Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Camping, Shedding, and Giving Thanks

I'm home from our wonderful weekend retreat at Allaso Ranch and back to work. What a great weekend of teaching and fellowship! I had a wonderful time and met some great people. It's funny how things turn out. I spent quite a bit of time worrying about how it would be going to camp with a shaved head and what it would be like "wearing hair" around a bunch of other people.

You know what? It was wasted time. Everything went fine. No one treated me weird at all, and I wasn't uncomfortable in the least. I'm sure it was strange for some of them. I mean there's a bald lady putting her hair on in the bathroom and she's wearing different hair than she was yesterday. I would think that was strange if I were them.

Of course that was nothing compared to the lady I talked to during breakfast on Saturday morning. She and I had a great talk. After breakfast, I went back to the cabin to change hair. I didn't really think anything of it. It was raining and I wanted to wear my lower maintenance, shorter "Terry Bradshaw" hair with one of my hats. (I packed 5 for the 2 day trip.) It's straight and better suited for camp because the long curls don't fare as well in the weather. Well, I ran into her later that day, and she was extremely confused. She kept staring at me trying to figure it out. It was pretty funny. There were several people I confused with that. But, it all worked out. In fact, my hair didn't really start coming out in an obvious way until I got home from camp. So the timing could not have been better.

I made the decision to shave my head prematurely (meaning before it started coming out) based on what I thought to be the bad timing of my retreat. Now, I am so thankful for that timing! I say this because it made me go ahead and shave instead of waiting for it to come out on it's own. One of the things that I most wanted to avoid is waking up in a bed full of all my curls. I didn't have to because, the timing of the retreat ensured that I wouldn't. I couldn't go off in the woods and have it come out there, so I had to deal with it before.

I hope that no one reading this has to deal with cancer and chemo in the future. But if for any reason you do, think seriously about shaving before it starts to fall out. My doctor was spot on with the prediction of when it would go. It started on the 14th day and came out in masses on the 17th. That's exactly what he said would happen! Knowing this and getting shaved a week beforehand, I had the opportunity to get used to my wigs and get comfortable before the shedding began. Now, it's not traumatic at all. Not for me anyway, I just can't wait for it to be over.

It has been traumatic for others in my family though, especially my mom. See, right now, there's still some left but it's not really attached. So if you grab it, it will come right out in your hand with no pulling. Well, I can't keep my hands off of it once I get out of work and get the hair off. It just seems so weird to me. So, I can't help but demonstrate this over and over. So far, I think I've grossed out everyone that I've shown, which is just about everybody. Although, no one has taken it like my mom. She can't handle it at all. So, of course, I can't stop doing it and showing her. I guess in some ways, we never grow up. I still think it's funny even though she's not laughing. Now I know where Brayden gets this behavior. All this time I've been blaming it on his dad...

I guess none of this has been as traumatic as I thought, and for that I am so grateful. Yes, unbelievably so, even the hair...Isn't it funny how that works out? I worry. I imagine things as I think they will unfold. And it just never seems to work out that way. Nothing ever seems to live up to my horrid imagination. Camp was great, wearing hair isn't as bad as I thought, and shedding like a cat hasn't bothered me a bit. So why in the world was I worried?


kitykity said...

I mentioned before how, watching from the distance of my own bunk at the cabin, how cool it was to see you chatting with the other girls in the cabin, and how cool they thought you were. You were the center of attention, and it was well deserved. And honestly, when you pulled out some hair and showed me, my first thought was, "cool!" not weird, not grossed out... it was just cool that you could pull your hair out ;) is that silly of me? haha!


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