Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Hair Today--Gone Today--Make that "Almost Gone"

Right now, I have conflicted emotions flowing through me. I've always had a full head of hair, and have never been tempted to shave my head, as some of my colleagues more prone to baldness have done. I do try to keep my hair short, as it is so much easier to take care of that way. My choice to keep my hair short is both gender-and-culturally (and sub-culturally, if you please) informed. The Apostle Paul spoke of lots of hair on a man being disgraceful, and a full head of hair on a woman being glorious (1 Cor. 11:14-15).

The most serious of Rose's surgeries took place on October 1. One week later (October 9), when she was still in recovery-from-surgery mode, ABC Television had a special Nightline episode, which featured Good Morning America host, Robin Roberts, who was chronicling her journey as a breast cancer survivor. I set the DVR to record the program. Rose was already in bed, but I was still up, so I started watching the program live. About 10 minutes into the program, they showed Robin's decision to shave her head. I started sobbing! Rose woke up about then (I wasn't sobbing loudly), and walked out of the bedroom. She knew that Nightline was featuring a breast cancer story that night, so I went back to the start of the program, and we started watching it together. Together we watched; together we sobbed.

Yesterday, Rose started noticing hair easily coming off her head. This morning, it was more pronounced. In fact, she stopped blow drying her hair because of it. She had previously set a date to meet a friend who was a former hair dresser this morning at 10:00 at a local wig shop. We had been in there before, and knew that they gave a 50% discount to breast cancer patients who had lost their hair because of chemotherapy. Rose just called me. The hair loss was sufficient to get the 50% discount, so they picked out a nice wig. The decision was made, however, to go straight to Crystal's house, to buzz off the rest of her remaining hair. As a man, I don't know that it is possible for me to understand what that means to her. I only hope that I can adequately ease her passage through chemo-induced baldness.

I will probably meet her for a bite to eat before she goes to work at noon. She'll have the new wig on her head--her new look. This was something that we knew would happen, but kind of hoped would not. As we face each day, God's grace to us is present, and we are thankful. We appreciate your prayers on our behalf. May God bless you all!

Our church has just finished an excellent 3-week study on the book of Job. You can listen to some excellent messages (especially the last two) on the church website by clicking here. From the front page, click on the link to "listen to sermons."


I met Rose for lunch, expecting to see her new wig on her head. She didn't cut off all her hair, but it is very short. It should dry naturally, within using a blow dryer. We'll see how long it lasts. I brought the wig home.
(Note added at 1:28 PM, Central Standard Time)

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