My hair has been thinning quite a bit, and Monday night I ended up with quite a pile in the sink. I’ve known the day was coming that I would shave my head, but somehow I still wasn’t prepared. The plan was to sit down in my bathroom and have Larry shave it. I was grateful that he was willing.
We went to chemo yesterday knowing that it was Shave Day, and as I sat there, I realized it wasn’t shaving my head that I was bothered about–it was the emotion of a moment my entire family had been dreading. I entertained the thought of having a stranger do it, and immediately felt greater peace about the whole thing. As a result, once we were done in oncology, we headed up the hill to Fantastic Sam’s. I wanted to do this alone, so Larry dropped me off and in I went, honestly not sure whether I could go through with it.
There were 3 girls working, and one was immediately available. I had no time to think, panic, and back out. “Chrissy” showed me to the chair and said brightly “So, what are we doing today?” I told her I was a cancer patient and needed my head shaved. Others overheard, and the tone of the room immediately changed. I asked Chrissy if she minded doing that, and she assured me she would be happy to help in any way.
I spent the better part of the next hour being pampered. Chrissy brought me a box of tissues and gently shaved my head, checking in frequently to be sure I was comfortable and doing alright. I was. Before all the hair was gone, I had her give me a mohawk–just so I could send a picture to my grandsons. I knew they would get a kick out of Grandma in a sports do. That part was fun and lightened the mood considerably for all of us. The boys thought it was hilarious.
After the shave, Chrissy took me to the shampoo sink and gave me a wonderful shampoo/condition/scalp massage. It felt so nice and relaxing! She was sweet and compassionate, and thanked me for allowing her to be part of my journey and trusting her with this difficult thing.
I was wearing my hoodie that says “Yes, they’re fake. My real ones tried to kill me.” The ladies found that to be funny and several commented on my good attitude and lightheartedness. All in all, I am so very glad I chose to go about this difficult thing in that manner. I didn’t have to field the emotion of my family in addition to my own. It was still difficult, and I imagine I will have a good cry at some inappropriate, inopportune time, but so be it.
After my appointment, I sent pictures to a few friends, my mom, and the daughters that don’t live with us, and had a big reveal when we got home. Most agreed that I don’t look so bad bald, and I can rock a mohawk. I also discovered that some snapchat filters are so much more hilarious bald.
I’ll be wearing hats and wigs for the foreseeable future, and while overall this has gone well, my children struggle because it’s the part that makes me actually look sick. It’s the outward sign that cancer has taken its toll and I’m in a battle. That’s hard for them.
When I left the house yesterday, my prayer was that I would shine for Jesus–that I would be a bright spot. I didn’t realize that the bright spot would be bouncing off the top of my bald head.