Monday was the day…the day I had been anticipating since after my first chemo treatment. The day I was, in some ways, dreading the most.
My hair started falling out in handfuls. Something I knew was going to happen and knew I couldn’t control. I heard from some that they didn’t lose all their hair, so I was holding on to a little hope, yet I couldn’t stop the progression of what I was facing.
By Tuesday when I showered I thought I was going to look in the mirror and see myself with hair in some places and not in others. As I gained some courage and looked in the mirror, I drew a sigh of relief that I still had hair on my head!
I carefully finished getting ready for a meeting and hated the way I looked. As my wonderful husband gave me words of encouragement, told me how beautiful I looked to him and hugged me through my tears, I knew it was time to just pull the bandaid from the soar. I needed to shave off the hair I had left.
It was Tuesday morning, I began reading my email, and there was a Lenten verse from Matthew 16:24.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, If any of you want to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
If I want to be His follower, I must turn from my selfish ways… I must take up my cross and follow Him. I knew that being so focused on my looks was part of that selfishness that I needed to turn from. I needed to take up this cross and follow Him.
As my daughter went through the typical hurts that girls go through in high school, I made her a wall hanging of 1 Peter 3:3-4
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
So, as I prayed that I could see myself with eyes that God sees me, I drove to a dear friends house and she helped me walk through this next step on the journey. She helped me take off the hair I had left and fixed me up with a new look. The look that I am sporting today as I continue down this breast cancer journey.
As I drove home, my tears turned from sorrow to joy. I am so grateful for the community of family, friends and support that I have walking with me. Each step I take, even when the cross feels too heavy to bear, is always lighter when you are surrounded with love.