Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Chemotherapy Recovery: “I thought it was a toupee!”

Part of my recovery is an act of defiance against the 'bald by chemo' look. With permission from my spouse and congregation, I am joining the growing ranks of people who grow their hair long in order to donate to cancer survivors. Last night after offering the invocation at the Vienna Town Council, I informed the council of the 'shaggy' look's purpose. I was unexpectedly and pleasantly surprised at the laughter and camaraderie that flowed. As I made my way to sit down, a good friend who has served the Town as it's Public Information Officer came to me with a hug and said, "I thought it was a toupee!. The last time I saw you, you were bald!" She then had to pull on it just to confirm to her own mind that it was all natural. She also had to quiz me on how I 'really' was. A month ago at the Potomac District Council, I had a similar experience and another friend had to come up and pull on it just to confirm that it was the real thing. After a Vienna/Tyson's Regional Chamber of Commerce meeting, another good friend, came and told me, "When I saw your hair, I thought to myself, "That is an act of defiance against cancer". I affirmed his discernment. It gives me cause for chuckles, and provides a source of humor for me as I slowly drifted off to sleep. My older and younger brothers are not so blessed and are slowly losing their head of hair. My peers are growing more and more grey headed. I am thankful that only once have I dyed my hair. That was as a senior in high school, I auditioned for and played the lead role in "Dracula" (another story), and my brown hair was dyed black. Other than that, even though I get good natured ribbing from friends, who think otherwise, it's all natural (or maybe a spiritual blessing). I currently have two friends in the midst of chemotherapy, who are losing their hair to the treatment. When mine came out, it was the darkest few hours of the entire season of chemotherapy for me. They seem to be taking it better than I, and though the 'shaggy' look is high maintenance, I grow it in faith and defiance against a disease that has come to way too many people. By God's grace I am receiving life abundant on the other side of chemotherapy, and for me it includes 'abundant' hair. May all who are in the midst of treatments receive God's abundant grace to keep moving forward through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps. 23).

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