Of Baldness and Lies

I’m not fond of dwelling on my cancer journey, but I feel God is asking me to talk about my life during that time. Maybe in the event it may help someone else during their struggle. Only He knows the reason.

I knew it was coming. The tests. The waiting. The non-specific language and careful wording with each examination. I suffered my first and only (to this point) anxiety attack on June 15, 2017; Diagnosis Day.

What soon followed was the degrading self-talk. Shame. Unworthiness. Disgust and loathing. Just a small sampling of hideous and (sometimes) self-inflicted emotional trauma. Not to mention the utter physical devastation.

Diagnosis Day. The day the lies began.

I repeatedly reminded myself throughout the ENTIRE process I was going to be okay. I believed my doctor when he told me:

  • “It’s the most common type of cancer.”
  • “We know exactly how to treat this.”
  • “This is just a bump in the road.”

The lies were my own. And embarrassingly, they began on a superficial level.

I was going to lose all my hair.

You see, I was proud of my long, pretty hair. I maintained it well and over the years it had morphed into a self-identifying trait and feature that I nurtured.

I was losing all.of.it. My security blanket, gone.

Bald. Ugly. Sick. Weak. Powerless. Oh, the unrelenting lies.

Mentally resigning myself to a dark, dismal upcoming year, X took me for a haircut. Deciding to take the loss in stages, I cried throughout the appointment as chunk after chunk of my locks hit the floor.

A simultaneous shedding of skin and crawling into my new cocoon. I had no idea who this new creature was or would become. Certainly no longer the person I believed myself to be.

Yet, roughly two weeks later, the first of several empowering moments. After the chemo had begun to wreak its poisonous havoc on my body and I awoke to find my pillowcase carpeted with the first dead and accursed strands, X (at my insistence) purchased a good set of clippers. It was time.

That night, standing alone in front of the spare bathroom mirror, staring at the body that was no longer mine, I shaved my head.

Right up the middle, G.I. Jane-style.

Although I didn’t go on to complete one-armed pushups or sport rock-hard abs, I had never felt more like a badass. Even if it was just in that moment, it was enough. It helped push me forward while the infrastructure of my life crumbled.

  • “You rock the bald look!”
  • “You’re so beautiful!”
  • “You’re so brave!”

Compliments and encouraging words offered in complete sincerity and love, of which I will be forever grateful. They provided a much-needed, if only momentary, positivity injection. And in what was now my parallel and diametrically-opposed existence, my Upside-Down, I couldn’t be: Weak. Sad. Tired. Hurt. Confused.

I was a: Warrior. Survivor. Champion. Example.

Silently suffering a season of anguish, despair and utter loneliness.

And I was so lonely.

Loneliness is haunting. Hollow.

Fake it till you make it. Dress the part. Look good on the outside and you’ll begin to feel better on the inside. I couldn’t even do that much.

Wrap my smooth, bald head? Check.

Cover-up for the dark circles and inevitable tear-stained cheeks during my morning commute? Check.

Confidence –> nope. Bravery –> nope. Fulfillment –> nope.

I know now this was a mountain only for me. God walked me to it so He could help me move it.

But during that time? A ghastly black and desolate landscape.

4 thoughts on “Of Baldness and Lies

  1. I can’t even imagine how desperately lonely you were. Especially with everything else that was going on in your life. But God knew. He always knows. And He held you in His right hand. He knew when the time was right, you would see Him. Sometimes the mountain looks daunting, but every day is one step closer, eventually becoming even ground. You did it girl. And God has always been there by your side. My prayer…No matter what, you stay strong. He loves you more than I can, if that’s possible. Bless you Lora and thank you for sharing this. I love you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not crying…you’re crying! 😭
      God’s plan is so much greater than we could even fathom. I know His plan for me is fantastic, otherwise the enemy wouldn’t care so fervently about attacking me. The ground is more even these days, although a pothole here and there still trips me up for sure. But all I have to do is grab His hand and He helps me back up, dusts me off and gently guides me back onto the path. He’s always there and always ready. Thank you for everything. He blessed me beyond words with you! I love you! ♥️

      Like

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