Snip, snip, snip...I couldn't believe I was sitting in a chair and actually allowing someone to do this to my hair. On Thursday, March 13, 2008, the day before my second chemo treatment, my hair started to fall out. I'd already laid my plans. I was not going to wait until my hair started to come out in clumps. I knew I wouldn't be able to bear that. I called my son and my mom and told them it was time. We'd be shaving my head after chemo.
This was tough for my son but he understood my desire to have this done at home. My mom cut my long hair first. She always longed to cut my hair but she is no stylist and had difficulty even cutting my bangs straight as a child. This time it wouldn't matter. After she finished, my son took the razor and shaved my head. One of the toughest things I ever did was look in the mirror afterward. There are women who never will but I knew I had face it head on. My husband held me as I did so, reassuring me that I was still me and he'd rather have me bald than not have me at all.
Throughout chemo, I dreamed about hair. I really did. Each time it would get a bit longer before falling out again. It's funny because I rarely recall dreams but these were different. I remember these dreams vividly. That shows the impact this really did have on me. I'm not saying men can't understand but I think hair is even more special to women. I missed my hair terribly. I missed my own hair so much that I actually rebelled against wearing a wig most of the time because it wasn't my hair.
I'm getting to the snip-snip part. I'm just setting the stage for it.
Chemo ended on June 6, 2008. Finally! I waited in anticipation for my hair to start growing. Other people I knew in treatment seemed to be making more progress than me. My baby-fine hair just seemed to be plodding along. I bought a large magnifying glass and would examine it carefully every hour on the hour. Hurry! It didn't make it grow any faster.
Finally, it started to cover my scalp. Finally, the mole... yes, the mole on top of my head..., yes I have a mole on top of my head, okay? Finally it was hidden. It wasn't completely covered until mid-October but now it uh...disappeared. Yeah, that's right...it...disappeared.
So why, after watching it grow slowly for six months was I sitting in a salon and allowing someone to actually come near my hair with a scissors? Yes, I know. Some of you cut your hair every 4-6 weeks but I'd like to point out you weren't starting out from scratch like I was. In fact, losing your hair to chemo is a bit different than just shaving your head. It doesn't start to grow back in sync. Oh no. That would be too easy. You have a patch growing here and a patch growing there and none growing over there.
It will actually take my hair about another year or so to get back to where I want it. So, why am I cutting it? Isn't that actually going backward? Actually, it's not. The time had come when I looked in the mirror and decided it was time to do a bit of pruning. I put myself into the hands of an expert who took the tiniest snips I'd ever seen. She snipped here, left that alone over there, layered things a bit up there so things would lie nicer.
I peered into the mirror while she was working. I held my breath a bit with each snip. Wow! I couldn't believe it when she was finished. I actually looked like I had more hair now than when I came in! Don't get me wrong. I don't like short hair so it is still way too short for me but it's better. It's better.
There are times in our lives when God needs to do a little pruning. We've sort of let things just go every which way and God wants to do some pruning. Sometimes it's a lot but sometimes it's just a little bit here and a little bit there. Often we're resistant. We're afraid of what we might look like afterward. We're afraid God will take off too much and then what will we do?
This is when we have to put ourselves into God's hands and just trust him. We might sometimes be alarmed at all the pruning He does but in the end we will be amazed at how much better we look and how much better we feel. Remember, God is the expert pruner and when we allow Him to mold and shape our lives according to His plan, we will stand back in amazement and cry "Look what the Lord has done!"