There’s a gut wrenching feeling when you watch your husband run his fingers through his hair and have it come out in clumps in his hands. Wednesday morning, the day after James’ second round of chemo, we woke up to a TON of his beautiful hair all over his pillow. I’m not going to lie, I immediately started bawling. Not because I don’t think my husband will look great with or without hair, but because it made it feel real.
I honestly can’t imagine what that must feel like for it to be my own. But to watch it happen, and then find it all over our house was really a buzz kill. Wednesday was my hardest day besides the day we found out about his diagnosis and this week was much harder than the last. My mind just couldn’t shake the feeling that what was happening on the inside had finally made it’s way to the outside.
James doesn’t look sick. When he had a 10cm mass and a chronic cough for nine months, you would have NEVER KNOWN he was sick. NEVER. So it’s just a very surreal feeling to finally be seeing any outward evidence of the cancer, even if it was “just” his hair falling out. Which let me remind you, is not a small thing by any means.
However, here’s what I’ve learned in the last five days. It’s just hair. I know it’s silly to think that I’m just now realizing this, but my God, both of us will gladly trade our hair for our lives. My dad said it best, “James gets to have a different haircut for a short amount of time, but we get to keep him forever.” And let me tell you, THAT IS ALL I CARE ABOUT (and James too!).
Someone at my office also said that every time we see his hair falling out let it be a reminder that the chemo is WORKING and the cancer is LEAVING HIS BODY. Boy, I needed that. It was a total 180 of what I had been previously thinking.
He debated for a few days on whether or not to shave his head because we honestly didn’t think his hair was going to fall out. The doctors had told us that it would probably “thin” but that there was only a slight chance it may significantly fall out. Finally, this evening James had had enough! As the wife, I wanted it to be 100% his decision… because I think I could have gone either way, waited till the very last second or just shaved it all off immediately because I’m impulsive and we all know that. 🙂
SOOOOOOO (drum roll please)… a new hair cut is here!!!! And can I just say, I’m LOVING IT!
Cancer, you may be the hardest thing we’ve ever gone through, but you will NOT steal our joy. (and let’s be honest, nothing could steal his looks!!!)
On a funny side note, today was the first day James left the house since being neutropenic (low white blood cell count and higher risk of infection) and on our way to the store we had this conversation:
Me: “Don’t touch anything!!! I will open all the doors, Ok? It’s NOT rude!”
James: “Oh good, I just make my pregnant wife open all the doors. I’m keepin’ it reaaaal classy here.”
and we had a pretty good laugh!! 😉