This weekend my friend Terry (aka Cancer Diva) invited me to photograph her head-shaving ceremony.  I was honored and excited but I didn’t really know what to expect.  I mean,  I loved the fact that Terry’s hairdresser (who’d once battled cancer herself) served us cocktails at 7am, and I enjoyed the feeling of comradery and celebration as Terry’s friends and family gathered near to offer support, but it was more than that.  It was watching a woman who’d been victimized by a deadly adversary wrestle some control back from her foe.    

It was watching a friend decide that instead of seeing the patchy hair and balding spots each time she looked in the mirror that she’d instead look at a face and hairline that she’d chosen herself. 


It was seeing my friend stare boldly at her reflection after having her hair shorn to an inch from her scalp, pause and say almost unflinchingly  “Shorter”.


It was watching a woman make cancer her bitch.


And it was beautiful.

 Check out Terry’s blog for more.

28 thoughts on “Control

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Good for Terry.

    As a guy who has a friend who is also battling cancer I say more power to her. The only way to beat Cancer is to be absolutely determined that you WILL WIN.

    My prayers go out to her along with my cheers.

  2. Wow – Terry looks absolutely beautiful with her new do. I think it might be the strength and character in her face…

  3. Amazing strength! My best friend just starter her remission phase and we did a little hair cutting thing for her right after she started chemo. Having great friends that will battle right along side her will help her!

  4. I don’t know many people who can carry off hair THAT short, but she looks stunning! Great job on the pictures BTW!!

  5. Wow. Fantastic. I’m getting all chokey. I love how great she looks, and that she’s smiling. Good on you, Terry.

  6. Hey, were you guys at The Art of Hair? I did their web site for them and the place in those pics looked familiar.

    All Joy for Terry. Personally, I think women with short hair are sexy. Of course, I pretty much think ALL women are sexy.

  7. Terry is absolutely beautiful…she took control and didn’t let the cancer and chemo control her…Terry has cancer, the cancer doesn’t have Terry.
    Someday soon, Terry won’t have cancer. I’ve been there, done that.

  8. Jenny–
    Thanks so much for your photograhic and bloggess chronicle of Terry’s metamorphosis.
    And thanks for your hilarious, outrageous, sweet, kick-ass humor!
    You — and the too-cool crowd in attendance — created a poignant and bittersweet memory of raucous laughter and loving comraderie.
    Thanks. Thanks. Thanks.
    Love, Bev (Terry’s sis)

  9. this entry gave me goosebumps. my aunt carole is fighting 3 different cancers, all right in the one little baby making spot of the body that women have (didn’t know you could get all 3 at once, didja?) and she wears this ridiculous BRIGHT pink hat, allllll the time… and i LOVE it.

    and i love terry. i love her hair. i love that smile.

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