The other night I received a text from a friend, urging me to go and check the mail. It will help you sleep tonight I promise. So I went to open the package that arrived that I had assumed was something I had ordered. It wasn’t a case of Lysol. It was this cozy, soft, happy bear instead. It had a happy little note attached:
“Hi Renee! This little guy is going to help you get through your chemotherapy treatments. Take him with you. He gives great hugs! Love Paula (neveradullbling.com) haha”
She is so right! He gives great hugs!
So I decided he needed to come to happier adventures with me so we have something to talk about at chemotherapy.
Saturday. Saturday all the stars were aligned in my life. My husband had the day off. The sun was out and it was going to stay out all day. I have had really good energy and feeling strong. It is the last weekended before my next round of chemo. We decided we should go on a day trip. Take advantage of the moment.
I have to tell you this: Thursday my scalp started to hurt. Like it was sore from wearing a ponytail too tight. On Friday morning it was hurting worse and all over. At work I leaned over to tell my boss that I think I am going to start losing my hair. I told her about my scalp hurting like I have shingles or something. She lifted my hair to look for sores (she is my friend too not just my boss) and my scalp is white. That is what I am afraid of. When I googled “sore scalp” chemotherapy is listed as a cause. 20% of women undergoing chemo will get a really sore scalp before the hair starts to fall. Guess I am one of the ‘special ones’ I always assumed it just fell out. Learned something new.
Back to Saturday. I woke up Saturday morning and am covered in hair. I run my hands through carefully because the scalp still hurts. Sure enough my hands are full of hair. It is thinning heavily. They say you have to lose about 50% of your hair before it is noticeable. I am trying to not shave it until I have to. I will tell you I am afraid to brush it and style it so that is tricky. I know I am going to lose my hair. The meds I am on both have that as a number one side effect. I am mentally prepared, kind of. Saturday morning was more emotional than I thought. I am not ready for this. I was crying. My husband said we can cancel our outing if I want. I said no. I don’t know when I will be strong enough to go on a day trip again.
That is when I decided the bear needs to go with me. He has hair. So we loaded up on a good breakfast at Chaps then headed out towards Colfax for a hike around Palouse Falls State Park. It was a beautiful day. We kept the hiking simple. We snapped pics of the bear having fun. Which in turns means I was having fun too.
I think this is what is wonderful about the world wide web. Neveradullbling and I have never officially met face to face, yet. She and I follow each others blogs. It turns out we have similar back grounds like AZ and WA. We have similar interests and over time I feel we have become real friends. We actually text each other now and she was willing to come do Bloomsday with me in May (I don’t think I will have the strength to do it) She wanted to join me for the Susan G Komen walk this month but it is the same time as her Salt Lake City run. This simple gift of a bear was one of the most thoughtful and kindest things ever. It made me cry and smile all at once.
I know very long winded today! 🙂 I love the bear. I find comfort in hugging him. I do not have a name for him other than friend, which is how I feel about Paula. I will bring him to chemo and snuggle whenever I need a hug. I will smile and know that there is someone on the other side of the state who thinks enough of me to send me such a gift of comfort and joy.