Friday, September 9, 2011

Dandelion Head

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along'. You must do the thing you think you cannot do." -Eleanor Roosevelt.

My hair officially started falling out Wednesday - day 16 - after my first Chemo treatment with Adriamycin and Cytoxan.  I have been trying to hang on to hair and color until today, the Pink Arrow Pride Football game. The color is fading, but still obviously pink, I'm not sure what is going to happen when I wash it today.  I feel like if I sneeze hard enough or get out in the wind, it will all blow away just like a dandelion gone to seed.  I have to admit that I thought I was prepared to lose my hair.  In reality, I think I was prepared for being bald.  Two totally different things.  Having my hair fall out in handfuls is really demoralizing.  As if all the other things that I've endured and survived is not yet enough.  If not for the game, I would have shaved it off Wednesday to avoid this whole experience, but my stylist talked me into holding on just 2 more days and then we will shave it after the 5K run on Saturday. No need to tell anyone that I am undergoing chemo.  One furtive look and they will know. I think this is what bothers me most about this whole cancer experience, and why I have been so open in talking about the fact that I have cancer.  I don't want people pitying me, or whispering before I come into a room or after I leave it.  I want people to know that I am dealing with this thing, and THIS is what cancer looks like.  I'm sure that once the hot pink fauxhawk is gone, I will figure out another way to flip cancer the bird, I just haven't figured out how just yet.

Me and Mom and Pink Arrow Jersey Auction.

So...tonight is a big night.  This year is the 4th Pink Arrow Pride game, and obviously the one I will probably remember for the rest of my life. Additionally, ultimate coolness, NBC Today show is coming!  Lowell will be on national TV for a few seconds, and for something GOOD.  This project does so much good for the community.   I'm proud to be involved with it, albeit, minimally this year. I am thinking that I want to volunteer with the project next year.

My mom's quilt was quite a hit with the coach and the volunteers, they decided to keep it for game day raffle rather than auction it off to the small number of people attending the Jersey auction. Additionally, she will get a little blurb in the program tonight about why she made it, and what Pink Arrow Pride means to her.  I'm totally excited for her, she does such beautiful work, and I don't know that she has ever sold one of her quilts, she always gives them away.

I decided this was not the year for me to get a football jersey.  Too many medical bills, and I can't seem to think about the whole thing without tearing up. every. single. time.  So, best to go as a supporter and maybe next year I will see if I can raise enough money to get one. The least expensive one went for $500 this year, so I have a little fundraising or saving up to do if I want one.

 My fundraising efforts this year went to Susan G Komen Race for the Cure in W. Michigan.  Our team has raised $1860 so far!  That exceeded our $1200 goal!  Additionally, both B and I met one of their weekly challenges and each won a pair of free new balance shoes!  (Mine are PINK)

 B's are Red and Silver....Lowell Red Arrow colors!!  I don't think we will get them in time for the race, but my girl J from Shelby Twp, sent me a care package of lovely pink ribbon jewelry AND a pair of bright pink shoelaces from her Aunt, a BC survivor!  So, I will definitely be pinked out for that.

My last week has been up and down.  My energy level started going up after the 10 day mark, but then I got a viral infection on Monday- swollen glands, sore throat, and low fever - that knocked me back down again.  After laying very low this week, AND managing to free up some knitting needles, I'm starting to feel better...just in time for my next Chemo on Monday.  I have a stronger anti-nausea med this time around - I'm hoping and praying that I don't get a repeat performance of 'the night after Chemo'....shudder....

In the meantime, I did manage to finish up a hat that started life as an infant hat...not sure what happened, but when I dragged it back out on Tuesday to see if I could salvage it for someone's little girl, I found that it fit me!  Ironic that the next day I realized I had better finish it up quick so I have something to put on my head!
My girl L called it my 'baldy beanie'.  It turned out pretty cute, and matches my current hair perfectly, though I think I look pretty dorky in it. It is organic cotton yarn, so soft and cozy for my tender head right now.  I'm pretty sure I will need a few more to get me through the next 6 months!  Better get to it, then!

my Baldy Beanie


  1. Losing you hair can be quite the experience. I had very long hair down the middle of my back.I remember getting that tingling sensation then it started coming out. One day I was walking down the street it was quite windy that day suddenly a big gust blew a big chunk right from my head rolled down the sidewalk like a tumble weed. I stood there and laughed myself silly, that was the funniest thing i ever saw. I didn't shave it off right away i left it till I looked like Benjamin Button strands here and there. I did not wear wigs it felt like a tight band on my head. I bought pretty and bright scarves tied them in certain ways at home i went bald. Let me tell you that was a liberating experience. All I had to do was wash my head no sprays conditioners or anything else. It will grow back. My hair is now a little longer than at the base of my neck..oh i was a natural blonde, it grew in reddish....remember when you moisturize face don't forget about your head....Good Luck and I am sure you will look just as beautiful with or without...... Alli XOX

  2. Thanks Alli! I'm hoping for red and curly!! :O



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