Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This Week's Story

Good Morning, My Friends!

It's been a while, hasn't it? Things in my world have been the good kind of busy, lately. So, blogging hasn't been on the top of my priority list. Hopefully, I'll be able to get back in the swing now. I have several fun things to share!

But first, here's my story that I shared in Bible Study this week.

My eyes froze on the hair-covered countertop. It was as if they were stuck on the devastating sight, and as hard as I tried to move them to a more beautiful scene, I simply could not.

At last, I slowly touched my tender scalp with my hand and ran my fingers through my hair. My eyes watched as more hair fell to the counter. I repeated the action, and still more fell. Again I did it, and again more fell. More. More. More.

Tears began to sting my eyes as I realized that my hair was "letting go". Since the day of my first chemotherapy treatment, I knew that this moment would inevitably come. After all, I'd worried myself sick over hair loss for the past two weeks. This was not a shock to my mind, but it was an absolute earthquake to my heart.

In spite of my countless personal pep talks, I was feeling very anxious. "Do I let it continue to thin for a few days?" I questioned. "Or, do I shave it now and get it over with?" I stewed about this decision all day. Until, finally, I thought, "I can't do this for a week. I'm just going to shave it."

I declared my decision to my husband, Brian, who had allowed me to vent my deepest fears about being bald. He supported me and reminded me tat the decision was mine.

With that, I moved forward with my plan. As I felt my long locks bounce off of my shoulders and onto the floor, I shook with sobs. The grief of losing my femininity was almost too much.

It was one thing to stare in the mirror at the scars that covered my flat chest, but now this, too? I felt my womanhood, my beauty, stealthily slipping out of my 25-year-old hands.

"What would Brian think?" I wondered. He had assured me, time and again, that his attraction to me was far greater than my hair and my breasts. But, our marriage was young, only 3 months old, and he hadn't signed on for this. My mind spun out of control. "What will Maddox (my precious nephew) think? What will my class of 2nd graders think? Will they recognize me?"

As the last piece of hair fell to the floor, I jumped up to go look in the mirror. "Hmmm." I thought, "Maybe it's not as bad as I expected." A slight wave of relief moved over me. Relief that I could stop worrying about when it was coming or what I would look like.

Brian eased the blow by shaving his own head. He said we could be bald together. I felt so blessed to know that he hadn't gone into shock because of my baldness.

As the days went by, the sting eased. I debuted my new style on Facebook and my blog. For me, this made my life easier. People didn't have to awkwardly tiptoe around the the issue or hair loss or look at me strangely to determine whether or not I was wearing a wig.

It was an honest statement of, "Yes, I have cancer. Yes, the treatment has robbed me of my hair. It's okay to talk about it."

My first day back at school, I decided to wear a hat instead of a wig. That way, the kids would know. We had already talked about my diagnosis and treatment, so they were prepared for the hair loss. Wearing a hat opened the floor for discussion, and I think the kids were comforted by my honesty.

Throughout my bald months, I did what I could to keep my spirits bright. I was known for my gypsy look of long scarves and big earrings. Like many women, wigs didn't work out too well for me. I just could never seem to keep them straight. I felt that, it was one thing to sport a crooked scarf or hat, but a totally different situation when my entire head of hair was haphazardly placed atop my head. Not a pretty sight!

I went to great lengths to make it appear as though I had more than 2 eyelashes on each eye, and I didn't go further than the mailbox without lipstick. My vanity wasn't altogether lost with my hair.

By the time the treatments ended and my hair began to grow back in, I had settled on Proverbs 31:30 as my comfort when my spirits faded, "Charm IS deceptive and beauty IS fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." I couldn't help but praise God for teaching me, as a young woman, that nothing matters except for my relationship with Him. It's all about the Lord.


Tanya said...

Thank you for sharing that. With or without hair, you are so beautiful...and I can tell this by your words you write without ever seeing your photo!

Alabamamom said...

Thank you for your honesty. The Lord has blessed you with inward and outward beauty. Hair or no hair!

Erin said...

You are beautiful, and this post was beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I am anxious to read this post...I am gonna save it to read when I get my "work" done at will be my break time read :-)

Hope you got my personal email I had sent last week.

You continue to be such in inspiration to me across the miles.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!!!

From Kim in Iowa.....