We’re all survivors … I truly believe this … and I honour you all. But today I’m celebrating my cancer survival and remembering to embrace every single moment of every day–all 1440 minutes! The following are the thoughts I wrote in my journal on the day I lost my hair around 8 years ago…I didn’t change a word.
I was losing my hair, and there was no way around it; no u-turns, no bypass routes, no options but barren and naked. I sat at the table behind the house in a grey world. Grey grass, grey sun, grey trees, grey dog, grey toenails. I was pretty sure the nail lady had painted them pink just last week but nope. they were grey. It was sunny but very windy, the kind of wind before you hear Lloyd Robertson on the evening news telling about a tornado that touched down somewhere just hours away. The kind of wind that messes your perfect hair. But I didn’t need wind …cancer was doing a fine job of making a mess.
I pulled out a chunk of hair the size of a pigtail, the tug no stronger than a baby’s pull; and released it to the wind. One side was almost bare now, I’m sure I looked like a freak but there were no mirrors, just my imagination. I couldn’t believe how much hair there was …. apparently God knew exactly how many. Kim: 4,765,323 hairs. He probably also knew whether I’d be alive in 6 months. Kim: Here! He could take my hair, but I wasn’t giving up on the other! Not without a fight! I felt bad that I didn’t want anyone here with me while I did the pulling. The kids were probably peeking out the windows, feeling sad and guilty and all those other grey emotions that roll over you when you live in a grey world. But I had to do this alone, like it was no big deal. An audience would make this whole mess feel too much like a big deal. And I didn’t think I could handle that. along with cancer.
I brushed away the final few strands and sat staring at the piles of hair on my lap and scattered around my feet. I needed to cry but was too weak. The whole world would see me naked, the real me. But there was no time for those thoughts. I needed to live. I wanted so many more tomorrows to make up for all the waste, all the time I had squandered. I was here today and for now that was enough. I would fight this monster, grow back my hair and take back my life. Starting today.
God bless all those fighting today. And all those who have bravely fought and lost the battle. My Mom. Katharine, my sister-in-law. And so many more. God bless the survivors. Me. Katherine, my sister. And so many more. Cancer must be beaten. And today must be lived. Cause it’s really all we have.