I shaved my head today. Or more aptly, Jim shaved my head today. My hair had begun to come out in handfuls. It all started on the 16th day after starting Chemo, which is what Dr. Sanders, my oncologist told me would happen. Dr. Sanders has a beautiful head of hair. So on the 16th day it started shedding. And on the 19th day, I ran my hand through my hair again and again and again and again and every single time a handful came out.
I have a friend (Colleen Boyd, for those in the know) who writes me letters every week. In the last letter she wrote about a tree she’d been watching and how the tree had moved into it’s “stick state” meaning it had lost all of it’s leaves. She drew the connection between the tree losing it’s leaves and me losing my hair. She said, “all the beauty and power and
strength is within-it’s still working so hard to do all it’s awesome tree stuff, we just can’t see it. It will stand strong, endure the harsh winter, and blossom again.”
So this morning I texted my family and two friends. “I’m shaving my head today.” My mom texted back, “Are you ok?” And I burst into tears. No, I’m sad. I’m very sad. I don’t want to lose my hair. I don’t want to have cancer. My mom longed to come and hold me and my friends did the thing that friends do. They went down with me.
There were two people who had offered to shave their heads as well-Colleen, author of aforementioned letter and Kevin, grandfather to my little surro-baby, Sunnie and father of another BFF. Although they had both said they wanted to do this, I was very non-committal around the topic for a couple reasons. First of all, I didn’t/don’t want anyone to shave their head for me. I don’t think I would do the same for anyone else-I’m far too vain. I definitely think that song is about me. But I was assured it was with me not for me. They just don’t want me to feel alone. Secondly, I don’t want anyone to feel like if they don’t shave their heads, I won’t think they support me. Because frankly, as stated, I wouldn’t do it for you either! The support I have received blows my mind away daily and makes sad days like this bearable. So thank you for being you.
So when I texted these friends at 9 AM on a Sunday both of them said we will be there in 30 minutes. And they were. Jessi, Colleen, Kevin and Joanne stood in my kitchen with me, Jim, Zoey and Emmet and then we shaved our heads. Zoey was an excellent helper, sweeping up all the hair and Emmet provided entertainment.
When it was over I felt better. Less anxious. My leaves had fallen and I didn’t have to think about it anymore. I realized it is nice to not be alone. I’m still pretty sad. I really loved my hair. And now everyone will know that I’m sick. But I will endure, stand strong and blossom again so that is what I’ll hold on to. For now I’ll remain in my stick state.
And I’ll get really good at scarf tying and I look good in hats and people say I have a pretty face and you guys are there.