Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Friday, January 20, 2017

It's An Anniversary...

So this week marks an anniversary in my journey. It's an anniversary which has brought up some difficult memories and some discouragement. I am so thankful to be 3 years out now.
 
On January 3rd, 2014 I had my first chemo treatment... I was told to expect to lose my hair two weeks later- which would be on a Friday. On Thursday - I remember going to run some errands and I noticed that my hair felt good and bouncy. I even began to think that maybe I would be one of the lucky few who did not lose their hair.
 
On Friday, when I washed my hair, I began to notice hair loss.

That week end our son would have his daughter and I did not want to put more stress on her by her knowing what was going on. So I gently washed my hair on Sabbath morning. On Sunday morning - there was not even the ability to do anything other than wetting my hair. I was losing hair so much that when I pulled my hand from my head - I gasped at the amount of hair. I did my best to get through the day.
 
That day -our oldest son showed up with his head shaved-he knew that I was losing my hair and he wanted to support me. It made me cry.
 
As soon as our son and his daughter left- my husband and I went to the sunroom and he began to use his clippers to cut my hair - no mirror was involved at this point. It was hard enough as it was. I reached into the trashcan and pulled out a handful of hair to put into a baggie to save- I wanted to have it to compare it to the hair that would grow back later. I had heard all the stories of how peoples hair came back another color and many times curly. And I wondered how my hair would come back.
 
After he finished cutting my hair - he used his razor to shave the rest off. As I sat on the toilet looking at a magazine, while he cut, I stopped for a moment and thought of the episode of Amazing Race where the team had a challenge to shave  their heads in order to bypass a challenge- I laughed and I said  - well at least we know I would be willing to shave my head for a million dollars! LOL You have to find humor where you can in these situations.
 
 I prayed and ask God to help me be ok with what I saw in the mirror. And I looked. It is shocking to see yourself without hair for the first time.
 
My husband then shaved his head.
 
Everyone told me - oh your hair will come back fast. Well I knew better - I had done the research and knew that hair usually grows about 1/4- 1/2 inches a month- and at that rate it would take quite some time for my hair to grow back to pre chemo length. At first when people told me that I tried to share the fact with them - that no - my hair would not grow back fast - that it would take quite some time just to get to the length of the shortest I had styled my hair as an adult. After a while though, I gave up. They would just have to figure it out for themselves.
 
May of 2014 was my last chemo and about a month after that last chemo - my hair began to grow back! It  was super fine and not much color at first- and then it became kitten fur soft and brown - it came in about the same color that I lost- what I lost had more red tint to it - but that might have been bleached a bit by the sun.
 
Just two weeks after this photo was taken, I decided I would not handle wearing a hat any longer- and took it off for the last time.
I year later my hair was getting closer to how I like to wear my hair - I was thrilled when I was able to style the front closer to how I like!!
 
 
At one point over the last year - I thought that maybe my hair was not even growing in the back. That was before I changed my lifestyle and went to a more plant based diet. Since then I have noticed that my hair is growing again...thankfully!
 
 
 
Each morning when I shower and every time that I blow dry my hair and fix it I am thrilled to have hair again. Sometimes when the wind blows my hair - I feel a thrill of thankfulness!
 
On our way through life - we will meet difficult situations - and during these times we need to hold onto God even tighter. Depend on Him to get us through and one day we will be on the other side and can look back and see how He had led us and how He was with us every step of the way.
 
My hair is finer than before, not as full. And it can be discouraging sometimes - when I try to go back to an easier way of fixing my hair and it does not work any more because of the fineness of my hair- but I just decide to be thankful to have hair, because I know exactly what it feels like not to. 
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Just wanted to take this opportunity to say a Hello to Nita in SC- thank you so much for your kind comment. It means a lot to me. I try to respond to comments- but I never know if the person gets the response or not.
  
 
 

1 comment:

Hello~ I love getting your comments. I have made a few changes to make things a little easier for you and hoping a more enjoyable experience for both you and I. Have a blessed day! :o)