Thursday, 14 June 2012

" Could you leave a little on the sides please"



I made a decision today. A decision many women before me have made to empower themselves. Taking control where so much was taken. I like to always remind myself that I am not the first person to get cancer, I will never be the last.

I have been made quite aware that one of the side effects of the chemo would be hair loss. I don't know how much resolve you can give to this issue its a bugger. I have been growing my lovely locks for the last year and a half after cropping it a while back. I just got it where I wanted it and bam! Freaking breast cancer, with a dash of chemo. I knew I was going to lose it. I talked about it, I thought about it, I bought the tee shirt and ordered the wig. I am prepared! So I thought. I had read the info, knew when it would happen, it seemed the same for everyone. Okay I am ready. Maybe!

So on day 13th  since my first chemo ( not 14-17 like the book says) I am pulling into the hospital parking lot for an appointment. I am currently, like other patients financing a new wing in the hospital somewhere with my parking costs. Alright so I parked in the $2.00 lot the wing may take a while. I went to turn of the car and something drop across my face. I knew in an instance it was my hair.  It was weird because I never thought a strand of hair could have such a presence. I think that can't be my hair, please tell me that is not my hair. No time to ponder I have an appointment with the social worker at the cancer clinic. I arrive and get called in by a very pleasant woman. I am completely preoccupied and as she begins to speak to me, I look at her and say " my hair just started falling out" and then in front of a complete stranger I start to cry. None of my preparation worked. She is completely empathetic, hello social worker what a better stranger to be with. I get through the meeting only bringing up my hair a half dozen times and running my fingers through it constantly as we spoke. I leave and walk through the clinic and look around thinking " don't you know my hair is falling out what is wrong with you people". I go to my car and text my husband and a few friends. Gotta tell someone cause I feel like screaming. Why am I so upset I knew this was coming?
I proceed to buy hats for my self and call the salon for the wig status. We book an appointment for a day and a half later. The next day my fears are not realised as  the hair on my head is departing slowly, but not true for all parts of my body. I realised that when you lose your hair it is not just on your head, its everywhere. Now I never did have a Brazilian but lets just say I won't have to anytime soon. Now talk amongst yourselves on that one. I am hoping it leaves my eyelashes and eyebrows, but one can only hope..
I awoke today, a little slower than others, a little tired and with my head extremely sore and tender. Just like the book says my head would feel. I think my heart was dragging on the ground cause I knew what was coming today. I thought I was ready, I wasn't. I kept putting my fingers through my hair, thinking its not that bad, really. Maybe I will keep my hair a few more days, although I did not want it to get to the point of coming out in patches, that might challenge my self esteem a little too much
I arrived at the salon at noon with my faithful friend waiting. I am lucky to have many of those, willing, ready and able to help me go through what ever it is I need to go through, to get through. I sat in the chair and Robert my hairdresser ran his fingers through my hair, a lovely parcel of it came as he pulled away from my head. He asked me what I wanted to do, his action had been my answer. I knew it had to go. I did not want to go through the hair falling out process since its sad and by the way falling everywhere. I said he could shave it off. He politely left to get his clippers. This was it decision done. I asked him when he returned " will it hurt" he said " no, it might be weird but it won't hurt". I had a little cry to grieve the moment. Perked up and got it started. He was quick and very gentle and soon it was over. He left a small thin layer of hair, enough to make me feel covered somewhat. Nothing a good scarf and a great pair of earrings can't rock. Keep telling myself that and I might believe it.
Turns out I got a nice round head with not too many dents, and a great hair line although there is some evidence of a scar, maybe dropped on my head as a baby not sure. Would explain a few things. He placed the wig on my head and cut it to shape it up..I think the wig feels weirder than the shaved head, its going to take some getting used to. I know soon even the darker layer  that remains will be gone, but I think I can do that now. I understand the attitude of take it before the chemo does more now than when I cut my hair short a few weeks ago.
My illness is a little more evident now, but for some reason I believe so is my strength. I still marvel that  I am on this journey,  its as surreal as it gets. Each event chipping away at my fear. As I lose something, I learn something not only about myself but about everyone and everything around me.
Once again I am grateful.....

38 comments:

  1. You look incredibly beautiful Sondria!!!!!

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    1. Thanks Tara, embracing the new me may take time but nothing a good lipstick won't fix...

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  2. Ann Marie Vaughan14 June 2012 at 17:55

    This is so moving Sondria. Your blog takes courage and each step you take makes me more aware of how courageous you are. Thank you for sharing these personal moments. I cried with you as I read it. Wishing you all the very best. Ann Marie

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  3. Sondria, I love the new look! It looks real good on you. Still just as beautiful as ever!!!

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  4. Son, Your beauty will never change for anyone -everyone- who knows you. The true you is on the inside where chemo cannot go. You will be still the lovely woman you always have been with or without your locks. You need only to look inward to find Sondria. For that is all your friends see!

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  5. I think you look bautiful! Absolutely stunning. Sondria I love that you're sharing your blog. I started writing one after I had back surgery in March. I find it is a great outlet for your mind and all your thoughts. I'll keep you in my prayers

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    1. Thanks Helen I read your blog, funny how life makes us reflect sometimes

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  6. Sondria, I finally had some time to read your blog. First of all, you look beautiful. I read your blog from the most recent back - amazing - your experience are eloquently written - I feel that I was there (wish I could be). You share your experiences with your 'big girl pants' on - meeting each new step in your journey head on. Cancer has taken a breast (representing all that makes us women), your hair (and yes, you will lose the eyelashes), your wellbeing but it hasn't taken who you are: a mother, a wife, a friend, a sister..... a "belle soeur" like Gerry says. Thanks for this Sondria

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    1. Love you all, you are never far from my thoughts. Gerry and Tony will bring the family love this way and maybe someday we will see you here.

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  7. Ooops forgot to sign in...it was Lucy :)

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  8. One small positive is that you were able to taste lunch! You were very brave, kiddo. xox

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  9. Your determination to find the things you can control in this situation is incredible. I think that is the inspiration in this because I can only imagine the feeling that its all in someone else's hands. You've pointed out the moments when the choices are yours. And you share this with such honesty. We see the warrior even though you feel helpless sometimes and I admire the fact that you share that vulnerability.

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  10. You are beautiful. Much love and hope. Thanks you for being gutsy enough to talk about all your hair. I had not even thought of that.

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    1. Hope I am not keeping it too real lol

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  11. Sondria, you have always been beautiful...never more so than right now when your inner strength and courage is as obvious as your outer beauty. Thanks for sharing your journey.

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    1. I am happy that you are part of it in some small way

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  12. Nancy Constantine15 June 2012 at 05:38

    Sondria,

    I love reading your blog!! It is amazing that through this whole experience you find time to write. Thank you for sharing your strength and courage with us. Thank you for showing us that even in the hardest moments we can still find humor. I have laughed and cried. I have been inspired. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. You are beautiful!!

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    1. Thanks for keeping my in your thoughts, all the strength is coming from others carrying me along

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  13. Sondria,
    I only met you once, at Gillian's, but I think you're one of the coolest people around. - Andrea

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    1. Now see being cool works for me, much gratitude

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  14. Hey Sondria,

    I read your blog and although your super funny, I couldn't stop from filling up. I see this everyday in my work but when you know the person and get an inside look at what happens, it's such an eye opener. You are so brave and beautiful on the inside and out. I am sure as you said that u can rock a wig and a scarf with ease. I wish you the best in this unexpected journey but I know that your courage, faith, family and friends will make the road a little easier to travel. Take care and if there's anything I can do, I would be glad to help:)

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    1. Much love Jodi appreciate the support

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  15. Debbie Fleming McCarthy15 June 2012 at 07:18

    Sondria
    I've read all of your Bogs...you are a true inspiration. Your strength will see you through.

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    1. I think whats inspiring is the outpouring of love and support that is the real lesson for me.

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  16. Girl I think you look like a Holywood stunt double for Jamie Lee Curtis. You look fast. Can one look fast? Well I think you do. Wig, head scarf or natural, whatever your comfortable with -a pretty face like yours can get away with anything.

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    1. Hey when I got up the next morning after shaving it I didn't know if I wanted to hunt an alien or join the army very confusing

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  17. I am speechless this time.........

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  18. Sondria...I'm a friend of Gillian Marx's and she loves you like a sister. Now I see why.
    Hang in there, remember that you're beautiful and I just know far better things lie ahead for you.

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    1. I am truly a reflection of those who surround me.

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  19. I saw your blog because John Sheridan posted it to FB. You look strong and amazing, do not cover it. Show the world just who you are, strong and beautiful and beating this every step of the way. No wig makes a statement like the shaved head does. Life it not about what happens to you, but about how you choose to deal with it. You got this bigtime, girl. Take a good look at your pic, you look beautiful, you are smiling. Simply amazing.

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    1. Thanks Bonnie for the encouraging words, this journey takes it toll, but like you said its how you respond, it takes you down but I always get back up.

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  20. Sondria, I really thought I couldn't imagine what you are going through but the way you describe everything, I feel as if I can. I'm crying with you every step of the way, my heart hurts and I wish there was something I could do to help take some of this pain away. I hope in sharing your story, it gives you extra strength you need to cope. I think you are an amazing strong person, like Gill said "a warrior". You are absolutely beautiful inside and out!!! Sharon Lamb xo

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