June 9, 2017
Dear Friends and Family,
June 4th was National Cancer Survivors Day. At MD Anderson, you’re a survivor the moment you receive a cancer diagnosis. Caregivers are survivors too. I did not know that this day of celebration existed until I saw posts onto Facebook and Twitter. This day made me grateful for my future and thankful for my amazing support system-my anchors!
The rest of my week revolved around my hair! My hair was falling out by the handful, especially when I washed it. Starting each day with hair all over the tub was unsettling. My husband suggested washing my hair at night, but I like taking a shower in the morning. My coworkers could not tell that my hair was falling out and thinning, but I could. I was more than ready to get my hair cut! On Thursday, my mom and I went to Artemis Hair Studio to get my hair cut and wig fitted. Kitsa, the hair stylist, cut my hair first while it was in a ponytail so that I could donate it. I will mail my hair to Children with Hair Loss. The requirements are that the hair must be a minimum of 8 inches, clean, and dry. They also accept color treated hair. I am so excited that I will be helping children in need with my hair donation!
Next, Kitsa cut my hair really short, so that the garment would fit over my head. The garment fitting went well. My garment is made from real hair and the color of my garment was perfect. When I saw my garment a few weeks ago it had a red color to it, but Kitsa gladly fixed it. She fit the garment onto my head and showed me how to place the garment on my head according to where the tape was placed. She also added layers to my garment. Also, she styled the garment with a round brush. She told me that you never blow dry or style the garment while it is on your head. The garment can be washed every 2 to 3 weeks with sulfate free shampoo. I decided to name my garment “Gloria”. The song “Gloria” was playing on the way home from my garment consultation appointment and it seemed fitting. “Gloria” made her appearance at the Jimmy Buffett concert.
I was very pleased with my garment experience. Kitsa’s passion is helping women with hair loss due to cancer. She has helped women like me for the past 8 years. She made me feel comfortable and had tissues on hand when my mom and I needed them. Hair loss due to cancer treatment is an emotional experience and Kitsa was very supportive and comforting every step of the way. Kitsa’s staff are also very welcoming, helpful, and efficient.
I found an excellent article written by MD Anderson that explains how to support a friend with hair loss.
My Chemo Anchor this week is TW. TW has been so supportive through this entire process and I ❤️ him for that. He is the voice of reason and listens (or at least I think he is listening, LOL) to me when I go round and round with my thoughts and feelings about my journey. Today is treatment #5 and National Donald Duck Day! Donald Duck is hiding in the second picture.
Anchored in HOPE,