I read my own blog entry, Not to Complain, nearly every day since I wrote it. At first, it was because I was amazed by comments exclaiming that it was "my entry best ever", "stunningly written" and the encouragement from several that I should write a book. However, as the week wore on and the evidence of my hair loss grew, I read my blog to remind myself "not to complain - the chemo is working".
I have been an emotional time bomb this week, I suppose. I kept reminding myself that it is just hair. No matter how I justified it, I continued to have a hard time fighting back an overwhelming sense of loss. For the first time of my cancer battle, I was really depressed and also felt a little silly for being depressed. Was it really just hair, or was it something else?
My friends have been amazing this week. I was fortunate to spend time or at least talk to one or more of my crazy Green Elementary PTA friends every day. They have a way of brightening my spirits all of their own. My colleague Lisa Reddy and I had lunch twice - she has been a great source of support as are the rest of my Foundation family who "checks-in" on me constantly while I am at work. I even received one of the most beautiful orchids that I have ever seen from new friends at the Gary and Mary West Foundation. I am truly, truly lucky.
Despite outside support, I became more and more depressed as Friday drew near. My hair loss was driving me a little insane. Enough with the piles of hair that look like small creatures! I was at the Harrison's Holiday Sing on Wednesday night and as people walked in the row behind me, I worried about them inadvertently bumping the clip that held my hair (which they did), knocking the clip out and all the hair coming with it. It has been a weird week like that.
My friend Ally has been on call to cut my hair. With my wig fitting on Saturday (today), I really wanted to wait to Friday and I did just that. Ally came over with her boys and we ate pizza and cake. I drank a little wine and then we commenced with the inevitable. At first, Ally helped Maddie and Harrison cut my hair and then cut it really short with a few long pieces to cover obvious bald spots (we all thought this would work). All was good. Ally went home.
However, at 10:30, I sent her an emergent text. My hair was shedding more with every touch and by that time, I knew I would never wear it any way but with a hat. What is the point in that? Gracious and beautiful Ally ran right over for my buzz cut. The kids were asleep. We laughed and joked about G.I. Jane while she was buzzing my hair. The whole thing took less than 15 minutes, if that.
I showered, put on my favorite "pretty" nightgown, picked out a cap to sleep in and headed to bed. It was not the most comfortable thing to sleep with a buzzed head. I figure many men do it all of the time - so I will probably get used to it. Mom is getting my a silky pillowcase to sleep on - that will help.
My head itself, is not the prettiest, with its dark stubble revealing areas of my head where I have truly gone "bald" from the chemo. However, I love the pictures Steve took while Ally was cutting my hair. There is a relaxed look on my face that I have not recognized all week. And I love my hats. I do not even mind (so much) that I have no bangs or ponytail poking out of them. I feel pretty again. And I have not even dawned the wig yet.
Maddie is now awake and helping me finish this blog entry. She says that I look pretty in my hat this morning, but that my hair looks like a boy's haircut. An honest evaluation straight from the mouth of one of the prettiest little girls that you will ever meet. I am reminded again how lucky I am - to have children and a husband who love me so much....and with that, I feel even prettier.