Cancer – It’s Personal!

Most people have a cause they support. Mine is cancer and it’s personal. This disease has stolen so many lives including a few friends and family member. It’s no wonder I support charities for this cause and try to participate in events like the Shavathon to mention one.

I remember my gran’s last few months before the disease claimed her life. She had lung cancer and it had spread to her brain. I’d go visit her and she would embrace me in a bear hug and we’d chat for a while before I’d excuse myself and visit with my cousins. After a while I’d return to her bedside and she would embrace me in another bear hug and say: “Hello my child. When did you arrive?” We would have the same conversation of minutes before and I’d humour her by giving the same replies and not remind her that we’d covered it already. It was disturbing at first and very sad because by then we knew that she wouldn’t be with us for much longer. For kicks I’d perform the whole exercise a few times to get the same response from her. It was very funny though and I still laugh whenever I think about it. It remained my fondest memory of her and sort of banished all the horrible realities of that time period. I still feel that embrace.

Last year I decided to shave my head again only to have my husband tell me that he didn’t think it was such a great idea. In his own words: “You’re not the girl you used to be.” I could not wrap my head around what he was actually trying to tell me but was certain that he’d insulted me. Men say one thing and us women hear ten other things. Turns out that he just didn’t want me to shave. He’d gotten used to me with long hair. Needless to say that statement landed him in the dog box while I still went ahead and shaved. Ok, I only had the side of my head shaved. It looked like I was sporting the Rihanna hairdo which got me some Cool Mom votes from my kids and their friends.

A few months on and still not impressed with my half baked attempt I grabbed a pair of scissors and started cutting my hair. I’m an all or nothing kind of gal and hair does grow back after all. It was also done to show my support to someone dear to me who is still fighting the disease. The kids were horrified. I remember my youngest (then 4yo) running outside shouting at my husband: “Daddy you have to come quick! Your wife is catching on nonsense!” Next came the hair machine and within minutes it was all gone. Not a particularly smart move for winter, but hey impulse does not make appointments.

In the last year three people we know have passed away from cancer. It seems as though my friend will be losing her battle as well. Another of my friends have been diagnosed with breast cancer just a few months ago and is currently receiving treatment. A mastectomy is inevitable and that will be done before the end of the year. Having to witness her go from utter shock to denial, distress, despair and desperation is one of the hardest things. You see she’s a strong woman with an joyful soul but cancer has momentarily stripped her bare. This is the harsh reality of it all and that is why I make my support for the cause personal.

At the rate this disease is going I guess I’ll be permanently bald. This time though I’m growing my hair long enough so that I may donate it for a possible wig again in future. I’m also gearing up for at least week’s worth of stubble kisses followed by a few weeks of my husband resembling a 60’s porn star with his moustache for Movember.


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