An explanation...

Why Foob? I had a double mastectomy, and at the time, the plastic surgeon put "expanders" under the muscles in my chest. Every 2-3 weeks, they were filled with more saline, in preparation for my reconstructive surgery. They were very full and hard. Uncomfortable. One time, one of my sons gave me a hug and then said "Your foobs are hard!" Hee, hee, hee! My kids have this endearing habit of combining words. So, "Foobs" are fake boobs. Which I will still have, even after the reconstruction.

Foob Babe - that would be me!
"The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next." ~Mignon McLaughlin


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Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Head-Shaving Story Moment

I've waited for quite awhile before starting this blog. It's my Cancer Blog and to tell the truth, I just haven't wanted to write this next sentence. I have cancer. But, yesterday my head was shaved and I'm well on my way to surviving and I think I can write about the whole thing now.

I'll post parts of my cancer journal to get everyone up to date after this post. For now, though, I'd like to talk about yesterday. I had my first chemo treatment on October 29th and the nurses told me that I'd lose my hair between days 14 and 17. Whatever. Well, day 14 came and went without my hair falling out. I kind of pictured it falling out all at once. For you Harry Potter fans, I pictured it being like the Whomping Willow losing it's leaves in the movie. You know - it loses one leaf that swirls all the way down to the ground and then every single leaf hits the ground all at once! It's pretty funny in the movie. Not so much when it's your own hair. But, that's not what happened.

I had a hard time sleeping from day 14 to day 17, because I kept having nightmares about my hair falling out! I'd wake up in the middle of the night and tug on it, just to make sure it was still there. I really did hold a small hope in my heart that I'd be the only exception to the rule - the only person who wouldn't lose her hair. Yeah, right! On day 17 (no kidding) I started to lose my hair. Every time I touched it, tons would fall out. I could run my fingers through my hair and pull out gobs. It was very traumatic. I put off shaving it until Saturday, day 18. I just couldn't stand to have it falling out any more.

My sister, Kris, and I went to buy a wig. More about the wig later. She followed me home and when we got there, it was time. Have you ever been so frightened of something that you are physically ill? I have been. I thought I would throw up. I stalled as long as I could. When I was ready (as ready as you CAN be), Kris braided a small portion of the longest hair and then that was the first chunk to be cut off. You see, I wanted to keep a small bit of my hair, because I hear that hair grows in differently after chemo. I LOVE my hair. It's thick and full and with the help of my hairdresser, Aimee, just the right color - dark brown, woven with reds. When it grows back, my hair might be really curly, or super straight, or a completely different color - like gray!!!! Anyway, so now I have proof that my hair was once beautiful.

At the first cut, I started crying. I'm such a baby! My boys were way more brave than I was. I completely fell apart. Every cut made me sob. Kris was so nice. She kept saying how beautiful I was with every cut. Rick ran his hands through my hair when it was super short (about an inch all over). It was sad looking, because it looks like someone just hacked into my hair. Then Kris told me to take a deep breath, and she turned on the razor. If you've never experienced this before, it's a very scary sound. This whole thing was supposed to be my way of being in charge of at least one part of this whole cancer thing. But I didn't feel in charge. I just wanted my hair back. Kris shaved my whole head. I'll post a picture here, but it won't show how I felt. I felt like a victim. And I was mad. Way mad. I looked like one of the people in German concentration camps. We decided not to completely BIC my head - the stubble will fall out soon enough and then I'll be completely bald.

I'm getting used to it though. My boys all said it didn't look as bad as they thought it would. The big liars! Haha! They were so sweet though. I'm glad I have all boys. If I had girls, they would have just cried right along with me. But the boys all felt my head and told me how to get rid of all the loose pieces - "Trust us, when you shave our heads, we go right in and take a shower!"

Well, that's my story moment. Can you say, Cancer SUCKS?!

1 comment:

  1. These are the comments that went with this post:

    Anderson said...

    We love you - you are beautiful. Hair does not make you who you are!
    November 16, 2008 2:40 PM
    Marcindra LaPriel said...

    1) I'm happy you are part of the blogging world. Writing truly is theraputic. I live by it.
    2) I'm happy we're facebook friends now. Now I can stalk you at all moments of the a nice neice way, or course :)
    3) One thing about being bald is it really brings attention to your eyes. You have beautiful eyes.
    4) I pray for you
    November 16, 2008 2:57 PM
    Sharleen said...

    Thanks for sharing your story. I wept as I read about shaving your head. There are more important things in life than hair, but...... You are awesome and I'm praying for you.
    November 16, 2008 7:11 PM
    Kris said...

    My sweet sister-- as I stood behind you at your house Saturday and shaved your hair my heart was breaking. You said to me "This is probably the easiest haircut you have ever done"- the truth is it was the hardest. In fact the hardest thing I have ever done. As you sat there crying, your heart breaking, all I could do was be apart of it. I was so angry! As you are about this whole thing- you are right CANCER SUCKS!
    You have told me so many times how strong you think I am, as you held me up through my trials over the years--
    All of it seems so trivial now.
    Rick and the boys are so lucky to have a wife and mother like you Kara. How blessed they are to be able to witness your strength and determination and faith that you WILL beat this and that this beast will not win! You are amazing!
    You truly are one of the most beautiful women I have ever known and I am so blessed to have you as my sister and my best friend!
    Hang in there, focus on the finish line and know I will be here to hold you up any time you need me!
    I love you!
    November 16, 2008 9:20 PM
    The Olsen's said...

    You are another one of my heros. Not having to be tuff all the time to let us know that you do cry and to share your true feelings that CANCER does SUCK!! You are so in our prayers and alot of missionaries prayers too! And Kris, I know the hardest haircut I ever gave was like the one you did on Saturday. Trying to see straight through foggy eyes, trying to steady a shaking hand and knowing that part of your "best friend", not just her hair, is there laying on the ground, the most helpless feeling I have ever had. Kara we love you and are here for you. Thank you for telling your story!
    November 16, 2008 11:36 PM
    Carol said...

    kara... thank you for being so brave to share this with us. I'm sitting here with my eyes filled with tears and my heart breaking with yours. I'm on this journey with you - and uniquely counting the days to your recovery. I love you my friend!
    November 17, 2008 12:41 PM
    Tara said...

    I saw this quote the other day and saved made me think of you.

    Each one of us is God’s special work of art. Through us, he teaches and inspires, delights and encourages, informs and uplifts all those who view our lives.

    I luv you...and miss you!
    November 17, 2008 12:55 PM
    wendyjo said...

    You're strong, you're brave, you're beautiful and kind, you're faithful and determined, and you are an inspiration to all who know you.
    It was fabulous to see you today, you really did look great! Hang in there and know you have many people who love and pray for you!
    November 17, 2008 10:16 PM
    Stephen and Debbie said...

    Since Debbie is a Cosmetologist she says all the time that if she ever got cancer that losing her hair would be the worst part for her... Now we don't know what you are dealing with here, but we love and support you and feel your sadness! :) Welcome to the blog world!
    November 18, 2008 6:56 AM
    Sara and Stefano said...

    Dear Kara,
    First off I want you to know that I love you and I am so sorry that you have to go through this. There were many days when I was completely broken down and I would look at Stella's blog and there would be a message from you telling me to hang in there. Those messages from friends and family are all that kept me going. I will not pretend to know what you are going through, but I know about the anger you must be feeling. Shaving your head was so brave, and you still look beautiful!!
    Love you, Sara
    November 23, 2008 8:07 PM
    Shantel said...

    Wow. I know you don't think you are brave, but I think you are amazing. Just, wow. I am blessed to call you my friend.