My Hair is Falling!

My hair is falling and I’m scared, worried, freaking out. Yes, “freaking out” better describes what I’m feeling.

I stand in the shower and softly lather shampoo into my hair because it hurts and because I don’t want to rub too much hair out of my head. But no matter how much I try, when I finally get the nerves to open my eyes, the tub floor is always full of hair. It reminds me of a hair salon but there’s no one behind me with scissors in her hands, I’m not sitting on a chair and there’s no black cape wrapped around me.

What there is, is a mirror and when I look into it sometimes I don’t like what I see. Sometimes I want to cry because I want to see my hair the way I used to see it, I want to rub shampoo into my hair without being scared, without feeling pain. In the mirror I look strange, my eyes seem to be out of place. I know it doesn’t make sense but there seems to be some kind of connection between my hair and my eyes. Or maybe it’s that in my eyes is the sadness of seeing my head with less hair. You know? I didn’t think this was going to matter so much to me, after all it’s just hair right? Is it too frivolous to worry about my hair when there’s other things to think about, other more important things to consider right now? Maybe it is but I think about it and I think I’m in all my right to feel freaked out about this. How can I not freak out? I’ve had hair all my life. Actually I’ve had a lot of hair, you know that. Every time I’ve gone to get my hair cut, I’ve always received comments about how much hair I have (or had), about how black it was. Now I see black and white speckled with bald spots and it’s painful to see.

I haven’t cried over my hair though. Not because of lack of desire but because I’ve talked to God. I told Him it was okay if He decided that I had to lose all my hair. It was okay if it was meant to be that the bones in my feet hurt every once in a while. It was okay if I couldn’t walk fast the way I like to walk, it was okay if I felt constipated every once in a while, it’s all okay. The only thing I asked him was to please not allow my mouth to hurt so much that I could not eat, that my mouth burn as if everything was spicy. Out of all the side effect I’ve felt I have to say that the hardest was the pain in my mouth that did not allow me to eat peacefully. If He’ll grant me that wish I don’t know, all I know is that when I spoke to Him about this I spoke to Him with all of the faith I carry with me today. So, my falling hair even though it’s painful to watch, I’m willing to accept it.

You, your dad, my oncologist, other cancer patients have mentioned shaving my head. I won’t do that. I won’t do it because I feel like it would be like losing hope, like giving in to chemotherapy. What if not all my hair falls? What if I’m able to keep some of my hair through healthy foods. What if God decides that I only am supposed to lose some of my hair. I’ve promised Him that once I get my hair back, I will not longer complain about it. I will love and take care of it the way He would like me to. That is my promise to Him and to myself. I think back and remember how much I’ve complained about my hair, how many times I wished my hair to be curly or to be thin and straight or to be a lighter color or to not have that cow lick. I was never able to appreciate the blackness of my hair, the ability it had to hold curls if I took the time to put curlers on them, the capacity it had to hold volume all day. I had beautiful hair and I could’t see that but like I said, my promise to God and to myself is to love my hair in whatever form it decides to come back to me.

I know the it’s hard to learn to live one’s own life through other people’s experiences but I hope that with what I’m going through right now you will learn to love and care for the beautiful hair that was granted to you. Appreciate it for what it does for you and give back to it the way it gives to you everyday. Think about how every day it frames your pretty face, it protects your scalp from the heat, it warms your head in the winter, and it gives you something to get creative with. Just like everyone else you have your own kind of beautiful hair, love it the way it loves you. I would love for you to do this.

Have a peaceful and beautiful night!

Love,

Mom

Leaving You

Yesterday was a hard day but it was a proud day too. Still it was sad. Your brother cried so much. Pobrecito. The little one didn’t cry, he just sniffled. It was just that he had moco in his nose! he said. I had moco that’s why! Can you almost hear him?

Poor thing, or good thing, he doesn’t get it yet.

While the big one cried, the little one tried to console him, she’s going to be okay, she’s going to have fun, yeah, she’s going to be okay. So cute. They went like that for a while, the big one crying, the little one consoling.

Your dad covered his tears with his sunglasses, said he was fine. You know him. Me? I cried quietly – on the outside – inside I was screaming. Why why why??!!! does time go by so fast? Why!!! Wasn’t it just yesterday that I met you for the first time? How come nobody at the hospital warned me it was going to be this quick? Next thing I knew I was taking you to preschool and kinder, then elementary and junior high and high school. That’s it, that’s all the time I got. And now you’re away following a dream and so far away from me and I wish I could stay with you, make sure everything is okay and that nothing ever hurts you. But I can’t and I have to just sit in the car looking out the window wishing you could see the beautiful redwoods with me, with us. And then I realize you’ll see them on your own and I cry again because I won’t be there with you to say Look! They’re so big!

On the drive back

We kept driving, the road curved in and around like a giant snake through the forest. Your brothers, still sad, were only a little bit amazed, they looked and then they fell asleep. I just closed my eyes.

Oh! but then guess who we discovered hidden in the forest among the redwoods?

Bigfoot.

Really! We did!

And you know who was impressed . . .

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He walked in and stared at Bigfoot who was huge and surrounded by bears and gnomes of all sizes, houses made of hallow tree trunks, and a crazy (a$$) water fountain made with a redwood root that he probably pulled out of the ground with his bare hands, cause you know Bigfoot’s gotta be super strong. You should’ve seen all the stuff he had in his little store in the woods, signs and calendars, books, magnets, and keychains (you know that got your dad’s attention), he had baskets and those things that twirl with the wind. He’s a good businessman, that Bigfoot, cause he even had Paletas La Michoacana. 

To cheer me up, your dad got me a little wooden box of dreams (I know you’re what you’re thinking: corny but stay with me okay?) It’s small and smooth and reddish with woodgrain swirling all around it. I have to stick my dreams in there and I already know my first one. I had just dropped my little girl off at college, what do you think my first dream is?

You guessed it!

That she bring home the dough 🙂

Oh, yeah, and that she’s happy. Very, very happy.

Love,

Mom