Friday, July 31, 2015

owning our story





I feel I'm being tested on "loving myself through the process."  Quite honestly?  I'd like to turn and run.  Yeah, so much for bravery.  But do I really have a choice?  So this is a bit of my week last week, of learning how to "own my story."

I was groggy from all the pre-meds for chemo, when Amy arrived at my front door the other day.  I had just finished round 2 of chemo, and was chilled.  So I had plunked my foggy self down in the front yard, soaking in the sun.  And look what she brought?  A pillow, her mother Mary made, from one of my t-shirts!  See the "Team Vicky," on the boxing gloves?  My heart swells, every time I look at it.  Plus the cute bag?  I can use it for chemo.  Thank you, Mary!  Thank you, Amy!  Love, love, love! 


But there were more surprises too.  I've put some in my special "pink" corner of my room already, but here are a few more.  Thankful to Jenni who brought me some of her sweet mom's things, and treats and snacks for the kids, too.  I'm honored she would share her mother's hairpiece with me, and will see if I can alter it to have it fit.  (I seem to have a big head- literally.) And the beautiful pashmina, with Hockey Fights Cancer, on it.  The shawl is soft, warm and fits so nicely over my shoulders- thank you Bridget for always thinking of me! 




I wasn't up to attending the Blue Angels air show this past weekend.  So we drove to a parking ramp and went to the top level.  Rick got to shoot pictures, and I got to sit in the air conditioned car at the same time.





Even the Blue Angels were speaking my language.



And so it began...  the morning I got up and washed my hair in the sink... and tried to comb it.

But chunk after hunk after gob of hair came out in my comb.  It blanketed the back of my shirt, the floor of the bathroom, my pillow, and everywhere I went.  

Tears streamed, and vulnerability grew.  I was a wreck!  This second time of hair loss, was no easier than the first.  

And my stylist?  Was swamped this day.  

So I reached out to my friend Cindy, who graciously agreed to shave my head. 



So Anne, (on the far left), took me to Cindy, (in the middle).


And my sweet friends, helped me cope with an emotionally filled day, with all kinds of treats and compassion.  It was not only my first time of shaving my hair all the way down, it was Cindy's first time doing it for a friend, as well. Together, was the best way through it.



The floor all around the chair, covered with the last remnants of my hair.


Which means...

Stella is back! She is more red than I recall.  But still sassy.  And hides that vulnerability a bit, so I don't have to stare it in the face all the time.  

Even Dr. Panwalkar didn't notice for awhile.  But then when we were sitting, face to face, he peered down, and looked straight into my face and said, "That's not your hair!  But it looks great!"  

His compassion oozes through his words, and I felt seen.  He sees me.  

So I'm adjusting.  Trying to own my story, while being sensitive to those around me.


The boys, who don't like my "bare" head just yet,  and avert their gaze if I forget to cover up.  Or the poor person, who comes knocking on the door and I rush, then pause, my hand running across the bristly roundness of my head.  Did they see?  Do they know?  

Does it matter?  

It's just part of my story... and I'm learning how to love all the way through it.






32 comments:

  1. You are brave to share the raw parts of yourself and your story with us here. I can only imagine how challenging it would be to lose your hair again. And it probably doesn't feel good to hear people say that Stella looks good when you'd rather have your own hair on your head. (It really does look good.) Hugs from GA.

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    Replies
    1. Thankful for your grace-filled words, Jenn. Its another step along the journey, and one I'm working on moving past again. Some just hit us on a personal level, more than others. Hugs back to you.

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  2. Replies
    1. Jackie, and Susan, seeing those words from you means more than you could ever know. Love to both of you~

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    2. Yes, yes, YES! ...to what Jackie said. :)

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  3. Stella packs some va va va voom! Love the attitude. I'm just so sorry you need to call her in for reinforcement.

    Your story is brave and true, not to mention uplifting. Thanks for saying so many important things, Vicky. Love and prayers continuing ...

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    1. Thankful for you, Susan, and how you in turn, uplift and encourage me. Love to you~

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  4. My eyes wouldn't budge past "I felt seen. He sees me." I had to remind myself to breathe again, after I read those words.

    What we're all longing for.

    You are so beautiful. In every way. Thank you for the gift of your words and your heart.

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    Replies
    1. Julie,

      YES! It is what we long for I think- to be seen.

      Its your precious words that fill me. So grateful for your grace filled words, always! Thankful for the gift of you!

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  5. you look absolutely beautiful. That's not even an attempt to make you feel better, you really do.

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  6. You are filled with beauty,Vicky. Inside and out. Your strength continues to inspire me. And, my thoughts and prayers are with you always. Sending love and warm hugs.

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    Replies
    1. Eileen, always a pleasure to read your warm and encouraging words. So thankful for you! Sending love and warm hugs right back to you~

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  7. Ah....Stella is getting her groove back.

    You look great.

    Also from Brené Brown's book, The Gifts of Imperfection - She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do was move forward and make the whole beautiful. - Terri St. Cloud

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    Replies
    1. Love that, Kass- great reference. And the quote? A true gem- speaking to me right now. "Move forward and make the whole beautiful," Amen to that!

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  8. Replies
    1. Thank you- very kind of you to say!

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  9. You look great with Stella. Stella or no Stella your beauty comes from a deep place inside. Nothing could dim your light ! Fight on courageous lady ! Praying for you.

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    Replies
    1. Maryellen- your grace-filled words encourage me today. Thankful for your prayers as well!

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  10. No one ever really believes it when someone says this, but I'm going to say it anyway. You are too hard on yourself. You are doing more than anyone could expect. Hugs

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    1. Thank you, Joan. There is a level of scrutiny that comes with putting yourself out there- and yes, sometimes I think I am harder on myself for that very reason. But I am hopefully, moving past this step in the journey, and will try to be more gentle with myself. Thank you for sharing :)

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  11. Does it seem silly....? I only see Vicky! I am assuming Stella is the wig..but I so SEE YOU! I don't see Stella :) you are a utter inspiration...if I was to loose my hair..I know I would cry..and feel so vulnerable and grasp for anything to make me feel like a girl and pretty! I am hard on myself as is..... oh my...I can just see that being such a huge test for me. I just love you and your words that inspire! as always praying!!! xoxox

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  12. You are beautiful no matter what dear Vicky.

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  13. Oh my dear sweet friend,
    It is one thing to know that losing your hair is a probability, yet it's entirely different to face the reality when you look in the mirror. I am so glad that you were surrounded by friends who shared your tears and vulnerability. Owning this chapter isn't easy, yet my prayer is that the same powerful medicine that took your hair is also kicking the rear end of those nasty cancer cells that are making you sick.

    I so get the different looks and people wondering. At the start of every quarter, when new students see my left hand and some look away, I too feel vulnerable. And I get your boys being a bit uncomfortable seeing their beloved Mom stripped bare.

    Yet what Nolan and Colton and all of us are learning is what it is really like to "fight like a girl", to tackle everything you can do to get well, for you, for them. And the words on this blog post about your beauty...don't you dare imagine we are just saying that. Your courage and love and guts and grace...they shine. While we don't for a second minimize the shock of losing your hair, and so wished it hadn't happened, Stella is your badge of courage, my dear friend.

    You are a warrior and I love you so much, no matter what. Always!
    Your soul sis
    Linda

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  14. I'm so glad you found a way to attend the blue angels show. How fun!

    I have to say that the thought of losing my hair for a second time is much bigger than the first for whatever reason, and I am so sorry you have to go through it. However, if you have to lose it, Stella is an excellent stand-in because you look awesome with her on!!

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  15. It was heartbreaking to see the pictures! But I know that God only gives you as much as He thinks you can handle. And you are doing superbly. Not only do you sound as positive as ever you look gorgeous as ever. With God's choices blessings over you always- Tranquility

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  16. Dearest Vicky,
    It is almost 6am here in Spokane and I woke up thinking about you. I am sending you buckets and buckets of love and hugs and prayers. I'm imagining that you may not being feeling well
    and I just wanted to know that we all love you so much and we are holding you close to our
    hearts, dear friend.

    Love you to the moon and back...always!
    Linda

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it's early. Should read... be feeling well. More hugs and prayers!

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  17. Sliding in very late but I know you know my mom has, quite literally, consumed my life the last three weeks. Taking my first day off tomorrow but had to drop in and catch up and seeing the pile of hair on the floor makes me wince for you. I know people can say it's "just hair" but it sure does a lot to make us feel like us. Fortunately, you are beautiful and nothing can dim that light. And you make Stella look good, friend.

    On to read more about where you are right now.........XOXO

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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