Bald is beautiful

It's the coldest day of fall, the wind sweeping through our little valley and stripping maples of scarlet and cottonwoods of silver. My hair is fading fast, patchy, itchy, painful to the touch. It wakes me up at night when I turn to the other side. One doctor says it's stress, another radiation damage and burns, another says it's just "idiopathic". All agree we won't know until I shave it off so they can see my scalp.

And so, unable to face another shower through which I grit teeth and lose handfuls more of hair, I ask Aaron if it's the right time. He smiles big and says yes. Grabs the clipper set and gathers the children in the kitchen. As he starts to shave, the relief is immediate. First a mohawk (just for the heck of it), then a military buzz cut. Kids clamor to feel it each time. The patches of loss are evident in the buzz cut and I begin to believe deeper that this is the right decision.

And we can immediately see what the problems is - red burned patches all over my scalp. The entire top of my head is one big reddened sore. Through piles of hair I didn't want to move much, the betamethasone cream prescribed for the burns hasn't been working over the past 3 weeks. Now hairless, I can apply it straight to skin and as I do, the burning quells for the first time in months and my scalp actually feels weightless again.

And so I come to a new stepping stone on my cancer journey. Three years after diagnosis, I finally lose my hair to cancer. I empathize deeply with the patients in my past who've cried through chemo and radiation and finally begged to have their head shaved. The relief is unfathomable. And bald is beautiful. My husband grins even larger, and kisses the soft top of my naked head. Says it's beautifully round. That being bald brings out my eyes and my lips and makes me even more beautiful to him than before. More compliments than I've received in a single day in my entire marriage.

To think that God knows every one of those strands of hair now cut off, knows how it will grow back, and loves me, like my husband, however I look...I have no worries. Just relief. I am so glad it's over with and so glad it feels better. God is good to me.

Pretty, pretty please, 
don't you ever, ever feel 
Like you're less than
less than perfect 
Pretty, pretty please,
if you ever, ever feel 
Like you're nothing, 
know you're perfect to me