… to step outside myself. What did you see when you first saw this picture? I see a beautiful daughter, Hannah, that could care less that her beautiful mother, Amanda, doesn’t have long flowing hair. I see a daughter that doesn’t care that her mother may not have her trademark eyebrows she had a few months prior. I see a daughter who plain and simple doesn’t care how her mother looks. She just cares that her mother is still here, surviving. She cares that her mother went through hell and is now coming out the other side. She cares that her mother fought and continues to fight to be here. We all have battles, but the battle to live is one I hope you never face.
I don’t think I could appreciate it at the time, but truly, our kids don’t care how we look. It was really hard on my children to have a mom with no hair for the first few weeks. I looked different than all the other moms. They weren’t used to it and honestly neither was I. How can you be? One day you have long blonde hair and then a few weeks later it is falling out in clumps all over the house in order for you to live? Here I am the day I decided to shave my head. One last picture I thought.
The day I shaved my head, however, was the day I took control of my cancer. I didn’t wait for it to control me. I shaved my head, cried, and got over it. I learned how to wrap a scarf on my head. I bought a few cute hats and a few Boho Bandeaus and TA-DA – awesome new “hair”. This is my first time posting pictures of me with no hair. Gulp.
It took cancer for me to meet some of my now dearest friends. It took my world falling apart. It took a double mastectomy, 5 months of chemo, my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes falling out (yes, they fall out too). It took a few extra hospital stays due to a weak immune system. It took my skin having third degree burns from radiation. It would have been a lot easier and much more fun to meet them at a picnic. But would I do it all over again to have the opportunity to be here writing about it? In a heartbeat. This is my first time posting pictures of me with no hair. Gulp. Here is me. No hair, no eyelashes and only a few remaining eyebrows.
The crazy thing about having cancer at a young age (I was diagnosed at 36) is you have so many other things going on that you can’t take a second to appreciate the journey of it all. Of course I have days where I wanted to crawl in a hole and not talk to a single soul. That being said, I have had many days of talking to my “cancer friends” where I am in tears because I am laughing so hard at the things we talk about. These friendships have formed when we have been at rock bottom. We have learned to “Live Happy” in even the worst of situations.
May you never be one of my “cancer friends” – but if you are one, may we always appreciate our journey because in the end, it brought us together. Take a second to listen to the song “I Believe” by Christina Perri. I dedicate it to all of my cancer friends. Have yourself a good cry. Then pick yourself up and “Live Happy“.