I remember sitting in Cora's hospital room and meeting her oncologist for the first time. It was surreal. Just the day before I thought my daughter was suffering from a nagging ear infection and now I was listening to an oncologist tell me all about her cancer. I could hardly put it together that my daughter had cancer. I was completely overwhelmed to say the least. I had never heard of Neuroblastoma. I had so many questions yet I was still in such shock I could hardly put my thoughts together to ask them. As we talked about Cora's chemotherapy I do remember asking the oncologist if she would loose her hair. I dreaded the answer. In my mind cancer equaled loosing your hair. The oncologist was always so kind as he talked to us, but with his next words he confirmed my fear. Yes, although some children do not loose their hair during chemotherapy, there was a good chance that she could. All I could do was cry.
One of Cora's physical attributes that I just loved was her hair. I remember being so surprised when she was born by how much hair she had. Her hair was a very similar color to mine and she often had a little barrette on one side. While I know very well that our physical appearance does not define who we are, I HATED the idea of my baby girl loosing her hair. She probably would have been a cute bald baby, but I knew her already puffy face and bald head was going to make her look so sick. I didn't want my baby to be sick or look sick for that matter. The reality of her loosing her hair made everything else all the more real.
Cora began loosing her hair following her first and only round of chemotherapy. I remember seeing those first pieces of hair on her hospital crib and feeling so sad for Cora. But honestly, by that time the reality of how sick my baby was had sunk in. By this point we had been in the hospital for two weeks. Cora was on an oscillator and we were so concerned by her decreasing oxygen levels. I remember crying out to God all throughout the day and feeling so silly that I had even cared about her hair falling out. I remember begging on my knees for Cora to be healed. I told God that I didn't care if Cora ever had hair again, I just wanted to be able to hold her and play with her. I just wanted to be able to take my baby home.
As Cora's hair began to fall out, Joel and several of the boys in our families decided that if Cora was going to loose her hair they were going to shave their heads too. I wanted to "do" something too. As I sat by Cora's bedside I felt so helpless everyday. Moms are supposed to help and take care of their babies and there was nothing I could do. So, my sister and I decided that while we weren't brave enough to shave our heads we could grow our hair out and donate it to Locks of Love
Cora never lost enough of her hair to notice too much. Only her Mama would really notice. A few days after her hair started to fall out, Cora went to be with Jesus. We never got to see what our little girl would have looked like with a bald head.
After Cora died, my sister and I decided we would still grow our hair out in her honor. Locks of Love's mission is: to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. When you are dealing with childhood diseases and disorders your life is anything but normal. I love that the simple gift of my ponytail might bless a beautiful little girl who has lost her hair.
So can you guess what my big change is??
Saturday was haircutting day. My sister has been begging me to cut my hair for a few months now. Her hair grows faster, so I was a little behind her in length. I finally decided I could handle it...I was hoping it wasn't going to be too short though.
Here we are before we left. A last look at our long locks.
I made Anne go first. I told her that way I still had time to chicken out. She didn't like that, but agreed to go first anyway. Sometimes it pays to be the big sister.
Ten inches measured tip to tip is the minimum length needed for a hairpiece.
There was no turning back now.
My sister has super-thick hair. Look at that ponytail!
And here she is checking out her new look. Doesn't she look great?
Our stylist is a friend from high school. She always does such a great job. She has two sweet blonde headed little girls. They entertained us while we waited.
Okay, now it was my turn.
If we wouldn't have been doing this in honor of Cora, I might have chickened out. Just being honest.
Feeling those scissors cut through all those layers of hair is so weird.
And holding your ponytail in your hand is even more weird. I think at this point I was just praying that my hair wouldn't be too crazy short.
The last time I cut my hair really short was right before Cora was born. It was all pretty much one length though. I don't think I have ever cut my hair this short, especially in the back.
Of course Aimee made me look so stylish. I don't know why I even doubted.
I loved that I could do this with my sister. And I loved that we could do something little, in honor of Cora, to help another family that is hurting.
So, if you have long hair and are ready for a change, check out Locks of Love
. It really is fun...kind of like being on one of those makeover shows. How do I feel about my new short hair? I love how Aimee styled it, but it is definitely going to take some getting used to. Spending less time with my blow dryer has been fabulous though!