July 22, 2008, by Morgan Jarema, in The Grand Rapids Press
When men go bald, they can simply don a hat -- or not -- and nobody asks questions.
When women go bald, Judy Joppie says, "People automatically think cancer, even if it's not."
Joppie, 53, of Grattan Township, lost her hair last year during what is considered successful surgery and treatment for lung cancer.
While she kept an upbeat attitude about having the disease, she did not want to be the center of attention when she went out. So she used her flair for accessorizing to put a fashionable spin on scarf-wearing.
"Even through chemo, it was important to me to not look sick," Joppie said. "It's no fun losing your hair, and it's really hard on your self-esteem."
Joppie spent an hour Monday at Gilda's Club in Northwest Grand Rapids teaching women to "just have fun" with scarves.
After religious reasons, head covering for health reasons and for hair loss make a lot of sense to folks. It's something that in our modern Western world we have "forgotten" how to do: how to tie a scarf or turban, to make it practical and nice looking. I have the feeling that many of the cancer support groups for women organize sessions like this, and for those who don't, it might be a good thing to consider. The resources are out there. (If you're interested in more resources online, please check my Those Headcoverings web pages links for Cancer head coverings - and please let me know of any resources that I have not listed.)