Blonde is back …

Dear Ones,

First, let me thank those who have responded to my last post and shared their concern about my mom.  She is at home with my dad who cares for her.  My sis and brothers are close and hospice visits twice a week at this point.  Though my mom has not gained any weight or made any progress with cognition, she eats occasionally and seems generally content for which we are most grateful.  And the family is at peace as we wait and watch and pray at this end-of-life vigil.  Thanks to all who care and pray.

On a less somber note, I am happy to report that “the Blonde is back.”  Yes, my hair has grown out enough for me to see my colorist a couple of weeks back and get rid of that nasty, nasty red color and bring back the blonde!   Thankfully, she was able to bring in blonde highlights and to use a lighter brown color to help cover the rest of the red.  When I looked in the mirror at her shop, I saw Cathie Young looking back at me for the first time in a long, long time.  Praise the Lord and bang the tambourine!

I’ve blogged before that for a woman with cancer, the whole hair thing is such a big deal.  Yes, it’s true – most of us would rather lose our breasts than our hair.  Since February 2012, I’ve watched my head go from shaved to bald and to stay bald until about August of last year when a weird little crop of patchy dark grey “kitty fur” appeared.  That “kitty fur” was just plain weird so Philip shaved it off in the garage one Saturday afternoon and a new growth of thin very dark brown hair began to sprout.  By December my head was covered with this kind of sparse, very dark, very curly hair which was not at all like I’d had before.

By February’s surgery, even though my wig looked great, wearing it every day had become uncomfortable.  With hair underneath, the wig shifted around and felt scratchy which it didn’t when I was bald.  So my reconstruction surgery in February was the time to “come out” with my new, though albeit still unattractive hair.  My attempt to have my hair colorist take my new crop of hair from dark, dark brown to a lighter, softer brown resulted in the disaster of my hair turning immediately and profoundly brilliant orange!  My, that was lovely.  (NOT!)  Two dye jobs later, I had to live with auburn red hair for two-plus months until the blonde could be put back in.  Not me — SO not me!

So here’s the deal:  I’ve had several folks compliment me on my “courage” in the whole cancer storm.  Friends, I have to be honest.  There is only one time in the whole 18 month cancer journey when I’ve been courageous:  and that was leaving my house with red hair!  No kidding!

I am glad and grateful that the blonde is back.  I’m still struggling with short, very curly hair.  My “old hair” was straight, never curly.  So, even though the blonde is back, I still don’t recognize my hair and am not quite sure what to do with it!  But the good news is that at least I recognize myself when I look in the mirror and that is a very good thing.

Well, what’s the “gold in the road” in this hair saga?

  • Well, first: cancer changes you — irrevocably changes you.  I met with a brother-in-Christ last week who has gone through his own cancer journey.  He’s on an anti-cancer drug now as am I and we laughed as we shared moments of opening the door for cool air and blotting our brow when having a hot flash and then closing the door quickly to prevent cold chills.  Even though he’s a guy with one kind of cancer talking to a girl with another kind of cancer, it was kind of like holding up a mirror as we shared stories of how after cancer, you are never the same.  It marks you both inside and out.  It’s best to recognize and accept the changes, grieve the losses and move on as best you are able.  My hair saga symbolizes that for me.  Time to move on.

  • Second, though cancer changes you, you are recognized and loved by God.  Sometimes I look in the mirror and don’t recognize the new me.  I see how cancer has aged me and I ache to go back to my younger pre-cancer self.  But each day I remember that God sees me as I am and recognizes me — He knows Cathie and loves her through all the ages and stages of life.  And I am especially blessed because I have a Prince Philip who echoes God love for me just as I am!

    I realize that someday I will be old and have a face that looks as if it has never been young.  My body will have aches and pains and limitations that aging brings.  In some ways cancer has helped prepare me for those days yet to come.  And I am glad I’ve learned that though changes will come, God’s love for me will never change.  I may not recognize myself, but God always sees me, recognizes me, knows me, and loves me.  And this “Blonde” is grateful for that fact!

If you want to take a peek at the Blonde teaching my latest Bible Study at St. James, log onto http://www.stjamesnb.org and click on “Online Resources”, then “Sermons/Media”.  Launch Media Player and click on the video podcast of “30 Minutes with John.”  My, my — we do have FUN at this class!

Love and blessings,
The Blonde (aka Rev. Cathie+)

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4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Looking older can be quite funny 🙂 Laurent and I have been on a diet for the past month and a half, and I have lost a substantial amount of weight. Yes, my wrinkles are more pronounced, and I do look “older” than I did at the beginning of Lent. My oldest grandson was visiting over the weekend and he poked my upper arm and said “grannie you are all squishy” to which I replied, “its because I’m old” 🙂 Yesterday we spent some family time with all the grandchildren I was carrying Andrew and he put his hand on my neck and felt the excess skin under my chin, and in front of all present said in a loud voice “grannie, you’re squishy because you’re old!” Well, my sons completely lost it! I have not been through any major ilness and I thank God for this every day!, but I am obviously looking “old”. No matter what we look like on the outside, it really is the inside that counts and dear Rev. Cathie, you will always be young on the insdie, no matter what. I love to read your blog and am blessed by your words. Hope to see you at the Women’s retreat in a couple of weeks.
    Love and blessings,
    Joan

  2. From a curly locks who has been fighting those curls for 61 years, a nice hot blow dryer and a hair brush work wonders for tak’n some of the kink out …. especially in hot weather like we are having today and tomorrow! Also, my curly locks daughter, Hailee, uses a straightening iron (flat thing that looks like a curling iron) with great results to turn curls straight. Blessings as you have fun with it! Love, Michele Wright

    • Thanks, Michelle. Yes, I’m doing the blow dryer with hair brush attachment and it does work. It’s just that after a few hours, the curl I brushed out is back! I have heard the flat iron works best and I got one, but am a little scared of it! Maybe I need someone like Hailee to teach me how! Lots of love, Cathie+

  3. Rev. Cathie,
    You’ll always look young to us! We love your new hairdo and your perpetual smile. Thank you for all you do to advance the Kingdom of God.
    Also, we’re so glad to be able to attend your bible classes each Sunday and now if we miss one we can see it posted on the St. James website.

    God bless,

    Frank & Kathy

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