Thursday, October 13, 2011

in the wind

yesterday in the morning
my hair started to fall out
and I watched as it gathered at the drain
and then came out in the hair brush

my chemo treatment was at noon
so I decided that I was having a hard time
and needed to talk with someone
went to Missouri Cancer center
much earlier
hoping that my therapist friend Denise would
be there
but she was out for the day
I forgot that

my friend Carla who works at the front desk there
had a present for me from her son
13-year old Cameron
a ten year plus cancer survivor
who is dealing with mono right now

Cameron sent me a beautiful stone with the word
engraved into it
I was so moved
so smooth
and so helpful on a tough day...

I went outside and thought of calling Brandon
his house is not far from the cancer center
he was home
but busy
just hearing his voice helped
and my voice shook and cracked and gave way
I did not want to feel sorry for myself
or ask anyone to feel sorry for me

Brandon called me right back and said
"Mom, how about if Mahdi and I come over tonight?
I really want to be there for you...
we could come around 8:15 and stay for about an hour..."
and that became my focus

I went to Wal-Mart to get a thank you card for Cameron
and found a tiny little alphabet stamp set for $.97
and a miniature ink pad, brown, for $.97
so I went to the beautiful park across from the center
it is called Stephens Lake Park

the wind was blowing and the autumn leaves
were whirling and dancing
as I walked towards a picnic table and bench
I decided that if my hair was coming out
I might as well take it out and let it blow in the
with the leaves
into the water
by the old trees
there I was literally
pulling my hair out
what an odd sight
if anyone noticed

I was not angry or sad
I felt in charge
and significantly better than letting my hair
go down the darn drain in the bathroom
it was liberating and bordered on ceremonious
as if I was spreading my own ashes in nature
alone but not lonely
sick but very much alive
choosing to make something positive
out of a negative
and claiming my place at a picnic table
with leaves all over it

taking out my new miniature stamping supplies
I enjoyed decorating a card
for my young friend
a friend I have yet to meet in person...

the time came closer to go for treatment
and one of the ladies from the pharmacy at the center
saw me at the table and we chatted for a few minutes
time for reality-facing
a beautiful gold leaf took a fluttering trip
and descended right into Cameron's card before I sealed
the envelope
so it stayed there

I saw my doctor and he liked my hair in the wind story
and he said I was doing very well
and was in a "groove"
and that made me laugh
because it sounded good
and I needed to hear something different
than my own concerns right then

all the needles and prodding and stuff was done
a kind man who was with his wife for her treatment
brought a warm blanket for me on the way to
bringing one for her
how kind of them

someone came over to chat with me
and before I knew it
I was ready to be released

I collapsed when I got home
Bryan and Olivia came in and I just said Hi
and collapsed on another surface somewhere

Brandon and Mahdi came
I was so happy to see them
Brandon was taking care of me
and wanted his girlfriend to be part
of that experience together
I picked up a soft plush purply throw (blanket)
for her
it was her Birthday earlier this week
and she loves purple so purple it was
the boys and I have always had blankets
for TV and movie watching
so Mahdi needed to have one too

well, I still have some hair
and being with them
just made me feel energized
let's play ping-pong how about it?

we had such a fun time
laughed a lot
played all different combinations
of doubles
Mahdi was a beginner who learns super quickly
being a college tennis player for two years
who knew you could use a two-handed backhand
with that little tiny paddle?

they stayed until 10 pm
and then I started a purple scarf for Mahdi
with the yarn she chose from a basket full
of purply options

the wind blows
when you run your fingers through your hair
on a blustery day
salute your moment
in the sun


  1. I'm so glad you had a good ending to what started out as a bad day. I like to think of the squirrels at Stephens park gathering up your hair and adding it to their winter nests to make them cozy. Please call me any time you need someone.

  2. Our thoughts an prayers are always with you. Know that we love you and care about you each and every day.

    I agree with Janet the squirrels are for sure making a winter nest with your hair.

    Gentle hugs are coming your way. Love Jody

  3. I love the thought of the squirrels using my hair as nesting fuzz... makes me smile. Just came back from getting my hair cut very short, helps with the transition. Since this chemo is new as far as track records of what happens when, it really is an unknown if I will definitely lose all of my hair... as long as I don't lose my mind, it's okay. I have adjusted better in the last few days. Priorities put things in order. Heart is always before hair in this very specialized dictionary...