Spirit wanted me to begin writing again today. So here goes.
It has been six weeks since my horrific experience with chemotherapy. I was feeling pretty good health wise, all things considered. I was very optimistic about my plans to work with a naturopath. I was even happier that I still had my hair!
I had prepared myself for losing my hair the best that I could. My hairdresser gave me a new short hairstyle. My friend Ann dropped by the house with a bag full of hats and scarves. She took the time to show me how to tie the scarf on my head, for which I was grateful.
But, here I was! Six weeks in and still with all my hair. Woo hoo! I was feeling confident that I would soon be returning all of Ann’s scarves.
One day, I was sitting in my naturopath’s waiting room, absentmindedly thumbing through magazines. I looked up and smiled hello at this pretty lady that just walked in and sat down across from me. She seemed a bit withdrawn so I let her be and did not engage her in conversation. I get it. Recovering from a serious illness is as much an inward journey as it is an external one.
She had a large attractive over sized bag that she placed on the floor beside her. Other than admiring her bag I didn’t pay much attention until I looked up to see her casually picking up a handful of hair off her clothes and dropping them in to the bag.
Like many of you, my mom taught me not to stare. But I just couldn’t help myself! She was just so nonchalant about it all. Every few minutes she would pick off another handful of hair and drop it in the bag. I was just fascinated!
I was so impressed with her attitude. She seemed to take it all in stride. She wasn’t embarrassed. She didn’t seem to care what anyone thought. And, okay I admit it, I was secretly grateful that I was not going through what she was. I still had my hair.
All that changed the very next day. Maybe I jinxed myself! I woke up the following morning with hair all over my pillow. I tried to convince myself that my hair follicles were just weak from the chemotherapy and only some of my hair was falling out due to a restless night.
That lasted about as long as it took to have a shower. Within minutes I was standing in water up to my ankles. I looked down and saw all this hair, my hair, plugging the shower drain!
I was in shock. The tears welled up in my eyes. No! No! No! I was in the clear. It has been six weeks. I was supposed to be in the clear.
I walked into the kitchen, crying to my mom. After a few minutes of enjoying my own personal pity party, I sat up straight and wiped my tears away.
I began to think about the wonderful gift that Spirit had given me just the day before. That’s right. The woman in the waiting room with the over sized bag. I thought about how she took it all in stride. How prepared she was. How she didn’t give a fig what anyone else might thinking. She quite simply inspired me.
I thank God for the gift of this stranger. Although I never saw her again, she stayed with me through the loss of all my hair. She gave me strength.
And I did lose all of my hair. Surprisingly, most of my eyebrows and eyelashes remained intact. But, other than that, in just a few short days I was soon as naked as the day I was born. Everywhere.
But, I survived. I learned how to tie scarves so that they stayed on my smooth as silk bald head. I even went out in public. And I was okay. I survived thanks to the gift of a stranger.
It was exciting when my hair began growing back in. It was so soft. Soft as a baby seal. It is a wonder my new hair didn’t fall out with all the people that wanted to rub their hands on my head. Even my naturopath would rub his hands on my head!
I can honestly say that I don’t believe I would have managed my hair loss as well as I did without this latest Earth Angel that crossed my path. One just never knows where or when Spirit will drop a small miracle in to our lives. Or, maybe more importantly, when we will be that small miracle for someone else.
As a side note, I was not consciously aware of this gift I had been given until I started writing this blog post about hair loss. It humbled me. And I am grateful for Spirit’s impeccable timing as always.