAddict Thu 30-Jun-16 22:14:23

I am going to try and be sensitive when I explain my feelings because the last thing I want to do is upset anyone who is dealing with Cancer. I lost my Dad to it so have felt the devastation it brings. I've also had close family and friends come through it thankfully.

To be clear I respect anyone who raises money and awareness and I do as much as I can to support cancer charities. Have volunteered countless times doing all sorts but there is something about this campaign that I personally find upsetting and a bit... I don't know. I'm really struggling to put it into words.

I honestly don't want a bun fight. I'm prepared to be told I'm being unreasonable but what I'm really looking for is to question myself and understand my own feelings so thought it would be helpful to hear other people's opinions

treaclesoda Thu 30-Jun-16 22:16:17

In what way do you find it upsetting?

Roseformeplease Thu 30-Jun-16 22:16:44

I agree. I think it is all a bit look at me. Also, shaving yourself (even your head) voluntarily, requires no effort and, in fact, looks like you want to be seen as looking like a cancer sufferer when they, surely, would rather not look like that themselves.

MagnumAddict Thu 30-Jun-16 22:16:46

Now I'm in tears. Fucking cancer

JenniferYellowHat1980 Thu 30-Jun-16 22:18:03

I'm not keen either. Nothing comes close to the fear and suffering of a cancer patient. I lost my strong, wonderful DM this year and none of this well intended solidarity would have helped. The other thing is that my mum has no support from anywhere but the NHS. She couldn't even access the drug she needed so I feel a bit hmm about raising money for cancer charities and will instead focus on the local hospice.

Ikeameatballs Thu 30-Jun-16 22:20:34

I've just seen an advert on TV and also felt uncomfortable although I'm struggling to articulate why.

I think it's because:

It's not something that requires a huge amount of effort, in the way that training for an event or taking part in an activity does.
It has some consequences for those taking part in their hair will take a long time to grow back and some may find this quite upsetting.
Loss of hair is something often associated with cancer treatment, this seems to be mimicking that.

Together it feels like I am sponsoring someone for mimicking the experience of someone with cancer.

treaclesoda Thu 30-Jun-16 22:20:38

I don't think of it in the same way. I don't think a healthy person with a shaved head looks anything like a cancer sufferer. I see it more as solidarity. And whilst shaving your head might not take any huge effort as such, it's quite a big step with regards to your appearance, particularly if you're female.

I'm sorry you find it upsetting though. flowers

doodlejump1980 Thu 30-Jun-16 22:24:18

I know what you mean. I can understand when people who are really close to someone who's battling and they do it as support, but this seems to be popularising it to make it more about the person who isn't battling? It doesn't really sit right with me either, but then having lost my Mum, gran and Aunt to breast cancer and my friends husband (44) this week to the big bastarding C I'm maybe feeling a bit raw about it.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Thu 30-Jun-16 22:26:36

I think the head shaving is very 'memememememememeMEEEEEE!'

My daughter had her arse length ponytail lopped to a pixie cut several years ago and sent her hair to be made into a wig for a child with cancer. No fanfare, no sponsorship, good result for a small charity.

Have to say I despise the Macmillan tactics too, so I actively avoid all the crap they spout.

Lweji Thu 30-Jun-16 22:39:30

As most public displays of support.

I agree with your point of view. I have no problem sharing links about how to support charities and so on, but not advertise whatever I do for support. I have told some people in real life about something I did to contribute because they asked about it, but haven't put it on FB or anything like that.

My dad is dying of cancer, right now, and it might actually piss me off if anyone in our circle took away the focus from him to them and any meaningless show off.

MagnumAddict Thu 30-Jun-16 22:51:48

Really sorry to hear that Lweji

Thanks for the replies. They have really helped see both sides.

I'n sure many will do this for selfless reasons and if it helps some people to feel supported then it can't be all bad.

More than that though I appreciate those putting in to words the reason I feel so uncomfortable with it. Its no hair but with no fear, no goodbyes.

It also struck a nerve because it's not something I would do but I would have done anything for my dad so should I feel guilty? Am I upset because I think it might make people feel bad for not doing it as if they don't care enough? Not sure I'm probably rambling now

Flumpsnlumpsnstuff Thu 30-Jun-16 22:57:52

I agree with you OP
My Bf has terminal cancer and when she lost her have this round of chemo (maintenance to try and buy time) her DD and mine both said they wanted to shave their heads. My bf was adamant this wasn't happening. She said she had no choice about her hair and people looking by there was no way anyone else was going to do it out of 'solidarity ' she asked them to do a bake sale insteadgrin

Nanny0gg Thu 30-Jun-16 23:06:14

I agree with you OP.

I don't quite know what it will achieve - publicity for the cause?

Losing hair is such a distressing aspect of chemo that I don't see what doing it voluntarily does. I can't see it making anyone feel better about their loss.

Rainbunny Thu 30-Jun-16 23:11:02

I'm not aware of this campaign but my dh shaved his head along with all his mates when our good friend developed a cancerous brain tumour. The friend was very appreciative actually but this was a gesture between good friends in solidarity nothing else, so I always thought it was rather lovely. This sounds... well like it has intentions?

PipeDownSmallFry Thu 30-Jun-16 23:14:33

I find it a really odd thing to be asking people on mass to do for charity. It's not something that many schools would allow children to turn up looking like and many people in public facing jobs may also not be allowed or feel uncomfortable with. I'm sure there are many other ways to show support or raise funds.

Cutecat78 Thu 30-Jun-16 23:16:13

I felt uncomfortable about it when I heard it on the radio today.

Agree with PP it's very MEeeeeee!!

shadowfax07 Thu 30-Jun-16 23:23:02

I really dislike the 'brave the shave'. I cold capped through chemotherapy, so I kept most of the hair on my head. I still lost my eyelashes and eyebrows, as well as body hair --the day I had a quick scratch and all my pubes fell out was an interesting one! confused Sadly, I didn't lose all the hair on my legs but I did lose finger and toenails too.

To me it's the trivialisation of what I (and countless others) went through trying to stay alive. Not everyone who loses hair undergoing chemotherapy regains it.

DailyMailBestForBums Thu 30-Jun-16 23:23:30

It's a huge fundraiser here in Ireland. Friends, relatives and colleagues gave me €2,500 + to shave my waist-length hair (which was then donated for making wigs). For the record, both my parents have cancer, DH's dad died of it and his mum is in remission. I can't run marathons and am not willing to involve people in a "pay for me to climb Kilimanjaro and the charity will get €50 if they're lucky" wheeze, but it was a sacrifice I could make to fundraise.

Also, I was appalled how many people openly stared at my bald head. I could understand why someone who should be focussing their energies on getting well might feel the need to get a wig. So the solidarity aspect of it might be important to some people.

LizardBreath Thu 30-Jun-16 23:24:52

I also found it odd, and can't articulate why. All fundraising is obviously good, but this, I'm not as sure about.

Zarah123 Fri 01-Jul-16 00:44:04

I think MacMillan nurses are amazing. My dad described them as angels In his final days. They enabled him to be at home and gave him dignity.

I'm happy to support this campaign.

MagnumAddict Fri 01-Jul-16 19:24:15

Zarah I would never dispute the nurses being amazing and I'm glad your dad got much needed support.

I think my own feelings are about the act of shaving your head and it being brave and it also being a bit of a gimmick? Now I've had a chance to breathe and reflect (last night was an emotional one)

It's not even so much the shaving of the head which I can understand to some might feel like a really supportive act I think my whole issue is the use of the word brave.

I've already used too many words to try and explain but for me when my dad was ill I felt like he was brave all the time, for me, my mum and all the family. So much pressure to 'fight it well' I was also part of it, being 'brave' trying not to show emotion.

It's such a hard thing to fully articulate but the fact that people understood last night and I could talk about it helped me more than I can tell you

ilovechocolate07 Fri 01-Jul-16 19:30:30

I had this sane conversation with hubby last night. I feel uncomfortable with it and would rather raise money a different way. The struggles that someone losing their hair must go through must be horrendous and if they could, I assume that they would rather keep their hair so someone cutting all of their hair off might seem a bit insensitive. I don't know. I suppose each individual has their own thought on this. That's just mine.

pontefractals Fri 01-Jul-16 19:37:30

It makes me slightly uncomfortable and I can't quite work out why. I lost my (previously waist-length) hair to chemo, along with all my body hair. (I actually found the loss of eyelashes, eyebrows and nasal hair hardest to cope with.) I think partly it might be some sort of feeling that they're somehow underplaying how it felt for me by doing it voluntarily, but I'm not sure. Someone upthread talked about doing it in solidarity with a close friend, and that seems OK, but this... No.

DickCheese Fri 01-Jul-16 19:40:04

I kind of see what you mean. Obviously it's intended to raise money for charity, but it seems a bit self serving and 'look at me' what a good person I am. Fortunately since being an adult, nobody I love very much has lost their hair to cancer. I really feel I would shave my head in solidarity, if it was my sister or best friend or something but not just randomly, sponsor me £20 and I'll shave my head - what fun!

JazzTheDog Fri 01-Jul-16 19:40:09

My sister lost her hair twice through chemo for breast cancer and hates this campaign with a vengeance.

We have raised thousands in other ways in memory of my dad and during her fight - race for life, coffee morning, bake sales etc.

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