Bent, but not broken..

Yesterday, I had my “woe is me” day. I refused to look in any mirrors, because it made me cry. It makes it so real. Then last night, I went into the bathroom and and began “combing” out my hair… I figured if it was going to come out, it might as well be under my control and my timing..

I now have a quite noticeable bald spot on the front left side of my head, the size of a baseball… actually I called my mom last night in tears and said “I’m shaving my head, can you come over”… Of course she did, and talked me out of it (Thanks Mom!) and took me shopping (at the only store open at that hour of the night) for scarves. Of course I think I look better in baseball caps, but there are certain places you can’t wear a hat, so….I bought some scarves.

When I was trying them on in the dressing room (I couldn’t try them on out in the open, I still have a hard time with people seeing me with no hair on the top of my head) my mom would say “Oh that one is cute!! It makes you look… ” and I would finish her sentence with “like a cancer patient”… I knew this day was coming, yet it hit me like a ton of bricks. It makes my disease so real.

This morning I woke up with a new resolve. This is just another bend in the road, and it will come back, it will, but it doesn’t make it any less painful, does it… I haven’t looked in the mirror this morning for fear of what my be looking back at me. But as I sit here, I think about how silly that is. Cancer has not changed my heart. It has not changed my smile, and it certainly has not changed who I am in Christ.

Cancer will not define my self image and self esteem. It will not rob from me my joy and it certainly will not steal my hope. Pretty soon this will become normal, a new normal. Pretty soon I will look in the mirror and see my old self again. I will be able to stand there with a smile on my face, thinking back on how far I have come.

I am a wife, mother and daughter. I am a child of the everlasting King, and for those reasons alone I am beautiful…..

I am beautiful.

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Comments

  1. You most certainly are.

  2. Praying for you and lifting you up. You are a beautiful person and an inspiration to us all, especially in the “woe is me” days because they are usually followed by these awesome posts that speak to us all and show God’s glory.

  3. you are beautiful!!!

    Psalm 139:13-14

    blessings, mamabright 🙂

  4. Heather, dear Heather…

    Hair is nice to have, but what makes you beautiful is that “You’ve got your father’s eyes”.

    Liza
    http://lizas-eyeview.blogspot.com/2007/06/my-fathers-eyes.html

    With hair or without, you are beautiful inside out.

  5. You still amaze me! You humble me. You teach me. You reach me. To my very heart.

    You go girl!

    Hugs!

    Kat

  6. You are beautiful and strong and a beloved child of God! Thank you for helping all of us grow closer to Christ as you share your journey with us.

  7. Hi,

    I was going to bible study and one of the women there was losing her hair, I moved and I did not see her any longer. Months later she met me in a store and I did not recognize her. I smiled as she looked so great and all her hair came back this time though she had waves in it,

    She looked beautiful because she is a survivor and a child of God

  8. You are beautiful! And soooooo much more!

    I love the way you listed all the things that do not define who you are, and then followed it up by the things that you are!

    It’s ok to have “woe” days. It’s also ok to testify to the perspective changing power of God!

    So, to this post, I give a hearty “Preach it, Sister!”.

    Much love and prayers.

  9. ((((HUGS))))

    This too shall pass.

  10. Heather,
    You are beautiful! I have been praying for you through this trial. I lost my hair about 5 years back and feel your pain. I will be donating my hair in your honor either today or tomorrow. God Bless you and your family.
    Dirkey

  11. Your beauty radiates out of every part of you…your words, your smile, your inspiration, your incredible faith and devotion. Beauty is defined not by how we look, but by who we are. You stated that so eloquently in your post. Having said that, I can only imagine how hard it must be to lose your hair. The fact that you are able to look past the loss to who you are in Christ is just one more example of your incredible faith, which continues to inspire me daily.

    As far as I’m concerned Heather, your faith has made you the most beautiful woman in the world.

  12. Your still that bright shining light getting so much brighter everyday. The Father has lifted you to a place that so wonderful to those of us who Love him. You will have that hair back in no time and will not be anymore beautiful than you are today God Bless You and keep you wrapped in his loving arms.

  13. THANK YOU HONEY! For being strong. For being BEAUTIFUL! Thank you God for the lessons I am learning from her. For the little nuggets of truth that come my way through her.

  14. Did you have to go make me cry, darnet Heather. I am sitting here drinking rootbeer, eating a ham sandwhich, having my own pitty party over my life and then I click on to check on you and you have to make me cry. Do you know how wonderful you are? If I ever am in your situation, I pray for your attitude, bacuase I just don’t think I would have your stanama.

    WOW!
    Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted

  15. Heather, I’m so sorry about your hair. It breaks my heart for you. You ARE beautiful. I think you’ve probably never been more beautiful to your Lord.

  16. Heather—
    YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!! You are a truly amazing, courageous, beautiful woman! You’re the best mommy, wife, and daughter! You are beautiful in every sense of the word! Please keep your chin up! LOTS of us are praying for you and your family! You concentrate on getting better…..and we’ll do all the fretting and worrying for you!
    With love from MN…

  17. Yes, yes you are.

    ~TaunaLen

  18. Good for you, girl!

    I’m not a big Oprah fan, but I’ll never forget one episode I saw with a girl who had been horribly burned and disfigured. The beauty and grace she showed far outshown her physical appearance. In fact, it made her attractive and winsome. Even if you bought the ugliest scarf in all the land, tattooed your face all over, and dyed your teeth black, you’d still be attractive, winsome (for Him!), and beautiful. No question.

  19. Stephanie says:

    Dear Heather:
    You are so beautiful. I read your blog almost every day and I “see” how beautiful you are. Your faith and outlook is amazing – truely a gift from God. Your light shines so bright. Thank you for teaching me so many valuable lessons in the last couple of mos that I have been following your blog. You are a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful sister in Christ!! I will continue to pray for you and your family.
    Love and Hugs from Wisconsin………….

  20. Beautiful Indeed!

  21. When I had cancer, I bought my wigs from
    http://www.paulayoung.com/
    I ordered three at a time and what I didn’t like, I sent back. They were very nice about helping me. They have very inexpensive wigs.

    I hope this information helps you through this tough time. I taught school the whole time I went through surgery and chemo and that helped me keep my mind busy while God was healing me.

    I asked God to use cancer to do what he needed to do. Amazing things have happened to me as a result. I know that as you are trusting in the Lord, you too are experiencing God like you never have before.

    I am praying for you every time I click on to your site.
    Hugs,
    Cherdecor

  22. *sniff, sniff* You are beautiful in a way that speaks volumes of God’s love, grace, mercy, and blessings! And, your beauty rests in God’s glory radiating from your smiling face! I am better from having read your daily reflections of your journey.

  23. You are so precious to share this and every part of your walk through this, dear Heather. You are a beautiful bride for the King of Kings. (And your husband got a great lady too.)

    Many, many prayers,

    Julie

  24. Hi Heather, My name is Carissa, I’m a mom of one, and I just found your blog last night while searching for mom blogs. I’ve been reading through it and it’s incredible. You are such a beautiful strong woman. The things you have been through and the way you have handled them is such an inspiration. And do you know what the first thing that struck me when I saw you site was? “Wow, that mom has beautiful eyes!” And that won’t change even though your hair is falling out. Your eyes will still be gorgeous. I will be back and you will be in my prayers.

  25. Sunshine says:

    SO incredibly beautiful and so precious. You are the daughter of the Most High God! We join together in thanking Him for you because through you and what God is doing in you – our lives are richer – more meaningful. Thank you for being you. Sunshine

  26. I would be so sad to lose my hair too.

    But you know, when I see a woman at the hospital or at Target or really anywhere who is bald I never think how about how they look.

    I always look at them with admiration because I know they are facing the hardest thing in their life right now.

    They really ARE beautiful, and so are you!

  27. While I’ve been reading your blog, personally I’ve given birth via c-section and then just 2 months later, a complete hysterectomy due to precancerous cells. Through this, I’ve seen God working in my life and in my husband and children. While I’d never have asked for 2 major abdominal surgeries in 2 months, I’m grateful for what I’ve learned and my deeper relationship with Christ. I’ve been strengthened by your strength in the midst of all of this and I’m grateful for your words. I’m praying for you and your family.

  28. Forgot to mention…

    Before I had kids and became a stay at home mom I worked with several women who had breast cancer. We always joked that if the time came for wigs we would get very dramatic wigs… long blonde wigs, short curly wigs, bright red wigs. We joked that it would be our chance to try out many different hairstyles. Not as a serious solution to the hair loss problem, but just really to laugh at each other (those of us who had cancer and those, like me, who did not). Kind of a silly fun way to let go of the stress and tension.

    We never joked about hats or scarves, but we did admire some of the really beautiful hats they ended up with.

  29. (((hugs))) YOU are beautiful! And, the Lord is weaving a wondrous testimony all through this!! I will keep on praying for you.

  30. Shelley says:

    I had a vision of a caterpillar going through it’s change into becoming a beautiful butterfly. The caterpillar, all cute and fuzzy ,has to undergo a transformation process that probably somewhat uncomfortable and scary, but on the other side – wow, what a sight – not only is it beautiful, but it has wings to fly! You are changing from cancer patient to cancer survivor and when you get to the end of the process you will know that you can do anything you want to do (because our Lord has given you exactly what you needed every step of the way and you have allowed Him to have His way in you).

    I think it’s ok to mourn your loss of hair. Your loss of former self. But Beauty is waiting for you just around the corner.

    You are amazing and inspiration. Thank you for your transperancy. What a blessing you are.

  31. willowacademy says:

    (((hugs)))
    your name should be Grace.
    you are a true inspiration!
    Rhonda

  32. Heather- I am praying for you. I found your blog a week or so ago when I began looking for blogs of Christian moms. Your blog touched me today. What poignant words for every woman! I imagine when you blog your words minister to your own heart but I want you to know you are touching others, too. Thank you! You are in my prayers.
    Jane Anne (in Washington)

  33. Psalms 45:13 The king’s daughter is all glorious within………

  34. jeanette says:

    Praying for you.

  35. The loss of hair is one of those pivotal moments in the world of cancer treatments. It should be just a small thing, but in reality it’s a huge thing, being bald is such a visible reminder of the battle you are waging.

    My niece Kyra lost her hair at age 3 during radiation, it was long and blond and down almost to her waist.

    Her mother left it alone for a long time, left the bald spots and the rest of it long, but when it started coming out in handfuls she went into Kyra’s hospital room in the middle of the night and cut her hair in the dark.

    Kyra balled up her hair and put it out for the birds to use for their nests. We later found a nest lined with that precious girl’s hair.

    My son, even though he was a boy, was also traumatized by the loss of his hair. When his hair started coming out in clumps he was still not ready for a haircut, so we did the best we could for the next four days.

    But his hair was literally everywhere, embedded in his pillowcase, in the collars of his shirts, down his back, in his eyes, nose and mouth and finally he agreed to let me shave it.

    We both cried while I shaved what remained of his long thick curly hair off in our room at Ronald McDonald House, but for us that act provided some relief, we cried buckets and then we moved on. His scalp was hypersensitive when the hair started falling out, it was less so with all the hair gone.

    Over a short time, I grew to love the look of those children with the smooth shiny heads. We were both even a little disappointed several months later at the end of treatment when the hair started growing back.

    Baldness is a battle scar and a badge of courage. I pray you will come to wear it with pride.

  36. Heather, I always seem to be late in commenting but I pray for you daily. I am with the others: wear your scarves with pride and conviction that only a badge of honor could produce – your beauty is internal and I am sure hair or no hair, you are already gorgeous.

    Peace be on you, dear one.

  37. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  38. I say Amen to that!

  39. You are indeed beautiful! I well remember the day my SIL went into the rest room at her job and ran a comb through her hair, when it all began to fall out on the floor. She went to her long-time hairdresser, who did shave it for her, and helped her with a couple of wigs that just looked like her. It all came back, only a bit different than before. Just something to think about.

  40. Heather… With a face like that…who needs hair?? You are in my thoughts and prayers!

  41. Tiffany VanDyke says:

    Sweet Heather,

    i have been following your story, but have not commented until today. One of my bestest (I know that’s really not a word but it describes my heart the best towards my friend) 🙂 friends was diagnosed with breast canccer nov 2005. She went thru total mastectomy and chemo in 2006. I do not know first had what it is like to lose my hair. I do not know how hard that must me. What I do know though it that when i was holding my friend during her sickest times with absolutely no hair left ~ it was those time that she was absolutely the most beautiful I have ever seen her. Sweet Heather, I know you don’t think so, but it is true of you too. You, like my friend, are a Daughter of the King ~ beautiful inside and out. No matter how much of your beautiful hair will fall out or wind up being shaved off. (My friend shaved hers off BEFORE she even started chemo. She didn’t want it to fall out as she thought that would be harder for her to handle.) Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how very brave you are, during the good anys AND the bad days. I admire your strength and I pray daily that God will continue to give you more of His strength so you will feel it welling up inside you.

    You are the God who performs miracles; You display Your power among the peoples.” Psa 77:14

    Praying with you my Survivor friend, for a miracle only the God we serve and loves us dearly can perform.

    ~Tiffany VanDyke

  42. Heather,
    You are AMAZING!!!!
    You are an inspiration in every sense of the word.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers daily.
    Your beauty is so deep.
    I love you for what you are doing to my heart.
    thank you!!!

    karly

  43. Amen Sister! But also feeling your pain my friend. It seems that this part of it must be harder as a women. A bald man is not completely unnormal. But you understated your beauty girl. I’ve never met you personally, but your beauty shines through my computer every time I read your blog! “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised!”
    Praying in Colorado,
    Sarah

  44. Oh Heather, you certainly are beautiful… nobody could ever dispute that!!!
    And cancer may take your hair for a while, but it can’t touch your beautiful smile, or those beautiful eyes!!!

  45. Samantha says:

    I read your blog every day, but this is the first time I have commented. Reading your blog inspires me and really makes me think. I thank you so much for not only sharing your journey, but also for being so open and honest about how you feel and what it really feels like to be going through this. You have touched the hearts of many.

    I’m praying for you and your beautiful family.

    Samantha

  46. Always beautiful, my dear. {{{HUGS}}}

  47. My sweet friend.

    You may ‘lose’ the battle with your hair, but you will WIN the war with this cancer.

    For each single hair that falls out from the chemo and radiation try and imagine all the healing that will be able to go on inside of you because of the same chemo and radiation.

    Wear those scarves and caps with your head held up with pride in yourself for being such a fighter. You are certainly the hero of each and every one of us that comes here each day.

    We love you.

  48. You certainly are Heather, you certainly are!

  49. You are incredibly beautiful. I have had several clients who lost their hair for one reason or another. When it came back, it was even more beautiful than before. So, you have that to look forward to.

  50. A poem to comfort you…..
    Hugs,
    Melinda

    ********************

    The Bend in the Road

    Author: Helen Steiner Rice

    Sometimes we come to life’s crossroads
    And we view what we think is the end.
    But God has a much wider vision
    And he knows that it’s only a bend-

    The road will go on and get smoother
    And after we’ve stopped for a rest,
    The path that lies hidden beyond us
    Is often the path that is best.

    So rest and relax and grow stronger,
    Let go and let God share your load
    And have faith in a brighter tomorrow-
    You’ve just come to a bend in the road.