It was the most surreal experience yet. Unintentionally, I peeked out through my peripheral vision where I saw nothing but flesh tone color - no red, no curls, no volume...no nothing. From the corner of my eye, I could only see shape, texture, color, form - and it all appeared so foreign. I felt an odd clash between utter curiosity and a paralyzing fear, knowing that when I turned around to look into the mirror, it would be real. It would make it all real. It would be real that I no longer have hair - real that I have been undergoing chemotherapy = real that my body is fighting - real that I am battling cancer.
I watched their faces as Mike, my mom, and Kyle all witnessed each piece of hair fall to the floor. I held my mom's hand as the electric razor sent chills down my neck. I listened as they all commented on the newly discovered shape of my head. I stared into my loving husband's eyes as he watched his wife undergo such a drastic transformation...and he didn't care one bit. My amazing husband looked at me just like he did on our wedding day - with more love and affection than I ever thought possible. From that moment on, everything was okay.
Truth be told, I now feel a huge sense of relief. I am glad to have this next step behind me. I wasn't scared or nervous leading up to this day - I was just eager to get on with it. I am grateful for my incredible support system that spent the day with me today, and of course for Susan and her amazing team at Susan's Special Needs. I cannot thank them enough for making what could have been a very traumatic experience, a much more comfortable and peaceful one. The work they do is truly life changing and will leave a huge impact on my heart for the rest of my life.
Below are some of the images Kyle captured from the day...don't be frightened by my half shaved, half punk rocker hair in the second pic ;)
The initial wig fitting...
Loving the new wig...it looks just like my hair does when I straighten it!
Kyle - Thank you for being the most supportive, caring, and loyal friend anyone could ever dream of! You are a true blessing to me and I am so thankful to have you in my life. Thank you for documenting this day for me. Love you so much!
Isn't my mom beautiful!!!!
My everything ♥
So be prepared to see a new look from me this summer. Whether it's sporting my new bangs, a fun printed scarf, or a stylish straw hat...I am ready for it all. I am super excited to avoid summer frizz, hair gel, and blow dryers for awhile.
Now on to bigger and better things....one of my very best friends, Brinley, and her awesome hubby and baby boy are coming to visit this weekend from West Palm Beach, Florida. I am beyond thrilled to see them and to finally meet sweet baby Andrew!!! This weekend will be filled with smiles, laughs, and lots of cuddle time and I couldn't be more excited for it. :)
Thanks again for all of the love and support everyone! You continue to bring us smiles and joy, even during the hardest times.
Although I would have liked to keep my Mother's Day post front and center for awhile, I feel like I must forewarn you about a big change on the horizon. Right now I am on what many consider to be two of the toughest chemotherapy drugs. Without a doubt they cause complete hair loss, usually beginning the 15th day after your first chemo treatment. Sure enough, like clockwork, last Friday (my 15th day after chemo was initiated), my hair began to fall out. I woke up in the night and felt a few loose pieces on my face, then noticed a few more strays on my pillow in the morning. Over the course of the weekend, I have gradually lost more and more hair. I have since tied it all up and decided not to touch it until Tuesday. You see, I have never been the type to sit around and see what happens. I would rather take the bull by the horns and jump right in with both feet. So, for the past few weeks, I have had Tuesday, May 10th marked on my calendar as "Baldy Day". Tomorrow, I will be shaving my head and saying good-bye to all these curly locks.
I find it sort of funny and ironic, that me, of all people will be losing their hair. My hair, whether I liked it or not, has always been my sort of calling card. If people were describing me to someone else, it was always, "Oh you know Meghan, the one with the curly red hair." I am proud to say my buddy Andy & I were even voted "Best Hair" in high school for goodness sakes! I also have to laugh a little and wonder if God is playing a sick joke on me or trying to teach me a lesson because I have always complained about my hair. It was always "too red" or "too curly" or "too frizzy" or "too poofy." My mom has repeated to me for YEARS, "You should be grateful for your hair. Do you know how many people would pay good money for hair like that!" Just as I have finally learned to accept and appreciate my uniqueness, there goes my hair! I guess I will now have to accept and appreciate my uniqueness in a new way now- with Demi Moore's GJ Jane look! :)
When Mike's mom was battling cancer, we learned of a wonderful place by the name of "Susan's Special Needs", located in nearby Pleasant Ridge. Susan is an absolute Godsend and makes this entire process so much easier and less traumatic. She specializes in all things related to what women may need during and after treatment. Anything from wigs, hats, scarves, mastectomy bras, specialized pajamas for women going through premature menopause due to chemotherapy treatment--you name it, she's got it. She and I have found that we share a million different connections - not only did she assist Mike's mom during this time in her life, but she knows many of our other relatives, her daughter's name is Meghan and she also just graduated from Miami University, where I went to undergrad. Susan has taken exceptional care of me and wants to make this experience as comfortable as it possibly can be for me and my family.
Unless you or a loved one has gone through it, you would never believe what goes into the process of getting a proper wig. It is so detailed and intricate and truly requires a professional like Susan and her amazing staff. This process began my first day of chemo where we had to go and pick a wig type (human hair or synthetic), decide what length, shape, cut, and color. We found a human hair wig that looks exactly like my hair does when I wear it straight, and we color matched it very well. The wig arrived last week and it looks great! I never thought I would even want one and figured I would wear scarves all the time - but it will be nice to have on those days when you don't feel like having everyone look at you like you are sick.
Once Susan and her staff shave my head tomorrow, the process of properly fitting my wig will take a few more hours. Susan's team will complete the initial fitting and then go hand stitch the wig to my specifications, come back out and fit it to my head, and then repeat the process as many times as necessary to ensure a 100% proper fit! So, I will come into the shop with hair, and actually leave with hair!
So, enjoy these last few images I took a few days ago of me with my curly, red mane and be prepared for an entire new look from me tomorrow. My wonderful friend Kyle will be going with my mom, Mike and I in order to help document this next phase of the journey. Be prepared for my Mr. Clean look-a-like pics soon to come! :)
Hopefully, it will eventually grow back out and start to look something like this....
My blog to keep you all