I’ve been avoiding this post for a few days now. Initially I decided I would wait until afterwards but I said I wanted to blog about my journey, not just the beginning and ends of each part of the story. The stuff in the middle is what makes the story what it is. Kind of like an Oreo. Gosh, that sounds amazing right now. I could probably write an entire post on Oreos right now…I digress. One thing I’ve learned from this whole experience is that cancer looks different for everyone. Not all chemo is the same. Not fun fact: the chemo I take is in pill form and I take it before bed at night. I had no idea that that was even a thing until it happened to me. I assumed everyone got chemo in the arm. But the pill form is the only one that can cross the blood brain barrier so lucky me! Really though, I do consider myself lucky in that aspect. It’s supposedly one of the “lesser of evils” when it comes to chemotherapy. It doesn’t make you lose your hair like others and because I take it at night, I’m able to sleep through most of the side affects. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a walk in the park. It could just be worse.
So my chemo doesn’t cause hair loss. Unfortunately, radiation does. Another thing I didn’t know until I was on this side of it. Since I’m halfway through radiation, the hair is starting to fall. It’s been happening for about 4 days now and every day it gets worse. It’s “supposed” to only come out at the site of radiation but my site is a circle around my head soooo. I have tried just not touching my hair because if I don’t touch it, it won’t fall out right? Wrong. Instead I just have hair falling out AND my hair looks terrible because I haven’t brushed it. It’s been hard though. Way harder than I thought it would be. And I hate to even admit that. It makes me sound vain and weak. I want to be one of those strong women who embraces it whole heartedly and just doesn’t care. The truth though is that over the past few days I’ve shed tears over hair. Reading that last line out loud is laughable. It’s hair. And hair grows back. But people look at me now and they say “Wow! I would have never known. You look so…NORMAL!” I look normal. Which implies that when someone with cancer loses their hair, they don’t look normal. And that is just a tough pill to swallow. If I lose enough hair that I have to shave my head (which I am mentally preparing myself for) that also means I can’t hide the fact that I have brain cancer anymore, at least not all the time. The incision on my head is a dead giveaway that it’s my noggin. I really wasn’t planning on writing about this yet but it’s so raw right now and I don’t want to forget this moment, as much as I may dislike it.
I’ve been praying for peace about it all over the past few days and the Lord blessed me with that. A friend posted some bible verses on my Facebook and when I read through them, I almost burst into tears when I got to this one.
“It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from inside you –the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. That beauty will never disappear and it is worth very much to God.” — 1 Peter 3:3-4
God knew I needed that. Sure, I’ve heard Michael tell me a million times that my hair isn’t what makes me beautiful (and I love him for that). But I needed it to be in the Bible to believe it apparently.
Since that moment, I’ve been handling it much better and I’m not as scared of it as I used to be. I still have no idea what to expect with it all and I’m not enjoying it, but it’s all a part of the experience and maybe now I can get some hair that actually makes me look like Sarah’s Mom! I’m praying it can last me through this weekend for my amazing best friend’s wedding but if not, I did say “I may be bald and puking but I’ll be there!”