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Monday, September 27, 2010

Shaving My Head

{this post is from my Caring Bridge journal}
It was a beautiful, sunny fall day.  My dad and step-mom and sister all drove an hour to come to church with us.  I just love that!  I love looking down the church aisle and seeing people I love, who know me and are just there.  My sister was a little late (surprise-ha), but even that was a blessing because I sent the family on with gpa and gma to get seats, and I was able to show up one song late and just come in a sit down.  Calm and easy is always good for me, but especially on a day when I am holding my hair on with a hat!!:)

The service was great, the sermon so very thought provoking.  

After church, I sent the girls into gma and gpas car and they bought them Happy Meals to bring home to eat.  The girls had to be at a neighborhood birthday party within minutes, so that little lunch detail was so helpful!  One way of many that my family made my day worry free.

Once the kids were off to the party, Dad took us adults all out to lunch.  Good ole' Spaghetti Works.  Lunch was full of good conversation and laughs.  It was nice to park a ways away and walk around downtown on such a pretty day.

When we got home, my dad ran to the hardware store and bought a new fancy shower head for us, then installed it.  After my Neulasta shot, my bones ache just awful, and a hot shower really helps.  Our shower head was old and did not have different options like massage or pulse.  This new one does, I tried it last night and it was heaven.  I am so spoiled, I say the word and within minutes-- it was done.
 Thank you so much, dad, this is a way that will make me feel better after the next chemo session and I feel less intimidated to face that "sick" week again!

I knew I had to make the promised "bald party" snacks, but I was not prepared and needed to go to the store.  The minute I said that, my dad and Pam said "We will go for you, write a list."  Of course, they came back with all kinds of fun groceries for us, plus what I had listed.  It was 20 minutes of quiet time (girls happened to be chill during that time, and one of them went with gpa and gma), and it was a good time for me to just mentally prepare for what was coming up.  I locked myself in the bathroom for a couple, asked the Lord to give me strength, and as I did, a song popped in my head that my middle girl has been working on the last 2 days.  The chorus goes "you gotta, you gotta, you gotta, do whatcha gotta do!  Cuz God, Cuz God, Cuz God is with YOU!"  It is the most catchy, cute tune, and it was in my head the entire hair buzzing process.  

When they got back, I set to work making the girls their dinner and chosen party snacks.  My youngest peeled the eggs and rolled some Fudgy Buttons with her aunt, and I made mac n cheese in the shape of shells.  They were organic and color free, so they looked like little bald heads:)  The girls thought that was funny.  

I got nervous when I saw that they were almost finished eating, I knew it was time to chop it once they were done.  My older sister, Julie, arrived at this time, so I had 2 sisters there, my dad and step mom, and my husband and kids.  Surrounded with love.

I decided the clippers would not be able to get through the length, so I started out in the bathroom chopping on my hair in the front.  That was crazy weird, and ended up looking so bad that I was ready to get it shaved!  

We all gathered in the kitchen, I donned the haircutting cape, and the rest was kinda an out- of- body experience. My middle girl did her job and held my hands--that was so comforting to me and she was so very sweet.  She kept saying words like "you are still pretty mommy."  My other 2 were more verbal and daddy had to whisper to them to be kind:)  We want them to express how they feel, but they also needed a lesson on when to keep thoughts inward, for the sake of someone's feelings-we'll work on that one.  I remember an argument over who sat where, my youngest kept saying "I can't see!!"  


My eyes were shut some of the time, but whenever I would open them I saw my husband, who smiled at me the whole time, a sweet smile that told me he admired me, loved me and everything would be ok.  I saw my sis, Julie, comforting my girls and taking pics.  Her comments about how great my head shape was kept me smiling when I felt like freaking out.  My dad was also a rock that I kept peeking at, which comforted me. His presence there was huge. He said "I've seen this before, you look like you did 33 years ago before you grew hair"  oh, how I loved that comment, made me smile.  My step mom was wonderful, just just kept wiping all the hair off of me and my itchy head, and held ears out of the way:)  It was sooo soothing, and felt like I was getting a head massage in the middle of the crazy, so that was priceless. Her words were gentle and reassuring the whole time. My sister, Kathy, was a rock star with the clippers.  I taught her how to do the clipper over comb technique to get rid of bulk, the I told her to use the clippers like a lawn mower and just get it done! 
My middle girl stood in front of me holding my hands for over half the time, but when they got to the front, it was too much for her and she looked at me and said "mom, I need a break, is it ok if I let go and go downstairs for awhile" I was so proud of her.  Todd followed her downstairs, let her cry and she watched tv the rest of the time until it was over. My oldest drew her silly face on my head, it was a very quick work of art, as she was pretty freaked out..


(work of art:)
(my middle girl autographing my head)
(comforting my youngest)
Like I said previous post, I didn't look at it until it was all done, and I'm not sure if I recommend that.  It may have been easier to watch the process, but then again, it would be long and drawn out...it took about 30-40 minutes.  I have pretty thick hair!

It was a hard moment when I looked and I didn't expect to react how I did. It took my breath and I quickly went away from the mirror...then cried.  It was just shocking, and looked like I was a someone with cancer--:)  Imagine that?  I didn't cry for long, maybe 2 minutes, because my tears were met with hugs from everyone and while my husband hugged me, he whispered the exact thing was needed to put a smile back on my face.  He's been awesome like that!

My sister Julie then distracted the kids with fun fake spiders and spider web to decorate our sunroom for halloween.  She also brought some fun hand-me-down gifts/clothes from her daughter, so that added excitement really helped my girls.  

My dad and step mom left, and I asked Todd if I could have a night out with my sisters to shop!!  Shopping is such great therapy!!:)

We had the most fun night shopping, gotta love Kohls!  We laughed, tried on all kinds of clothes and were brutally honest with each other as sisters are, which make for the BEST shopping experience.  I got  myself some super big, hoop earrings to wear with all my head covering, and a dress for a banquet I will be going to next week. 

I came home to the kids in bed, waiting for a kiss from their bald momma.  Todd and I watched a show together, and he kept smiling at my baldness and again, said all the right things.  

It is now morning, and I gotta say, being bald sure FEELS GOOD!  No more weird tingling and soreness.  I'm sitting here in my big, white, fluffy robe with the hood on and I look like a pro boxer:) I feel much more tough then I felt a day ago, and I will use that feeling to fight what I call this "cancer crap!"

32 comments:

  1. Amy, I haven't commented on your blog in a long time. But I just wanted to tell you I think you're amazingly brave! My prayers are with you on this journey.

    Lisa

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  2. You look radiant with or without hair! Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you luck, just like your friends and family do!

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  3. beautiful as always Amy!

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  4. You are so beautiful with and without hair, really, the natural beauty that many people wish for. You are so strong and I pray that you beat this bug quickly!

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  5. I have to say that reading this made me feel like I was in that bathroom with you and your family watching you get your head shaved. I am in tears over your bravery and your sense of humor in all this.
    Thank you for being so raw about something that is so hard. Again, you bless me with your faith.

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  6. You are one amazing lady! So inspiring!!
    STILL praying for you :)

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  7. Amy, Thank you for sharing this with us. I am sure there are people you know that read this but many you don't know. My prayers are with you and your family in this tough time. Keep the faith (sounds like you are)

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  8. How brave you are to not only live this day but re-live it for us. I am sure there is some therapy going on in this process, which is all the better. God bless you and your family. What wonderful rocks you have to lean on!

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  9. A true inspiration. You are beautiful...in everyones eyes but most importantly...God's. Mine and my families prayers are with you. Thank you for sharing this moment with us.

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  10. My heart goes out to you. I'm so glad you have such a loving family around you at this time.

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  11. Well, I started out skimming. I always read like that. But about half way down, I realized that I wasn't able to get the emotion. So, I went back and read every word. I felt every second of it and I cried. I am still crying. I held my brother's hands many times through crap like that. You are so blessed to have such an awesome family that would come "party" with you while you had to cut off your hair. Your girls are precious and I love your husband. It sounded like what my family would do if I had to go through that....and my husband would tell me how sexy I was....I am praying for you. Your spirit has blessed me tonight.

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  12. I just found your blog a few days ago looking for a crafting idea and added you to my Google reader. I want you to know I will be praying for you. Your post was incredibly moving! It definitely helped to put my day into perspective! So glad you have a loving, godly family to support you!

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  13. You are seriously STUNNINGLY beautiful.
    and so very inspiring.
    xoxo
    bB

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  14. After I read your post about intending to shave your head yesterday, I thought about you all day long.

    Strong woman you are indeed!

    Your family is amazing and your daughter who held your hands is just too special for words.

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  15. oh amy...you had me laughing and crying and laughing. you're like watching steel magnolias. lol. ;o)
    you are approaching this challenge with so much bravery and honesty...i am in awe.
    this was a beautiful and touching post. your daughters--i want to hug them.

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  16. I love how you have involved your kids through this process! You are a brave woman of God! Praying you through this!
    Patti C.

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  17. I read this post before church on Sunday and thought about you all through the service. Thank you for sharing your jouney with us. You are amazing.

    Becca

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  18. i'm reading with a tear in my eye. you are nothing short of inspiring and i am thinking of you, from half a world away. thank you for sharing all this. i am in awe of how you are handling this head on.

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  19. You truly are beautiful woman of God. Thank you for sharing.

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  20. Y;know, Amy, I've read your blog for awhile now, so well before your diagnosis... and I gotta say, you sure do know how to live!!!

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  21. I love how you all made it a family event. Sister, parents, kids, wonderful husband. I feel so proud to be your friend. Thanks SO much for sharing your time with us. Lisa~

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  22. A very beautiful post and inspiring story! You are an inspiration. Praying for you and so thankful you have your wonderful family around you!

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  23. Your an amazing woman. And like I said- BEAUTIFUL even bald!!! Keep fighting!!

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  24. you are absolutely beautiful. and kohls has the cutest assortment of hats - my daughter had a tough time deciding between them (she is such a hat girl).

    stay strong!

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  25. What an emotion post...And what an amazing family you have!!! Those kids of yours are amazing! I know you are going to beat this and although I've never commented before, I wanted you to know I always say a little prayer when I see your posts come up that you stay strong and win the battle!!

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  26. Amy you are blessing and challenging so many by sharing the journey you are on! I was moved to tears reading your post and I am not usually one to cry, so that tells you how moving it was. You are beautiful on the outside, but your heart, it is radiant. It shines for the Lord through your honesty and love. Keep leaning on Him and clinging to His Word!

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  27. Hi Amy,
    This is my first time visiting your blog, and you're now on my favorites list! I look forward to coming back to visit.
    I want you to know that I did this very same head-shaving thing 4 years ago. But I did it alone, in my bathroom (a matter of preference and personality). What is most vivid in my mind from my experience is the awful click and buzz the clippers made when I turned them on.
    The Lord is faithful, and I am now healthy and cancer-free. Just remember Romans 8:28. You have made it clear in your posts that you love Him and are called according to His purpose,... and be on the look-out for the GOOD.
    I will be back to visit,... and I'll be praying for you in the meantime. You are a wonderful example of faith in action!

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  28. I weep as I read your blogs Amy, it's so familiar to me. Shortly after your diagnosis I got my own shocking phone call from my doctor.
    Slightly different circumstatnce leading up to it in my case, an my cancer was of the ovarian/endometrial type but I can relate to every word you write.
    The emotions are so right on.
    Sad that this disease is such a part of our lives and so many others, but there is hope. I pray your not dealing with a recurrance as I write this, and never will. Healing both body and soul through the Holy Spirit.
    Be blessed and comforted my dear, Amen!

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  29. Brought back a lot of memories 7 years ago. Thank you for sharing your story with me.

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  30. Pam in South Carolina6/8/12, 10:19 AM

    Inspiring! Hope all is going well for you and all readers! I've battled endometrial and thyroid cancers since 2006. Today is a good day. I keep learning everyday and never take a day for granted. Here's to good health to all of you!

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  31. My friend sent me this post since Im days away from shaving my head and Im so fearful. Thank for you sharing this with the world. I needed to hear these words.

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Thank you so much for your lovely words to me! Due to the number of comments I receive, I cannot respond to all of them - but know that I read and love every word. If you have a question in need of a response, please e-mail sponsornewnostalgia@gmail.com and either Robyn or I will get back to you.