Fauneil’s mother has/had breast cancer, and Fauneil wanted to show her mother support by shaving her head bald on the day that her mother lost all her hair. Well folks, today is that day, and Fauneil is now…well… bald.
There have been a lot of feelings going into this project. At first it was just a way to support her mother, but it has turned into a wild journey that we never anticipated with many ups and downs. A real emotional roller coaster… for both of us.
I now partially know what it is like to be the husband of a cancer patient. When Fauneil first said she wanted to do this, my first reaction was, “That’s a great idea!” But as time passed thoughts began to creep into my head. What is she going to look like? What will people think? Will they think she’s a freak? Will they think that I am a freak? I must say, it became a scary thing emotionally. And earlier today when she came to me and said, “My mom’s hair started to fall out today,” I had pangs of fear. Even though I was Mr. Gung-Ho on the outside, I wasn’t quite sure, on the inside, if I wanted her to go through with it.
This must be kind of what it is like for a husband of cancer patient. Fauneil and I had many conversations about the feelings she was having which must have been similar to feelings of her mother and other cancer patients.
IN FAUNEIL’S OWN WORDS:
My mom has cancer. In September she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which I find completely unfair. I thought women with small boobs were supposed to be safe from this. Now, when I fill out medical history forms, I have to say that an immediate family member has cancer.
Mom is handling it like a champ. She has been upbeat about it; she’s not afraid to talk about it; she can laugh about it; she hasn’t become morose. And–so far–the chemo hasn’t made her feel too bad. Her second round is in one week.
It must be scary though. What’s the scariest part, I wonder? Knowing that there are lymph nodes involved? Knowing it’s more aggressive than originally thought? Or is it the chemo and it’s side effects? The fatigue, the nausea, the lack of appetite because your food tastes like cardboard, the baldness. Maybe the scariest thing is just not knowing. Not knowing what to expect from any of this. Not knowing if putting herself through this is even going to help in the end.
We’ve ordered her some hats, because on about day 17 she should lose all of her hair. Almost all at once. She doesn’t get to decide to go bald as a fashion statement. She doesn’t get to say, “Oh my head is too small,” or “it isn’t nicely rounded.” She’s going to go bald, whether she wants to or not. She has no choice. So we’re going to go to a class next Tuesday (the day of her second chemo) to learn how to tie scarves and wear hats, and apply makeup to cover the red cheeks, which is another side effect. We’re looking forward to it. It will be fun.
I asked Mom if she wanted me to shave my head in a show of solidarity and she said no. But I’m going to anyway, because she doesn’t get to choose if she goes bald, and because the more I consider it, the more nervous it makes me. What if MY head has a really ugly shape? What if I look like a pin-head? What will people think? Can I handle the stares? the questions? Will I look good in a do-rag? But the anxiety is why I want to do it. I guess I feel like I will be able to understand–in some puny way–what Mom is going through, some of her fear that she is doing such a great job of not showing.
Every time I think of following through with this, I get a pit in my stomach. My hair is nothing to shout about; I’m sure no one covets my ultra-short, stick-straight, nondescript, cow-licked fringe. But the thought of shaving it all off in just another 2 or 3 days is jitters-inducing. I wonder how Mom is feeling about her impending starkness.
At least she has ordered some cute new hats.
Here is a video that shows when Fauneil reveals her bald head to her mother and her mother gets the shock of her life.
Let me just end this post by saying that I think I have the coolest wife in the world. Not many people would be willing to do this – even for a loved one. And the growth and perspective we have gained as a result of her bravery, is amazing. Love you babe!
I’m out people. I’ll have to sport pink tomorrow, at the hospital, in support of cancer.