Friday, November 22, 2013

10 Things to Know About Losing Your Hair to Cancer!

The first moment feeling BALD!
Embracing The Awkwardness

One thing synonymous with Cancer is the infamous bald head, and when you are diagnosed with Cancer it is one of the first things you think about and plan for. Wig, scarf, and hat shopping commence, and you tell yourself really," its' just hair"! It's just hair, but society tells us hair and looks are important, and consequently we all have become expert judges in looks and first impressions!

After my Cancer diagnosis I beat my treatment to the punch and shaved my head to avoid clumps in the shower or wake ups to hair on my pillow. Shaving my head was one of the best decisions, and for me the decision was easy. It was a proactive approach to the inevitable and something I could take control of. Although follow through was not painless, and highlighted the reality I really do have Cancer, I would not trade my decision. It required a lot of adjustment and growth, which now allows me to share a few things I learned.

1. As I said, shaving my head before chemo was one of the best decisions, and I recommend it to other fighters. I invited close friends to my home, and have shared memories of triumph, tears, and a closed chapter of hairiness.
My 1st No Hair Pic!

2. Hair is not for spirals, spikes or looks.  It has one strategic purpose.. Keeping one's head warm! 

3. There is an art to wrapping up your head with bed sheets so breezes don't keep you up at night!

4. Many don't realize but hair on your head is not the only follicles to vacate...Cancer Silver Lining..  you lose all hair, and I do mean all of it:)

5. Your eyebrows and eyelashes are the last to go, but the first to reappear.

6. People will stare at you when you have courage to step out without the Comfort of Hair!

7. You Can Overcome the whispers and stares that come with being Folliclely Impaired!

8. It's okay to feel self-conscious or embarrassed just remember you are a Strong FIGHTER!!!

9.  Losing you hair to Cancer gives you the opportunity to realize every cowlick and awkward hair part, that has ever rebelled against you, is actually Quite Perfect!

My husband and I. 11-2013,
Working with
what I got!
10. Find a  hair stylist to help you through the Grow Back Stage.. dun dun dun.. Folks, It's gets Awkward! Also keep it short for a couple months so hair growth cycles can catch up with each other.

Ok + 1 More...

11. Hair grows back, memories and opportunities do not! Spencer Green once said (My Cousin, now an Angel, and Cancer Fighter) you should "Enjoy Every Sandwich",  Hair or No Hair!

My Cousin, who enjoyed "Every Sandwich" singing his hit..
 "Sweet Surrender"

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chemo and Care Packs

Getting instructions from one of my favorite nurses, Donna. I have
been blessed to have so many wonderful nurses to care for me!
I  finished chemo #33 last Thursday, and again made the decision to spread joy instead of focusing on the "icky" affects of chemo. Tenaciously Teal (T. Teal) handed out twenty Care Packs on Thursday, despite a little bureaucratic hindrance. We are planning to hand out thirty more in November before we start spreading "chemo cheer" with cocoa, fuzzy socks, a mug and candy cane Christmas presents we have collected for.

Before my infusion, and after passing out Care Packs in the chemo center for those battling with no medical insurance, I went to the hospital floor where I myself recovered from Cancer surgery. This process has become routine, and I've never had any problems. This day, however, a nurse wanted me to call the volunteer coordinator who proceeded to call me into his office after I explained what I was doing. I was reprimanded for not checking with their office prior to handing out Care Packs, and so you can imagine the disgruntlement when he learned this was not my first time  at the hospital, not to mention the time when my husband, dressed as a gorilla, and accompanied me to  pass out Care Packs on Halloween:)

I know what your thinking, why would I just start passing out Care Packs without permission? But that's not the case. I was given the okay by the infusion center, and had the floor managers approval when visiting patients recovering from surgery. It's never easy to hear the words " You Can't", and to be honest I was discouraged, especially when I learned I must go through a series of interviews, screenings, and all Care Pack items must receive individual clearance before I can return.

Visiting with other patients receiving chemo
 It felt like a road block intended to discourage me from       continuing this mission, but ultimately it's going to take more than screenings to stop me from fighting to spread Light! Luckily none of this pertains to continuing to pass out Care Packs at the Cancer Center where I receive treatment, but it will prevent some patients from receiving a Care Pack and encouraging least until T. Teal can bust through some red tape!

If you haven't already liked us on Facebook do so to keep up with everything T. Teal is doing to spread hope and joy to those fighting Cancer! Find us at:

Continue to pray God will bless T. Teal and use this ministry to show His love for those enduring a battle with Cancer!

One of my new friends, Tom, we have gotten to visit several times
at the Cancer Center, and I enjoy seeing him each time! Tom is battling Pancreatic Cancer, and is a true fighter displayed by his constant smile and how he makes it to chemo every other week while continuing to work into retirement age!