the big shave
In my regular day life, if someone were to tell me that they'd done "the big shave," I'd automatically think they meant downstairs. You know?
I don't mean that. I think that the chemo is going to take care of downstairs just fine on it's own. Already my downstairs is thinning, though wouldn't you know it, my legs are just as hairy as ever. I've been looking forward to lovely silky chemo-smooth legs, but it seems like it might be a while yet. In the meantime we are continuing to sport some happy, hairy Yukon Yeti legs.
I digress. The Big Shave came to our house a week ago and scooped up Mountain Dad at the same time. The kids and I had been planning the shave-Mum's-head party for a while. I've been trying so hard to not keep anything secret from them, but also not allow any of this process to be too alarming or upsetting. Each step is just another thing we need to accept and bend ourselves to. And so, in anticipation of losing my hair we've been reading Nowhere Hair, which admittedly makes me get a bit teary every time I read it, but helps normalise this process for the kids. And we've been discussing at great length exactly how we will cut my hair.
So when I last washed my hair and found myself pulling more than normal amounts of hair through my fingers, I figured it was the moment to do the pro-active shave. Mountain Dad made it home from Calgary just in time. The neighbours dropped by flowers. Adelaide tied my hair into lots of ponytails and then she, Shea and my Mum chopped them all off. Lox, my little man of routines and rhythm and not a big fan of change, observed the whole process rather soberly and halfway through piped up with,
"Mama? I fink I might cry."
Gran scooped him up to comfort him and then started crying herself.
Adelaide comforted us all by commenting rather matter-of-factly,
"Don't worry Lox, Mum might look different but the love is the same." And then she resumed chopping away merrily at my hair before wielding the razor with glee.
My Mountain Man, who I love for his shaggy scruffiness, sat down to do his next. Neither of us have ever had shaved heads before. And I think we don't look too bad at all!
I don't love it though, especially now that most of the stubble has fallen out and I'm left with a smattering of grey; thin and patchy. I look very much like a cancer patient. Which I know I am, but I certainly don't identify with. It's hard to pretend that everything is normal, when every time I look in the mirror I see the new me.
And so, Dear Blog, I'm going to try something, in a bid to allow that this cancer-process is a big part of our lives, but not an all-consuming part. To acknowledge that we have a new-normal in the Newluks house and that it brings with it some good, as well as toughness, I'm giving myself a challenge that I've been toying with for a while. Or, as my counsellor would say, I'm compartmentalizing again.
I'm going to try to record the things that crop up this year, all the messy, the blue, the glorious things that occur and I'm going to rate it as either a PRO or a CON of this cancer thing. Black and white, I know, but I like compartmentalizing. Not sure what I'll do with the things that lie in between, but why not have a stab at it? My counsellor has also told me to ensure I record more positives in my journalling than negative, so I figure this is just following her advice.
My challenge; can I record more PRO's than CON's this year?
Of course I know I'll win my own challenge as I can twist any old thing into being what I want it to be, but it's a fun idea nonetheless.
PRO#1 I get to shave my head, which is something I'd always fantasised about, but never had the guts to do. Turns out, I have a sweet looking shaved head! As does this Mountain Man of mine.
I don't think either of us will keep this do, but we're enjoying it for the novelty.