20 FebLoving your bad hair days.

A few weeks ago  I was having a string of bad hair days.  Can you relate?  I’m guessing you can, we all have them.  And it is  the one thing you have to wear everyday so you just want it to behave. Is that to much to ask?  I swear my hair has a mind of its own and enjoys playing little jokes on me.

So Iwas getting frustrated for a very stupid reason and then my brain took me back to three years ago.

Finding out I was going to have chemo was tough news.  I thought I would avoid it since the cancer was not in my lymph nodes, but since I was HER2NU positive it was a must.

Okay, I could handle this.  But the anticipation of losing my hair was scary.  And there was still the hope that I might be one of those rare people who did not lose my hair, even though deep down I knew better with my type of chemo.

Three days before my second treatment, I woke up with an unusual pain in my head, different from a headache.  I felt like someone was holding me up off the ground by my hair.  Any touch to my head hurt, even trying to rest my head on a pillow.  It was happening, I was losing my hair.  I still wanted to deny it.  There wasn’t much hair coming out yet.

The next night I was at a dinner banquet for my job, still hoping it wouldn’t just all fall out.  My husband kept picking hair off of my jacket.  I did everything I could to not touch my hair, as more and more would come out.

Finally, I had to face the reality of just having it all cut off.  I didn’t have the guts to shave it or have someone do it for me and I still waited through the weekend to deal with it.  I was scared.  Even though I knew it was just hair, it was the outward fact to everyone that I was sick.

Early Monday morning while Bob slept, I sat on the edge of our bathtub with a scissors and started to cut it off. Tears were streaming down my face uncontrollably as I continued.  But at the same time,  I knew this was a step towards healing.  And just when I realized I wasn’t so strong, my little 4 month old kitty Daisy jumped up on my lap, stood up and tapped her two front paws on my cheeks.  I then knew that it was going to be okay and thanked God for giving me that comfort. 

I went to work that day in my new wig and no one pointed or stared.  And within a few days I was  use to it and actually liked having a wig.  I mean, I was always having a good hair day.  Though windy days still freaked me out a bit.

Even though there were benefits to wearing a wig, I was thrilled when I finally had some of my own hair back (but not on my legs!)  It was mine and it meant I was on the road to recovery.

 The experience also taught me another lesson on looking at the big picture of  life and not worrying about the smaller things.  So the next time I have a bad hair day, I’m going to tell  myself at least you have hair and pray for all the people going through chemo who do not.

If you or anyone you know is losing their hair from chemo please let them know about the American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better classes available at the River Falls Area Hospital and Westfield’s Hospital in New Richmond.  I went to this class and it was wonderful beyond words! For more information on time and dates, please contact your local hospital.

There will also be a Survivors Reunion in River Falls at St. Bridget’s Church on March 7 at 6:00 p.m. and in Hudson at Bethel Highlands Church on May 12 at 6:00 p.m.  These events are free and open to all survivors and caregivers.  I was hesitant to go my first time as I was unsure what it really was, and then I went and  was thrilled to be having such a great time with my community members who understood the journey. Not to mention the inspiration of meeting many cancer survivors who were long time survivors.  It gives me hope for all of us.

If you are interested in getting invovled by volunteering with the fight back against cancer please contact me at 715-426-5448 or kellie.burrows@cancer.org. We are in need of volunteers.

Pierce and St. Croix County American Cancer Society Events:

Daffodil Days; March 7-11: Realy For Life of Pierce County/River Falls;  March 25-26: Relay For Life of New Richmond; June 10-11: Relay For Life of Hudson; June 24-25: Run/Walk of Pierce County; Plum City, July 8; Ellsworth, July 23; El Paso, August 20.

10 Responses to “Loving your bad hair days.”

  1. Kris Miner says:

    Kelly – I was moved to tears. Thank you so much for sharing this story. I was thinking of my Mother when she lost her hair, and of course my sister-in-law. I think sharing our stories helps us heal.

    Let’s have lunch soon, I just LOVE those Daffodil’s! Thanks again for sharing!

    Kris

    • Kellie Burrows says:

      Thanks Kris! Didn’t mean to make you cry, but you are right…it’s all part of the healing process andits good for all of us to share. I’ll e-mail you about lunch. Have a great day!

  2. Becca says:

    Kellie; I’m so sorry you had to suffer through that–I can’t imagine how scary that must have been. Thinking back to our younger days, your long red hair was so beautiful…but it’s funny how things like this put our lives in perspective and remind us what is truly important. What matters is that you are still here and healthy now and bad hair days be damned! Thank you for sharing this moving story about your experience. It had me crying. I hope you continue to stay strong and healthy for many years. The world is a better place with lovely you in it!

  3. Kelly Luckey says:

    Thank you for sharing these memories Kellie,
    It sure put me right there with you. And like Kris, tears are streaming down my face as I imagine your feelings and think about all of the people who experience that fear. I will definitely think of this blog and snap out of it when I start feeling sorry for myself! And say a little prayer for those who have it so much harder…
    Love,
    Kelly

    • Kellie Burrows says:

      Thank you for taking the time to read it! :) We all have our things to deal with and you are one of the most gracious and unselfish people I know!

  4. Ann Hooper says:

    OH Kellie…what a great great blog! Thank your for sharing and for all you do! Wish I lived closer to you, because i would definitely help you out and volunteer. God has big plans for you girlie!

    Hugs,

    Ann

  5. maggie says:

    Kellie, you should put a warning on top of this story,
    –warning, do not read at work or where others can see your reaction to such a tender story–
    BTW you do have gorgeous hair!

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