Warning: This blog post contains subject matter, video links and pictures that may not be comfortable for everyone to read/view. I am sharing my experience as openly as I can, but that doesn’t mean that it will be pleasant for some of you. If you do not wish to read/view this blog, please feel free not to do so. I am not offended by the fact that cancer makes people feel uncomfortable.
Yesterday was the 2 month mark from the time I found the lump in my breast. If I were writing a book, I would have had my character shave her head on the anniversary date. How nice and neat–all tied up in a nice package for the readers to celebrate. I can imagine readers cheering for the character as she “took control” and became “free” from the burden of hair washing, brushing and styling. A real “woman power” message!
But, this is real life and in real life it doesn’t always work that way. I tried to shave my head last night. Trust me, I sat in the chair 2 or 3 times. But, I just couldn’t do it. I kept saying, “But, there’s still hair on my head. Why would I shave all this hair?” And, “I’m giving God every opportunity to say ‘Enough is enough’ and stop the rest of my hair from falling out.” Leave it me to think that the massive hair loss would suddenly stop! I had past the point of being able to wash, brush or style my hair. But, knowing that it won’t start growing again until around the holidays, I just wanted to keep it as long as possible.
Finally, today, 2 months and 1 day after finding the lump, I shaved my head. I didn’t decide to shave it because of the date. It was because I was miserable. Once you start losing your hair off your head, you find it everywhere else! The pillow, the bed, the comb, the sink, the floor, the shower, your clothes, etc. It follows you everywhere, but won’t stay where it should. Figures! My scalp was becoming sore from the weight of what hair was still there and I was past the point of being able to fix what was left. My head was extremely itchy and any slight attempt to relieve it resulted in even more hair loss.
Rick and I used our clippers to shave as much as we could. We did it in 2 steps; first to get most of the long hair down to a shorter length and then second to get it as short as we could. Because of the chemo and the potential for low platelet counts, I have to be extremely careful about injuries and cutting myself. So, we did not use the clippers without a guard on it. (To see the video of my haircut, visit our FaceBook page)
I had a doctor appointment today and had the cosmetologist at the Rejuvenation Center at the cancer center to use her clippers without the guard. I figure if anybody knows how to cut a bald head it would be the lady at the cancer center. After she shaved as much as possible, she put my head in the sink and washed off everything that was loose! The result…
I must stop here to make a point of saying this: Yes, cancer is serious; but, there are times when you have to laugh. AND, just like in ‘normal’ life, there are times when you have to make fun of yourself. In the past few weeks of having anxiety over losing my hair I stated I didn’t want to look like the baby doll from Sid’s room in “Toy Story”. Not knowing what this baby’s name was, my son looked it up on the internet. Found out her name is “Spider Baby”.
So, in good humor and bonding, my son and I have referred to this new hairstyle as “Spider Baby”. I have become “Spider Baby” and I’m ok with that. I think it’s funny and more importantly…it makes my son laugh! There isn’t a better sound to my ears than his laughter!
I have one more day before my next round of chemo. The past three weeks have gone by slowly, yet so much has happened in that time. It is hard to imagine how much your life can change in such a relatively short period of time. I am finding out more about myself than I ever thought I would and finally enjoying some stress-free moments.
God is still in control and I still depend on Him everyday. I continue to pray He will calm the storm, but I’m finding He just wants to be with me THROUGH the storm. I’m ok with that as long as I know He will be there when the clouds lift, the sun shines and storm is long gone. God is faithful and I know He will be there through it all.
Bald and Believing!