I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isaiah 61:10).
The nurse told me the type of chemo treatments I’m having would cause my hair to fall out. She was fairly accurate in the timing. Two weeks after my first treatment, I noticed the beginning of the end of my hair. By Wednesday, I swiped handfuls of hair off the back of my head. I decided to shave it off rather than watch it fall out.
Surprisingly, I didn’t even cry while I cut my hair then ran clippers over my scalp. The prayers of all my family and friends kept me standing tall and brave at that time. Wednesday was a good day. I felt a sense of accomplishment and relief.
Thursday, however, all the expected emotions burst out of their cage and tumbled down my checks in the form of tears. Losing your hair because of chemo treatments is a bitter pill to swallow, even for men I’ve been told by some who’ve gone through it. Contrary to popular believe, the struggle is not so much about appearance and vanity.
The struggle stems from the outward sign of what’s happen inside my body. You see, other than the week of treatment, I don’t feel sick. I cannot even wrap my mind around the disease. But now … now that I’m bald, I can no longer live in the state of denial. Every time I look in the mirror, I face the monster living inside me.
As dismal as that all sounds, I realized I was not without a covering. I had received a wig from the American Cancer Society a week before my first treatment. My sisters gave me a beautiful straw hat. My younger daughter gave me a white straw hat. My older daughter crocheted me a hat. A friend also offered to crochet me a hat. One cannot have enough head coverings at a time like this. Although I adore my wig, hats cheer me up and help me feel good about my appearance when it’s just too hot to wear the wig. I’ll never have to step out in public or even in my own backyard feeling shamefully exposed thanks to all the love people have shown me by providing hats for me to adorn myself.
As grateful as I am for the hats, I rejoice even more in my salvation through Jesus the Messiah. When the monster I’m facing threatens to unleash my bitter emotions, I’m going to remember Jesus’ beautiful robe of righteousness covering me so that I can approach God’s throne without fear. I know He’ll change the bitter into better as I praise Him for His mercy, grace, and love.
How about you? How have you changed from bitter to better through your trials?
See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks
Cancer has opened my eyes to the moments. Each one precious. Never again is anything mundane. What could be mundane living in the playground God created? May God strengthen us daily on our cancer journeys. Love you my friend. Praying for you.
You’re so right, Elaine. Love and prayers back to you.
Brenda – thank you for being so transparent in your journey through this dreaded disease. Know that you are often in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you were closer so I could pray with you in person or buy you a meal or even a tea – anything to lift your spirits. Keep walking in God’s light. Much love, friend.
Thanks for your prayers and support, Sue. Love you too.
This is so precious! Brings tears as well. Thanks for writing your heart’s feelings. I’m continuing to pray for you. Love you, Kathy
Thanks for your prayers, Kathy.
Bravo, Brenda, for your attitude and for reminding each of us about our beautiful robes of righteousness.