It's been an interesting few months to say the least. I guess you could say that I am adjusting to my new skin, my 36 year old skin! I have a WHOLE lot of things I want to say but kind of feel a bit jumbley...yes jumbley it's a word... I think!
so....where to start?
Yesterday was quite the ride of emotions for me. I was sweating bullets! I was so nervous and as the hour approached I had rides of different emotions going thru me. I was chatting with Patti on BBM and that helped....she kind of felt like an achor to me and to be honest that is not the first time she has been that for me. I love this woman. I have known her for as long as I can remember. We are related thru marriage and tell people when they ask if we are sisters that we might as well be. It is better in some ways then being sisters because we don't get the family sibling dynamic between us. We just love each other and take each other for what and who we are no questions asked or explanations needed. That I realize is rare and beautiful and I cherish that I am fortunate enough to have that.
So back to yesterday, I was nervous and emotional. I felt a little on display and as dramatic as I am this was not an entirely comfortable feeling. We set up the computer beside me outside and we connected on Skype with Geli and the family so they could watch....they were even eating popcorn! regular entertainment!!! Jen from the Mens Zone in the same strip mall as my business was kind enough to offer her services to do the deed. We also had a photographer Alisha there and I will definitely link to her site and put up the amazing photos she took as soon as I can. I suggested if people gave a min of another $10 donation they could take a swipe of my hair, no one actually did the shaving but we raised an additional $500 yesterday! that is amazing and I am sooooooooooo thankful for the generosity of everyone. A regular customer of mine brought me earrings the day before that she made, a pair for myself and Geli in the color representing Leukemia (orange). I think that is pretty amazing! This whole process has been pretty amazing!
My sister called me moments before we started and she started to cry telling me she was so proud of me. That did me in as I was hanging on not to cry and thats when I couldn't hold it back. I really don't know how much of it was my shaving my hair off, the impact and generosity I have seen, the reality of what Geli and my Aunt Elaine and others have had to go thru do to this disease. Cancer sucks. It was probably a combination of all the above. Once Jen made the first few cuts, ( they put my hair in lots of mini pony tails so that we could try to donate the hair), I was fine. I mean what are you going to do at that point? you are pretty much committed! I felt my anxiety dissipate and I was breathing a little more calm....until I heard Geli say via the skype, "I love you Auntie Lise, thank you for doing this"....ok it still makes me teary. She is an amazing little girl and her strength is inspiring. What she is going through, what they are all going through is incomprehensible.
My scalp burned a little bit, I do have dry skin and have regular eczema issues...my scalp included. I felt a little self conscious but the fresh dose of adrenaline was carrying me through. I looked in the mirror and thought wow I have BIG DARK bags under my eyes! and was in awe at the physical resemblance I have to my dad and his side of the family.....like wow!! I mean I knew I looked like my dad but remove the long blond hair and I REALLY look like him! There were lots of hugs and more hugs and rubbing of the scalp. A few times I felt a little overwhelmed and just wanted to not be in the spot light. My good friend Karli was in danger of bringing me to tears a few times :) but the love and support I felt was amazing. Patti's mom who I have loved and called Auntie my entire life, was there, and Jon's parents were also there . I am so glad they came they are all special people to me. My parents and inlaws were there, a sister-n-law and another girl friend and their kids and my co-workers and a few regular customers were all there and of course my hubby and the girls.
The after effects ~ well....I am still getting used to it. J and I went out for a date last night, dinner and a movie (eat pray love...review to come one day soon)....and at first I wore one of the hats I crocheted...it is raining and cold here right now....then at dinner after we were seated I took the hat off. I was sitting by a fireplace and man was my head sweating :) that was a weird feeling, I can also feel which way the wind is blowing right off the old noggin...strange!!! I don't know if people were really looking cuz I didn't know if I was looking more to see if people might be looking. When I got up to walk thru the restaurant to go to the bathroom I didn't really notice anything other than I definitely felt more self conscious. The only incident I really had is when we first walked in, hat still on and 2 ladies were looking at me then leaning into each other to whisper and continued staring at me... I wanted to take the hat off right then and there and really get a reaction from them but at the same time didn't want to create an entrance! Just wanted to observe the difference from hair to bald.
This morning we went to church and I have to say that I was feeling nervous and self conscious again. Most people there knew what I had done, many came up to touch my head and give me a hug.
I have found the whole issue of donating my hair an interesting issue. I am surprised how many people ask and I almost get the feeling with some they would feel upset if I didn't donate it. I am equally surprised by my reaction. When I decided to do this I googled the local hair/wig places....emphasis on LOCAL being Vancouver, the sites that I found all said they would not accept treated hair whether it be a perm or color. Since I color my hair I figured that left me out even though I had the length requirements. I find that my back is up when I feel someone is demanding I donate my hair. Now I have only been bald 24 hours this is all new to me and I haven't had a lot of time to process all my thoughts and feelings about me, how I look, how I feel and all that jazz. A few comments I read on facebook actually made me angry and I went off to J on a tangent of emotions about how it's my hair and why I did what I did and what I do with my hair is MY business and blah blah blah. As much as I love a good debate I am not looking to enter one on this subject entirely yet. BUT..... I just find it interesting that people feel they have the right to tell you what to do with your hair! and that you SHOULD donate it and have no idea who I am or get that it wasn't about cutting my hair for a wig which would be great if I can..an added bonus if you will....but it was about my best friend and her daughter and their family and showing them my support and helping to raise funds for them in this difficult time and being selfish in wanting to feel like I helped in some small way. This whole aspect kind of took me by surprise.
I am sure it won't be the last aspect that surprises me about shaving my head ! and you can bet you will read it all right here :)