M y   S t o r y

Hatiheri* was born out of the frustration of not being able to find a subtle, simple, elegant, and practical headscarf while undergoing chemotherapy.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 at age 34, many friends sent me beautiful scarves as a thoughtful gift. Unfortunately, many of the scarves, although gorgeous, were impractical for several reasons.1

During chemotherapy and radiation I suffered from many side-effectsincluding ongoing fatigue. In rare moments of lucidity, I thought about how my unpleasant situation could have been improved. Aside from dealing with these side-effects, one of my main concerns was the new experience of being bald. It wasn't only the feeling of looking different but also the little things like being cold on the back of my neck (especially at night) and not having hair as protection from the sun, the wind, and also stray branches and cupboard corners. If you know what it's like to have long hair cut short and your ears feel exposed, imagine what that's like all over your head.


When I did feel ready to go out in public - and later return to work part time - I had difficulty finding a scarf that matched my wardrobe. I didn't have the energy or interest in matching my wardrobe to my scarf. Why should I have to change even more of my lifestyle to accommodate cancer? That was the last straw and I decided to create beautiful, easy-to-wear head scarves that were suitable for both indoor and outdoor wear.

My Hatiheri scarves fulfill all my own requirements for headwear while undergoing chemotherapy. I am certain that these requirements are universal and hope that others will benefit from my experience.

Hatiheri is my own survivorship and an essential part of creating my 'New Normal' after my intense treatment and now while undertaking ongoing treatment.3

 after 1st surgery
preparing for final chemo
final chemo all done
 final radiation session

Treatment Photos

Please note that some site visitors may find these images confronting.

  • breast cancer radiation therapy photos (coming soon)
  • chemotherapy hair loss photos (coming soon)


1. These are not things you usually think about until confronted with the reality: the material was too thin, even when doubled over - you could see my bald head!; the material was too slippery - so I couldn't tie it and it wouldn't stay put with no hair to attach it to; the shape was too rectangular or long - so I couldn't easily make it into a headpiece; the shape was too small - so I couldn't tie it on securely; the patterns were bright and cheerful - but didn't match anything in my wardrobe; the patterns were attention-grabbing - and I didn't want to draw attention to my head-wear; the scarf was small or narrow - and left the back of my neck too exposed; the scarf had tassels, which although pretty, were impractical.

2. Other side effects included: inability to think straight, word loss, nausea, constipation, achy legs, achy joints, dry eyes, body hair loss, body hair thinning, mucositis, neutropenia, blotchy rash, hot flushes, oral candidiasis, loss of (some) tastes, odd metallic taste in mouth, burnt feeling in mouth, depression, anxiety, radiation burn, tinnitus,  ... basically, it was not pleasant!

3. Diagnosis 30/Jan/2009. First surgery 13/Feb/2009. Second surgery 27/Feb/2009. First chemo 27/Mar/2009. Final chemo 10/Jul/2009. First radiation session 3/Aug/2009. Final radiation 16/Sept/2009. Zolodex started March 2009. Tamoxifen started October 2009. Tamoxifen ceased October 2010. Arimidex started November 2010. All treatment at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

*A play on the words "hatty-hairy"