The Final Insult

I’m certain Bernie never imagined that one day he’d be shaving my head. There’s just no limit to the things this man will do for love. I look like Britney in her go-crazy-and-attack-cars phase, but have decided that hair loss means the chemo must be working: a good thing. My ego isn’t buying that yet, so I’ll be spending today experimenting with all of these scarves and hats. That scratchy ****, Tatum, is still in the box.

Shaving my head was empowering because pulling out fistfuls of hair was as horrifying as that sounds. And now I can stop worrying about when it’s going to happen (and stop praying that it won’t). Like everything else, it’s also just not as awful as anticipated. Aside from a dull headache and unrelenting reflux, I feel tops. Hair won’t keep me from Teddy’s public speaking this week or maybe a well-earned trip to Bloomingdale’s. But my social worker, Hester, warned me to be prepared for the stares and sad clucking of nice people who suspect I’m not just artsy, or a pirate. She told me that Tatum will fool people from afar, and that those sad stares could be more annoying than an itchy head of fake hair.

A lovely woman recently shared her story of a difficult time… how friends and family rallied and then sort of fell away as time passed, even though the trauma hadn’t. Just yesterday I directed a friend to this site to witness the incredible spirit of Redeemer parishioners (locally) and humankind (all of you). After two months (!), there you are. There hasn’t been a single day, NOT ONE, that I haven’t received a card or call, message or muffins, wish bracelet or watermelon, prayer, package, or papaya. And this week as my spirits went down the drain with my hair, you cannot know how grateful I am for your unflagging support.

So even though this final insult is reversible, it’s a bit traumatic. Pulling Tatum out of the box is an admission that I can’t do this without ridiculous props. I don’t have a funny little upbeat outlook on it. But I do have oodles of brag-worthy blessings. I have a husband who will shave my head and still look at me like I’m the prettiest girl in the world. And I have hope and reassurance from really smart people that my hair will return, but the cancer will not. I also have all of you with your funny and different perspectives on faith and prayer and hair… like this from Brodie: “If you lose your eyelashes you’re really lucky. You get all of those wishes!”


Sort of how I look and feel.

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