Now that I think about it, and yes, this is really obvious, and I am just oblivious not to have realized this before, a lot of the African-American women in Oak Park have *very* close-cropped hair, or wear headscarves like hers. So when I say most bald women are likely cancer patients, I wasn't thinking about different cultural communities, or alternative arts scenes, etc. and so on. More the middle-class suburban mostly white women I'm mostly surrounded by. Oak Park is more mixed than many suburbs, but still.
I went out thinking about scarves, and ended up finding one I liked, though it is quite long (with it wrapped around my head once like this, the two ends trail to my waist), and I am wondering whether I would be happier with it if I cut it way down, maybe to bandana size (I think I might still get a usable second short scarf out of it as well). Not sure -- thoughts? I wear a lot of fall / winter scarves for warmth, but they tend to be bulkier, pashmina style things -- I'm not used to trying to wrap a scarf around my head.
I also typically buy one new outfit for the first day of teaching, and I think this top might be it (paired with a pair of gray slacks and grey ankle boots that I already own). I particularly like that it should still look good with my silvering hair when it comes back in; this is temporary baldness, after all. But do I want to walk in on the first day with a scarf or some such on my head, or just straight up bald? I'll be talking to the students about the cancer that day anyway, so they know about the upcoming surgery, etc. schedule.
The first day is already always nerve-wracking (I get so excited/nervous, I rarely sleep much the night before), always something of a performance, as you try to win their hearts and minds as quickly as possible, so they'll get engaged with the class and commit to you and what you're asking them to do. Do I want to add a bald head to the mix? Yes, I am actually fretting about this. I suspect I need a few more weeks of being bald to acclimate before I'll be ready to make a decision. But maybe I'll keep an eye out for grey scarves, just in case.