Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bald is Okay

After asking for anyone interested in shaving my head, I was surprised at the number of people that volunteered! The day after my last chemo treatment, I went back to the Cancer Care Clinic for my Neulasta injection to stimulate white blood cell growth and I also had acupuncture for the first time. This is a service offered by the clinic to help manage side effects. I was surprised at how it helped the nausea. Still nothing for the fatigue. I lost days again somewhere after chemo. I really don't like being that tired. I think the "chemo brain" I was warned about is also setting in. It's harder for me to find words during conversations and my ability to focus isn't the same.

Anyway. After that short outing to clinic, the amount of hair that had accumulated on my shirt and jacket was just gross. Anytime I ran my fingers through my hair, I would end up with a handful of hair. Gross. I had enough at that point. I asked Kristen (first one to offer, and she's done this before!) if she would come over later that day to shave it off. I needed a little moral support so Kara and Jill came over too and Rick's arrival home from work made for a nice little cheering section. I put Kara in charge of taking pictures and Jill brought lipstick! Only Jill would have thought of that detail! So with lipstick applied, Kristen started with scissors. Step One resulted in a very chic Les Miserables Anne Hathaway cut. Step Two was a #2 clipper, but I just wanted it all gone, so the guard came off and I was left with stubble. And I was bald. I'm glad my friends were there. Even if they were lying, the encouragement helped me not only make it through the event, but make it through smiling! I'm amazed at how God gave me exactly what I needed at the moment I needed it, no sooner and not too late. The strength and comfort I felt left no room for fear or self-pity. I haven't cried over my bald head yet! It's just hair and it will grow back. Until then, it doesn't take nearly as much time to get ready in the morning. I could get used to this! My new hair (wig) is still a work in process. I love the color, but it's a little puffy still! Oh, and Laura, your prayers were answered! My bald head is symmetrical and not at all bumpy, I actually don't mind it!

Ella once again completely surprised me with how well she took it. I wear a little pink hat around the house (sorry to those of you that have been shocked by this while dropping off food!) and for the first night, Ella told me not to take it off. She did pull out the book I had bought for her about losing hair during chemo, "Nowhere Hair", and she read it to me. I think that helped her a lot. The next evening she asked me to take my hat off off so she could see what I looked like. I was bracing myself for a not so kind remark to cover her emotions. All she said was: "Don't worry, Mom. It will grow back." Since then, she has reminded me that I'm still her beautiful mommy. And when she hugs me, she rubs my hair! It's pretty cute! I'm definitely not in the same shape I was when Rick married me almost ten years ago. Thank you God for a marriage that isn't shaken by a bald head and missing breasts.

I feel as though I've been given a tiny gift. I'm going back to getting my chemo treatments on Mondays, but next Monday wouldn't be enough time in between treatments, so I get an extra "good week" where I won't be dead tired and nauseous. I'll get to do some normal things! I'm pretty excited about that! First thing on my to do list is to make a decision what to do about my short term disability and FMLA leave that is nearing its end. Do I use it all up or go back and use it intermittently? I have to work five days every two weeks to keep my benefits. So I need to get that figured out. On good weeks it won't be a problem, but when I start the new drugs and have chemo treatments once a week, I don't know if I'll have the energy or clear mind to work. I did find out today that some co-workers have donated some PTO hours to me and that will help just to get my hours up to where they need to be to keep my insurance coverage after the disability is over. Thanks to whoever did that! I didn't know that was a possibility, so it was a nice surprise and huge blessing! Thank you for sharing those highly coveted hours with me!

The meals are still coming and we are so appreciative! I went to the grocery store for just a few items and left exhausted. It gave me a renewed thankfulness for the meals that show up daily that keeps me from having to plan, shop and prepare. I can focus on resting up, getting better and beating cancer. So, thank you for the meals and the gift cards. Thank you for loving us!

1 comment:

  1. Your new hair is seriously so pretty. Loved it the first time I saw it.