Rockin’ the bald!

Mother Daughter Love!

Mother Daughter Love!

This week we had a Head Shave Party …. I realize that it seems wildly inappropriate to put Head Shave & Party in the same sentence, but that is exactly what we did.

Kayla’s hair suddenly started falling out in bunches so it became mandatory that she shave it – immediately!  And there was NO way I was going to let my “little girl” do this alone.

As always, I learned so much from this whole experience.

1) Feel your feelings   OR   ‘Cry & Scream & Laugh out Loud’

For a couple of days leading up to this, I cried….I cried a lot.  Of course, I didn’t want to lose my hair (again!) to this disease.  But the real grieving was around my beautiful daughter.  15 years old, cancer, surgeries, chemo, radiation, losing her hair, so many challenges.  I’ll be blunt – I am pissed off this is happening to us.  This is not a mother/daughter event I envisioned experiencing together.

I struggle with anger – I would rather stuff it away, but I know how toxic that is.  So I choose to express my feelings in safe places – to feel my anger, my sadness, my fear and be real with it all.  It gets messy at times but I know the only way out is through.  And the cool paradox of all that messiness is then I have the authentic space to be equally as joyful and peaceful and ebullient.

2) Don’t do it alone   OR   ‘Form your own Personal Board’

I struggled with what would be the best environment to undergo a mother/daughter head shave – quiet & introspective or to have close friends with us.  So I asked Kayla who she wanted with her when it all went down.  “My Board, of course”

What is “The Board” you ask?  Ever since my diagnosis back in Sept, my peeps have rallied around me in every aspect of support.  I jokingly gave some of them titles – CEO, COO, CIO, CMO (Chief Medical Officer researching all alternative & conventional treatment options) to name a few.  This brilliant team has actually become a genuine lifeline for me & my family – they all have roles and work very hard at them!  I honestly can’t imagine how I would maneuver this path without their expertise, dedication and support.  When Kayla discovered she also had cancer, it was only natural that she would adopt her own Jr. Board.

So at our Head Shave some of our Board Members were there with Champagne toasts, chocolate strawberries and warm hugs – turning a potentially devastating experience into a hearfelt lovefest.

3) Take intentional action   OR   ‘Do Something Every Day that Scares You’

Watching Kayla’s long hair fall under the razor was hard. (insert tears)

And sitting down in that chair myself was also hard.  I had to close my eyes and take in a breath – a really deep breath – when our amazing stylist, Cindy, first touched the razor to my head.  But surprisingly, things eased very quickly after the first couple swathes.  And then Kayla took over to shave and it turned into this surreal, very intimate and loving experience.

Kayla shaving my head

Kayla shaving my head.
The mohawk section (glad we didn’t stop there :)

Now that I’ve taken the step – it feels good.  Bizarre I know, but I believe by doing the necessary grieving, creating a safe loving space and then taking intentional action it anchored something deeper inside me.  A calming belief -  ‘All is as it should be’.

As messed up as this is, I feel incredibly safe & affirmed.

4) One day at a time   OR   ‘No Whys? or What ifs?’

Staying present is SO critical.  I have a pact with myself to avoid these two questions:

1) No ‘Whys?’…for that just leads me on a futile exercise to the past where there are rarely answers.  The past is over, honey – take the learning and live for Today.

2) No ‘What ifs?’….As soon as I start future-surfing all the possible scenarios, I’m done.  The present is gone as I’m spiraling into full catastrophizing of what ‘might’ happen.  Faith not Fear, baby.

So right now, in the Present:

- I feel pride – proud of myself & Kayla for taking this challenging step…and doing it with intention, congruence & vulnerability

- I feel lighter – in an odd way it’s very liberating…not to mention doing my hair now takes no time at all :)

- I feel congruent – I experience a myriad of emotions – anger, sadness, fear, love, gratitude, peace, acceptance

- I feel loved – It’s easy to be someone’s friend when it’s all fun and happiness.  However, not everyone is able to be there when things are more challenging….that is not my peeps!  Our family truly experiences the deepest of love & friendship…and it is amazing!

- I feel grateful

  • we are alive.
  • we are maneuvering this ole cancer journey with a lot of chutzpah.
  • we are so unbelievably loved & supported.

And as Kayla puts it – we are Rockin’ the Bald!  Carpe Diem!





About Shannon Duke

I'm Shannon Duke and I’ve combined my business skills with the wisdom that literally saved my life and have built a system that redefines success. Today I am passionate about helping you achieve life-fulfilling and life-enhancing success in both your business & personal life. Read My Story


  1. I can’t help but sit here and cry tears of joy and amazement at your courage, beauty and strength. You both DEFINITELY are “rockin’ the bald!” Sending lots of love, encouragement and prayers always!

  2. You guys are rocking the look! I LOVE your transparency, your courage and being a exactly who you are-smart, wise, brave, loving, insightful women stepping out in the face of fear :-) You are always in my thoughts and prayers :). LOVE You Both……

  3. FairyNatalie says:

    you rock it, alright! Both look amazing.

  4. Well, you know I don’t like commenting on blogs (not sure why!!) but this blog posting is one of the most amazing things I’ve EVER (Yes EVER !!) read. Rock on you two. With hair or without hair you two make a knockout pair; both inside and outside. You’re both beautiful and continue to inspire me. At the photo shoot last week I had SO much fun and LOVE taking pictures of you both. Can’t wait to do the baldie photos…
    Love and more love…

  5. Fran Rybarik says:

    You both continue to amaze. Sending lots of energy your way.

  6. Faith, not fear embraces both of you so brilliantly. I can’t even come close to understanding your journey. But what I do understand is how much you two touch the hearts and lives of all the people who are blessed to cross your paths. I love you both very much. SOKS!

  7. Jill Sodero says:

    I think you are both beautiful! Those heads are gorgeous :)! Thank you for your writing, Shannon.

  8. Kayla and Shannon -your inner beauty is not one bit diminished by your new hairstyle. Shine on. Loving prayers for peace and healing to you two.

  9. You are not only “Rockin’ the Bald” you are Rockin’ the WORLD!! Thank you for sharing this part of your journey as only you can!! I don’t know how you do it but I’m taking my cue from you – I’m not going to ask how or why – I’m just going to be in awe right now with how you just “live” your journey one moment at a time, whether it is fear, anger, joy, …and everything in between. I’m with you!!
    Carpe Diem!

  10. Hi Sweethearts

    Your strength, vulnerability and transparency is such an inspiration. I totally love your beautiful bald heads reminding me of the wisdom of the Eagle that sees things from a higher perspective. Your ability to even glimpse, let alone embrace this higher perspective is a testament to the wisdom within both your hearts and souls. When I look at this picture, I see two heads together that look to me like ONE heart. I’m feeling with you and for you and celebrating your love, wisdom and authentic presence you are sharing with us and with the world. You are most definitely ROCKING on every level.
    I’m asking the Angels to shower you, Kayla and Tyler with love, healing and many more blessings.
    Shine On Sisters. Love Kim xxx

  11. Shannon – The Queen of Courage and Kayla – The Warrior Princess,
    Here are a few words from a poem I once read that seemed so fitting.
    “Cancer, you led to chemo, which took all my hair,
    But the bald badge of courage, I was glad to wear.
    Cancer, I am a warrior, through and through,
    you tried to take me but I took you.”
    You two are definitely rockin your new style and so, so much more.
    Thanks for being the role models of the century.

  12. Rebecca Willson says:

    “The only way out is through” – words for us all to live by Shannon. Bless you for your honesty and the reminder that despite all those beautiful smiles we see, there are tears that need to be shed. Going through means coming out the other side, and this is what we are praying for, in confidence. One day at a time.
    2 Corinthians 12:9
    But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

  13. Heidi Gedlaman says:

    I really don’t have the words to tell you how deeply I admire you and cherish you. My heart is overflowing with love and gratitude for the blessing of knowing you. You are stunning, inside and out, buddha bald beauties.

  14. Oh Angels,
    Your beautiful bald smiles are now printed and laminated (of course!!) in the yoga entryway. Already many have smiled and cried !! It’s such a stunning photograph for me …. invoking both deep joy and tears of compassion at the very same time. As you know, for me the deepest work is to be with things as they are …. I have bookshelves and life experience offering me opportunities for learning this divine lesson. And here you both stand, as the greatest teachers imaginable … showing up every moment of every day, to be with life exactly as it is. Thank-you for your leadership … your teachings will live on for many generations as our children’s children’s child hear about your magnificent journey of” being present”.
    All of my love forever and ever,

  15. Darlings:
    Shannon – you are the embodiment of ‘mothers love’. There’s never been a doubt how much you love your ‘munchkins’; now your beautiful scalp is just one more part of your being that declares your love for them to the world.

    Kayla – your gorgeous, bald pate allows us to see your incredible essence even more clearly. You literally glow with love; emanating from your pure soul -and- reflecting back all the loving light that is surrounding you.

    ‘Rock on’ my dear friends.

  16. Rizwana Janmohamed says:

    Shannon and Kayla,
    I’m sitting here reading your latest blog, with tears of sadness, anger and mostly LOVE! I really love reading your blogs, Shannon, and how brave and courageous Kayla is. Her smile is infectious! Also, I admire your stregnth. As a mother, you are put through an undiscribable test. I can see where Kayla is getting her strength.
    Shannon and Kayla, I am taking part in the Bust a Move 6 hour excersing extravaganza for breat health and will be thinking and praying for you both. You give me courage! Love and prayers to you all!
    Carpe Diem! Keep Rockin’!

  17. Beauties…..unbelievable beauties…..bald or not, the two of you amazing beauties continue to amaze and inspire us all to live in the moment, have gratitude for all that we are and all that we have. Thank you for sharing your journey. May you always be surrounded by love, strenght, peace and light. God Bless….

  18. Shannon & Kayla,
    You continue to amaze me every step of your journey. Shannon, you are an inspiration to all of us mothers and it’s no wonder Kayla is such a beautiful, authentic and grounded young lady. Keep “rocking the bald”! I admire you both. Hugs…. and Carpe Diem!

  19. I think you both look amazing.
    I hope that I can brave the bald with as much courage as both of you have.
    I find out on April 11th, and I will be keeping your strong words close at heart that day.
    Big hugs!!

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