Monday, September 8, 2014

The Beanie Brigade

In three days I will undergo my third chemotherapy treatment. My time since the last treatment has been spent trying to come to terms with the fact that there have been more bad days than good, and that this scenario will likely continue.

Two days following the last chemo I decided to do away with my swiftly disappearing hair. I can't think of anything more disconcerting than watching your hair fall out rapidly and in abundance. I know there are men out there who understand what that's like, but that type of baldness is a progression, not an instantaneous event like what happens when your hair follicles decide to revolt en masse as a response to poisonous agents coursing through your body. To say it was disconcerting is an understatement; watching your skin melt off your body is the only worse thing I can think of.

So in response, I decided to do the cut/buzz: My remaining hair was chopped off, and the rest buzzed down to fuzz until the chemicals decide to eradicate it entirely.

As a knee-jerk reaction, I went to the Web site of my favorite department store and created a wish list of knit beanie hats that I wanted to purchase to cover my bald (not to mention freezing) head. I have many Facebook friends who are into fashion, accessories, perfume and the like, so I made the list public and shared it on my page.

What happened next came as a complete shock to me: a group of friends decided to purchase most of the hats on the list. In addition, one other friend sent me a selection of hats, a scarf and other goodies just because. I was awestruck by the outpouring of love and generosity these friends displayed; some of whom only know me online, or met me only briefly in real life. The day all the hats arrived was one of the good ones, and I will remember it always. In my former life, I would have been the beanie-buyer; now, I am the beanie recipient. It is an interesting role to fill, and from a spiritual perspective, it makes me feel grateful, and well-loved.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I've been knocked around a bit by people I thought loved me and cared about me. I used to call those people "family". Now, my "Beanie Brigade" is my family, because they joined forces from all over the country to lift my spirits and make me feel better. Going forward, my poisoned hair follicles will be fashionably covered in love, and some very snazzy hats.

My love and thanks to all of you.


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