She walked into the hair salon wearing sun glasses, a sleeveless blouse and what women from her era call ‘pedal pushers.’ It is so hot and humid here and we’re just six days into summer!

She was a complete stranger to me, but that lasted only about five minutes.  Harriet is her name and she is what I call a ‘big life.’

I quickly found out her reason for coming-in to see the woman who cuts my hair.

It didn’t take Harriet long to whip-off her wig, show me how her hair is beginning to grow back, even though she is only half way finished with her radiation treatment for breast cancer.  I learned all about her chemo therapy and all the side effects that have caused her fingernails to fall off, her arms to bruise badly and how she’s lost her sense of taste. That doesn’t stop her from eating her favorite chocolate ice cream, because “I know I love it even if I can’t taste it.”

She’s planning to take herself on a little cruise for her 75th birthday soon.  She says she’s earned it and I couldn’t agree more.  Her cancer and its demanding schedule in her life has not stopped Harriet from living.  She’s the best example of living with cancer that I’ve seen in the longest time.

I left her sitting in the chair, dreading the fact that she would have to put her wig back on, especially in this heat.  But it would be styled and make her feel complete.  But only until those thin wisps of curly hair grow-out just a little bit more.

Harriet…a chance meeting of a life force, living with cancer, but in the best way….You go girl!!!


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