Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hair Donation

In Feb of 2011 my daughter posted on Facebook that she wanted to grow her hair out but that it was hard because she also likes it short.  Since I like her hair a bit longer (it's a pixie cut) I gave her a challenge and said that I would grow mine out and donate it if she would at least get hers to shoulder length.  Some of us (cough cough me) followed through and some of us (that would be Kate) cut their hair like three times over the past year.  And its been about 4 different colors.  Have I mentioned that I have virgin hair?  At 42, I have never colored, dyed, highlighted, streaked or done anything to my hair.  And I only have about 5 grey hairs.  Some people are blessed with height and weight others of us are blessed with good hair.

So began my hair growing process.  It was about shoulder length at the time and so I occasionally had the split ends trimmed and got the bangs shaped but otherwise I let it go.  As it got longer, it was nice to pull it in a pony tail or clip it up on top with a comb and I pulled out the ol hot rollers again.  The longer it got, the more people commented on how pretty it was (not bragging or anything).  I looked into hair donation and decided that instead of Locks for Love that I would go with the Pantene Great Lengths Foundation.  There were two reasons behind my decision first, I was getting anxious to cut it and Pantene takes 8 inches while LFL needs 12.  The second is that LFL does most of their wigs for kids with alopecia and Pantene makes wigs solely for adult women with cancer.  Not that I have anything against the kids.  I have a friend who's daughter has alopecia and lost her hair in 7th grade.  I just felt that my heart was with the adult cancer patient.  My plan was to cut it on my 42nd birthday- which is Halloween.

Then dad got cancer.  He found out in August.  I still planned to donate for my birthday because he would be fine- sick from the chemo but fine.  Then dad died on October 27th.  I didn't really want to donate that week so I thought about doing it for dad's birthday on December 1st but one of my co-workers told me to cut it in the spring.  She just thought that would be good.

The very last conversation I had with dad was on Sunday the 23rd.  He was feeling pretty sick after his first dose of chemo on the 21st.  He had been great on the 22nd.   They had given him some steroids so all the aches from him joints was gone and he wasn't at all nauseous.  I told him I was making a turkey on Sunday and asked if he wanted some.  He said yes, and then invited all my mom's siblings over and told me what else to make.  I was a bit irritated but glad I made it.  On Sunday, though, he was too sick to come over for the turkey and mom was going out to a play with her sibs so I told her I would go over and take dad dinner.  I took the turkey over and my sister Em also came over to wash his sheets and help him out.  He ate about five bites of food and said it just didn't taste good but he was really thirsty.  So I got him two glasses of his favorite Crystal Light.

We noticed that his feet were really swollen so Em and I decided to get some Epsom salt and soak his feet.  While she was in the bathroom getting water, he said I wonder when I will lose all this?  And then he rubbed his head and his beard.  "I guess I'm going to lose everything, including my eyebrows and eyelashes."  I told him it would be OK we would get him a nice warm hat.  I clearly remember that I was standing by the closet  trying to get the oxygen tank to be less noisy and looked at him and thought "his poor little body can't take much more."  And it couldn't.  I left shortly after because I needed to get home to help Keegan with his homework.  Maybe I should have stayed longer.  Emily and Ramon stayed about another hour before they left and mom got home soon after that.  I called on Mon and Tues to check on him.  Mom just said he was really sick and sleepy.  On Wed we got the call that he was going to the hospital and late that night we got the call to get up to the hospital ASAP.  By the time I got there, he was too sick to talk.  He told Kate that he loved her but then he didn't say another word until he died 11 hrs later.  He kind of made us all happy that he didn't lose his hair.  Funny how that is so important to someone when they go through chemo.

I ended up making my appointment for April 21st because it was a Saturday and my sister Em also wanted to donate hers so we could both go that day.  It was about 3 days before we went in that I realized that we were making our donation 6 months to the day of dads fatal chemo treatment.  (Most people don't die from chemo but he was already immunosupressed from the heart transplant so the two together caused sepsis)

Before the cut.  I ended up with 12 inches when it was pulled straight

The back- I like to leave the back alone and not straighten.  Just crunch it and go!

Front shot

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely tribute to your dad! And I love your bob. I'm quite a fan of bobs.