Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Un-Fairytale side of Chemo

I promised I would try to be "real" here throughout this journey, so here it goes--some truth about the side effects of chemo.

Saturday was a gift, I felt good--the tiredness had not kicked in, we went on a date . . .  It was a fabulous day.

Then came Sunday morning.

I took my shower and hair started coming out.

Not clumps or bunches, but 8 strands there, and 6 strands there.  It was on my pillow, in my brush, and on my clothes.

It was happening.

My hair was coming out.

I'd like to say I handled this with fierce resolve that "It's just hair--it will grow back", but I did not.

After watching church with our Faith Family via the internet, I hunkered down in the bed, turned the tv onto the Hallmark channel, and watched tv for the rest of the day.  Movie after movie of "happily ever after".

My reality was laying on my pillow.

By the time it was time to go to bed, I was done.  I asked my sweet man to hold me and I just cried.

Cried for our old pre-cancer days, cried for the loss of our lives in Honduras, cried for the separation of our family unit, cried because my hair was now falling out and I couldn't make it stop.

I tried to sleep, but I couldn't.  It took me a while to figure out why this was bothering  me so much, apart from the obvious I was going to be bald.

Somewhere around 3 a.m. I finally figured it out.  I was so upset because I wouldn't be able to look "normal".  People would now "know" just with a glance.

See Saturday night we went out and nobody looked at us as any differently.
But once I'm without hair, that will not be the case.

I'll be the woman with Cancer.

And--I know--I know that was true before, but now I won't be able to hide behind my normal looks and think that it's not really happening.

Around 3:30 a.m. I finally took it to Jesus.

I literally just started crying out to Him.  I was telling Him that this shouldn't be this big of a deal, that I know it's just hair, and so on ...

Do you know what He whispered over me . . .

He whispered, "It's the hair I gave you."

And then the tears really came.  He knows me so well, I'm His creation, he was the one who gave me my hair, who designed my body, who breathed life into me.

He cares about my hair--and it's loss.

Y'all - He loves us that much.

And then thankfully that peace that comes only from the one that comforts us came and I fell asleep.

I woke up Monday somewhat in a better mindset.  I mean--I didn't turn on Hallmark and lay in the bed.
I actually got dressed and tried to do normal things.  I started realizing that loosing my hair is the next step in this crazy new life of battling cancer.

And while I'm not thrilled with going bald, I've made plans to go to see Natalie today at Volume.  I'm going to get a crew cut.  I just can't handle the strands falling out.

It's going to be ok, I'm going to get through it because I know that Jesus is going with me.

I feel stronger today.  No one ever said this road would be easy--it's not. But, I actually giggled at the thought about me making Jesus' job a little easier for Him--He won't have to number my hairs for a while. (Luke 12:7)  Sorry for my warped sense of humor--but well, I told you I was keeping it REAL!


Kari Dent said...

Oh, sweet friend, this is one of the hardest parts. It is not vain at all. I totally understand about now being the cancer patient in the room. The good news is that people start being REALLY nice to you. lol! (I have a warped sense of humor, too. Glad to meet another soul sister.) You'll feel a lot less stress when you get the buzz cut. I know you'll rock it!

Isaac Farm said...

Well I've had the bald thing going for about 4 years now and it grows on you (well actually it doesn't). Unfortunately due to this gene thing the hair on the top of my head has 0 chance of coming back. lol Anyway I just wanted to let you know that you are a true example of God's gift. Reading your blog uplifts me and make me so thankful for his blessing and even more the stumbling blocks that makes my faith stronger. Know that your testimony is a gift and a blessing for me. Who knows maybe when your hair grows back it'll be an afro. I could help you with that. lol Love and prayers.

Karen Mcqueen said...

I cannot imagine these new experiences you are experiencing. I was reading this entry aloud to Mark and Thomas and had to stop when I got to the part where you said "reality was on your pillow". Julie my heart hurts for you and Ben and the family...but then at the same time my heart rejoices because while you may not be in Honduras (as planned) you are doing mission work through your sickness. I am sure that the prayer time in the salon spoke volumes to those around. Such a true testimony that even when times are hard your focus remains on Jesus Christ The One who know how many hairs are on your pillow, the floor, shower drain, etc. That is sure an awesome reality. Thank you for sharing in such a transparent way. We love you and of course are praying for you!

Tammy_Skipper said...

oh my heart...having gone through this with my daughter in the last year...yes, it's the "now I'll be the woman with cancer" stage that is being processed. prayers for you