Nunny Reece has been open during her two-year battle with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She has shared regular posts on Facebook about her journey and her crusade to increase treatment options for people like her who are suffering with the advanced stage of the disease.
A new treatment she is undergoing has pushed her to another challenge in her battle: the loss of her hair. But like everything else she’s endured with battling cancer, Reece decided to take control of the issue.
Instead of waiting for her hair to fall out in clumps, she attacked it head-on. She invited some family and friends to join her, drove herself to a Hope Mills barber shop, and had everyone watch as Victor Fontanez shaved her head bald.
It was an emotional decision for Reece, who has for years seen her purple-colored locks as a statement of who she is. She said getting her hair done is something that makes her feel pretty.
She asked Fontanez to shave her head because he had been a longtime friend of Reece’s sons when they attended school together in the South View district. “He was really, really great making me go through this transition,’’ Reece said.
Nine members of her family came out for the event, including her three sons. She was surprised by one cousin who drove all the way from Greensboro to take part.
Moving forward, Reece is leaning toward remaining bald and not wearing a wig or any other covering for her head. Her first plan was to wear a purple wig made by friends because she feared that her 9-year-old son might be scared seeing his mother with no hair.
Reece said she was afraid he might think the treatment she was getting wasn’t working and that was why she went bald. “I had to explain with this new medication it’s going to bring mommy’s hair out but it’s going to help mommy live,’’ she said.
If she does wear a wig, it will be to special events, like next February, when she plans to renew her wedding vows with her husband.
“We’re hoping by then my hair will grow back,’’ she said. “If it doesn’t, I will wear one for the wedding.’’
Reece said the message she’s trying to send to women like herself is it’s OK to go through the emotional side of things, to cry and to be upset. “It’s our truth,’’ she said. “It’s something we have to deal with, something we have to go through.’’
She’s also sending a message to families of women who are dealing with breast cancer. “I hope other family members understand and try to be supportive,’’ she said.
“I just want to enjoy in the blessing that I’m still here with my family and my friends, that I still have life.’’
Picture: Nunny Reece at First Impressions barber shop with her sons: Tylan (top left), Ryan (lower left) and Tavon (upper right).