3rd March was #WearItOut for The Brain Tumour Charity, a day to raise awareness and fund research for brain tumours all while wearing this colourful bandana:
Brain tumours are the UK’s biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40, yet less than 2% of cancer research funding is spent on brain tumours. In total, over 8,500 people are diagnosed with a primary brain tumour every year and over 3,500 people will lose their lives.
The Brain Tumour Charity are the leading brain tumour research funder in the UK, spending £1.5 million every year funding world class scientific and clinical research into brain tumours. We are the only brain tumour charity to fund research through a fair, open and transparent independent peer review process, recognised as best practice for medical research.
#WearItOut was also the day that inspired me to create the first ever Alphabet Brains video! I talk about The Brain Tumour Charity and what my headbands mean to me. I know it was a day to wear a bandana but I turned mine into a headband as they were my thing after my brain surgery. Something to make me feel good.
You can watch the video here, please do subscribe as I’ll be making more (I’ll try not to be so nervous in the next one!)
Thought I’d write about them too, in keeping with the blog.
Each headband has a different memory to me, over the years I’ve juggled with the thought of getting rid of them but I can’t bring myself to. I think because they’re a part of me and my new life.
When I first came out of hospital I don’t remember how I felt about my scar but my mum told me that I cried when my dressings were changed, so I was definitely insecure. Once my dressings had been removed and the staples had been pulled out I was left half bald on the front of my head with a massive scar, it’s actually 14cm to be exact (I got curious one day and my sister measured it)
I didn’t even think of using a headband to hide it until my mum gave me these. She hand knitted them herself! My accident was in February and by the time it came to wear headbands it was March. I remember it being cold but I’m not sure if that was the weather or the fact I was half bald. I don’t remember taking the photo where I’m wearing the grey one, but I think it was the first time I got properly dressed and put make up on. My eye is still really squinty because of the black eye I had.
These ones my mum and I made together while binge watching The Walking Dead. My mum stayed with me for months after my accident, she was amazing. Making these headbands together was so lovely, it took my mind off things, made me feel normal and it was just nice to be doing something. When I shared the photo of me wearing my #WearItOut headband on facebook she said this:
Headbands – happy memory alert! – Making headbands together and been introduced to awesome awesome awesome The Walking Dead by you x x
This one is important because it’s the first headband I actually went to a shop and bought. I had the energy to walk there and pick it out. I got the bus to Newcastle town centre BUT I managed to walk to the shop from the station and have a little wander around. That is a big achievement considering it was still early days. (It’s from Primark too so not the quietest of shops!) I wore it for my friend’s Hen Party in May. The fabric stretched a lot too so I was able to hide the fact that I was bald underneath it.
I wore this one to my friends wedding in June, I had hair a little bit of fluffy hair at the front. However, during my brain surgery they placed a metal plate on the right side of my head for extra protection. The hair hadn’t grown back there yet but the rose covered it perfectly!
This one has a nice story behind it. I met my boyfriend while I was wearing this and he thought it was a fashion statement. On our first date I didn’t tell him for hours, we sat down for food and I just said “ermmm, I’ve got something to show you” and I just took it off and showed him my scar. This was in April so at the time I was still completely bald on the front of my head. At the time I thought he would run away and that would be it, but he just asked me about it and we had a nice conversation.
When I went to put it back on I couldn’t do it properly because I was so flustered, he said “It’s ok, take your time” and ever since then he has been so supportive, we’ve been together nearly 4 years now.
My squinty eye took months to go away. I hated looking at that photo of me but now I don’t mind so much… It shows my recovery well.
While looking through old photos I found photos of me with headbands I’d forgotten about and must have lost.
Thank you for reading, I know it was very personal but once I started to write more words came (Just like how I nervously rambled in the video!) Do you have any special headbands, bandanas or hats? Comment below, I’d love to hear all about them! 🙂
If you’d like to read how I got my brain injury, here’s my story: Naomi’s Story
Hair has grown around my scar now, but when my hair is in a towel after a shower you can see the beginning of it: