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!
Oh my dear sister, you have made me cry and then laugh in less than 10 seconds! Spider Baby! You are so strong, full of love and beauty! PLEASE let me know if I can do ANYTHING for you and your family! I will come running~remember, I’m just across the highway. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do, even give you my LAST Sundrop, that’s how much I admire you! <3
Love and Hugs,
Spider Baby you are still just as beautiful as always!
I agree with Jamie… laugh & cry all within 10 seconds. I applaud you for your bravery.
“beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3
I don’t know what else to say…. I am at a loss of words. That in & of its self is funny 🙂 I’m believing and praying for great things for you & for your family.
Love you and love your humor and candidness about it all. Many prayers sent your way!
Wow you look beautiful. I love you spider baby!
Spider baby, you are my hero! 🙂
You are beautiful & strong & inspiring!
You are beautiful with or without hair..we all know..it is what is on the inside that matters!..and it is wonderful that you are laughing again…God wants you to laugh and sing and dance!..and make a joyful noise!!As you praise Him and give Thanks!…sending prayers and positive thoughts all day and all night!!
Steph, it’s so strange how here I am sobbing and you are there being so brave and shaving your head bald in front of a camera and then having the guts to post it too. OMGoodness Girl. I know you have had your moments of collapse into His hands. But now, I find myself being the weaker one without cancer and you being the stronger walking us through your experiences. You shaving your own head I suppose has its own empowerment.
When I saw you sitting there shaving your head it made me think of that time Rick and Bob shaved their heads together in your bathroom, I think. I don’t even remember what it was for. Threads of life bonding us, sweet memories keeping us.
Thank you for being so brave, strong, courageous in sharing for those of us so far from you, but close at heart. My soul longs to be by your side. I will cheer you on from here…
The newest member of our Super Hero’s Gang….
Go get em SUPER SPIDER BABY! Conquering Cancer at every Corner through Christ!
You still look beautiful and you are a very brave courageous woman of God!
Right now, I’m on a train, going to an educational conference in DC where I will be enhancing my knowledge of Cancer research, which will hopefully make the lives and treatments of future cancer patients easier. And I’m reading your blog like I do every day….. and I finish it and look out the window and I see an Adams Feed Store….. then just a moment later a billboard for Adams Sporting goods…. I take this as a sign that I’m supposed to speak up 🙂 Your baldness is absolutely beautiful, and I love that you call the new do, “Spider Baby”! Too perfect 🙂 Spider Baby never wore headbands and flowers though, so you can have the new-and-improved version!
I pray that your second round goes smoothly… just think, almost halfway done with it now. Halfway to confusing the doctors by being cancer-free when you have your surgery! God is taking care of it- Keep the Faith♥
You ARE beautiful! Your bright eyes shine revealing your soul. You are one more spunky gal Stephanie. Rick is an amazing man to be beside you helping you conquer your fears. I know your mom and dad are with you as well. Laughing is the best medicine and your son gave you a good dose of it. God bless you and your family.
Wish I could have heard you laugh that makes me laugh.Whe Rick told me that you had this done I felt so bad,But now that I see you you are just beautiful.Keep you the good spirit because you are such a blessing.Love you mom adams!!
Stephanie, I’ve never met you but went to school with your Mom. You are a very beautiful and courageous woman, with a very supportive family and friends. I’ve got a step brother that had stage 4 cancer and after surgery, chemo and radiation he is still here with us, praise God. I know you will beat this too. You have a deep faith and uplifting attitude. I pray for you and your family every night. Remeber God is with you always.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
You are brave, strong, and absolutely beautiful. I admire your sense of humor. Laughter is good for our spirits. Love & prayers.
Stephanie, You look absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Kinda reminds me of Demi Moore on GI Jane..:) I wouldn’t wear a wig, turban, nor a bandana.. I LOVE a bald head!!! After all, my hubby keeps his shaved..Your faith, strength and courage amazes many people, and laughter is truly the best medicine..We Love you and lift up prayer daily..
Hey Steph, Rick, Cami, and Joshua, It has been several weeks since I have called or commented. But I want you to know that my Josh and I are keeping up with you thru your words here and Josh also on facebook. We love you and pray for you whole heartedly. Love the new look even as we despise the reason for it. Spider baby ROCKS!!
Love from Oklahoma,
Sandy Josh and Breanna
Just to lift your spirits: Hannah looked at your picture and then spider baby’s , laughed really loud and said,” well, at least she has her eyes and her legs. Not like spider baby’s!!! “.
Steph, I went to school with your Mom & Dad. There are so few women that can rock the bald look, but you, my dear, are definitely one of them! You are absolutely gorgeous! Wear it proud, sweetie…you are fighting the battle and will not let it take you or your wonderful spirit! God bless you! Such a strong, lovely lady! Prayers for your entire family daily! Sending love and strength! Christy King
So gled to see your spirits lifted through God’s grace and prayers during this trial. I have been praying for your strength and it’s very obvious that you have it… you are definately a force to reckon with. Keep believing and affirming your complete health on a daily basis… for I do believe that it shall come to pass.
Love the Spiderbaby look.. u go girl!!
Love & Blessings to you and your family,