Hair—or losing it—seems to be a quintessential part of the cancer journey. Mine thinned quite a bit, but for the most part I was able to get by with a $40 “faux-ny tail” that I got on Amazon. Dealing with the rash was a much bigger hit to my comfort and ego.
Then, this past fall, suddenly it seemed like all my side effects cornered me at once. It was particularly frustrating because I had dropped the hair loss drug from my protocol weeks prior, but it seemed to be extracting its last revenge, one handful of hair at a time.
Finally, one sleepless night, I happened upon an Instagram story about a new kind of “hair prosthesis,” and a week later I had an appointment at Tu Bella. The technology was impressive, and I was tempted, but the price of a real hair wig is significant, so I hesitated.
Until Delaney thought maybe she could donate HER hair so they could make it for me—and they confirmed they could do that—and then I was ready.
But maybe she wasn’t. It wasn’t an easy decision, especially when they told us how many inches she would need to give—and we debated whether to wait a bit longer so she could grow it out a little longer. She liked her long hair and worried maybe cutting it would make her sad.
I told her I would certainly understand if it would make her TOO sad, and asked if she thought she would be more sad if she cut it to give to me or more sad if she didn’t.
“More sad if I didn’t!” she responded immediately, and then it was decided.
The haircut was far more emotional than I expected - she was so upset that I had to leave—but something amazing happened shortly thereafter.
“You know, Mommy, I feel like all of a sudden I want to keep hugging you all the time. I’m not sure why.”
I knew why. Finding a way to help me has transformed our whole relationship. Since diagnosis, she’s been a little more hesitant than Jack, careful not to ask too many questions or seem too sad or hit my pump or port with an errant hug.
I hadn’t realized the degree to which she was holding herself back. But once she found a way to connect, she wasn’t about to let go.
And neither am I.