Category Archives: Hair

Magic Eight Ball

Emma Clare got a Magic Eight Ball for Christmas. Not being old enough for crushes (I think! Or I hope?) she didn’t have the same questions for the Magic Eight Ball that I remember from middle school slumber parties! So after a few quick questions about whether or not we’d see snow the next day, the kids quickly turned to the subject of my hair. I’ve lost a TON of hair, and there’s no doubt that I did the right thing in shaving it. But I’ve never been completely, shiny-headed bald. I have a little peach fuzz, though it’s much lighter than the hair that fell out. So they, along with the help of the MEB, decided that my hair will come back in curly and blonde. Or red. Or brown. Thankfully not purple, according to a few tries with the MEB. Funny, they didn’t ask about green…

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Not Your Normal Christmas Card Photo

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We have some really lovely family photos that Sally took of us a month or so ago.  Obviously, I want to use one of those for our family Christmas card.  But when we found out that I had breast cancer, Clay and I decided together that we were going to own this.  I don’t intend to let cancer take over my life, my every conversation.  But I’m also not going to pretend that it doesn’t exist.  I can be strong and beautiful and have cancer.  It seemed almost a little fake to send everyone a card in December, knowing that all the lovely hair in that picture is now gone.  So I had Sally bring her camera along to lunch after church today, and she snapped this one quickly.  I’m not really one for the long Christmas letter, but I know that there are some people who don’t hear from us much the rest of the year.  So this picture will go on the back of our card along with the address of my Helping Hands site.  Anyone who doesn’t already know can check it out if they’re interested.  But even if they don’t follow along with my posts there, I think this picture really is worth a thousand words.  I may have cancer, but cancer doesn’t have me.

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The Final Cut

Enjoying my coffee with Sally and Crystal on Wednesday, I ran my fingers through my hair like I always do.  Only this time, I usually came out with a strand or two of hair. Thursday, it was several hairs at a time. I called to see when Dragan could squeeze me in to shave my head. Actually, I put off calling him for a couple of hours, I wasn’t ready. But he could put me before his first appointment on this morning, which would be good for Sally to meet me and the kids wouldn’t miss much school. I took the appointment, though still wasn’t sure that I was ready. But this morning, I was ready. Just washing my hair and attempting to blow it dry to go have it cut left far more hair on the brush and the floor than I wanted to deal with. That’s just what I needed to see, it was time.
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Dragan braided it and cut off the braid so that I can donate it.  The kids did great, they’d wanted to come along.  We had fun and not a tear was shed. Though, as Dragan prepared to start shaving, my compassionate little guy came over to love on me just in case I needed it.

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Part of what made the day a success was the markers.  Thanks to Ashley’s video, I thought to take along some washable markers for them to use to decorate my newly bald head.  It gave them something to look forward to and they loved it!

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I thought I’d be at least a little upset over the loss of my hair.  But really, I’m ok with it.  So far, I’ve gone out in my wig, a scarf, and even bared my bald head a little. I was completely ok with it, and so were the kids. They love to massage and pet my bald head! I was worried about their reaction, and couldn’t have been more pleased with how they’re doing. I knew that being without hair, makeup was going to be more important than ever to me.  I’m so glad I took the time to do a good job, it really does feel like it made a difference.  Since lots of people on facebook asked, this lipstick is my current favorite, Dubonnet by MAC.  Seeing these pictures, I think a strong, bold lip will be important in the upcoming months, and I’m betting this lipstick will get a lot of use.

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It shouldn’t go without saying that these images are so special to me.  I worried seeing my hair fall to the floor might be hard. Mostly, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to hold it together if the kids fell to pieces.  Watching Ashley’s video gave me confidence that we would do fine, and it made me realize that I wanted those special images of my own.  I’m so grateful that Sally came along and captured this fun morning for us.  I feel truly blessed to call this talented woman my friend.

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Photography by Sally Brewer Photography

 

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I Am Beautiful

I read a very compelling blog post today (thanks to Stephanie for sharing it with me!) by a woman who was determined to tell her daughters that she thinks she is beautiful. Having grown up with friends who struggled with eating disorders, I’ve always been very careful to make sure that Emma Clare knows that her value as a person is not linked to her beauty. But she is beautiful, and I tell her that often. The article questioned how we can expect our little girls to still think of themselves as beautiful young women when they remember their mothers constantly putting themselves down.

And so as I run my fingers through my hair and find each time that a few strands remain in my hand, I see cancer threatening my ability to tell Emma Clare I am beautiful.  It will take my hair, it will leave me scarred.  And yet I am determined that the author of this post was right.  I am beautiful, and I will stay that way.  Emma Clare will believe it, and if I say it enough, I will too.

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