Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bad Hair Day

It's been a long week, a very long week which is why it's taken me a while to get this update to all of you.  Last Saturday my Daddy was admitted to the hospital here in Montgomery at Baptist South.  He's 85 and in relative good health (golfs, fishes, travels) but it seems that after my Mom died four years ago he wasn't so faithful about taking his heart and diabetes medications.  Doctors had to amputate one of his toes and put in a stent. He is struggling to get all of his organs to work properly and get back up and moving.  Hopefully today, two days out from surgery, will be a better day.  He survived the jungles of Vietnam and he will survive this, but in many ways I think the jungles were easier for him to tolerate than the hospital!
Since a hospital is probably the most dangerous place for me to be right now, my brother Darryl is shouldering the lead on taking care of Daddy.  When I visit I'm masked and gloved and cannot stay long. Jason and my sister-in-law Jesi are also spending a tremendous amount of time at the hospital as is my Dad's friend Jane - it's an exhausting time for everyone and we appreciate your prayers for Daddy's total healing.
Now, about my hair.  About 12 days after my first chemo treatment my hair began to come out.  The first two days it just came out a little then it really began coming out in handfuls.  My wig had been ordered a couple of weeks earlier but it had not come yet (they are custom made and I didn't realize how long it would take). My hair actually began to mat, it felt like steel wool and was very uncomfortable on my head.  It was time for it to come off.  I reached out to my friend who is high up with UPS and he was able to get the Montgomery UPS facility to intercept my wig as soon as it arrived and he contacted me and I was able to drive out and pick it up.  Then I went to my wonderful stylist Linda Echols who owns the Phoenix Salon in Montgomery. Linda told me when it was time for the hair to go just to show up and she would drop everything and take care of me.  She did.  Oh the money I've spend getting cut and color from her over the years only to see all of that hair get lopped off! Linda was so sweet and took such great care of me.  She cut it as short as she could then took the razor to it to finish it off.  My wig is a touch blonder than my color but it's close.  My sweet friend Martha Roby bought it for me and I love it. Linda put it on me and styled it and voila, hair again.  I like wearing the wig but I've also been wearing hats, scarfs, etc.  This Friday night my girlfriends are throwing me a "hat and scarf party" so I will have plenty of fun options when leaving the house each day!
How does it feel to be bald?  Weird and cold!  My head actually often feels wet, I guess that's the cold sensation I'm experiencing.  It's tough, no woman wants to lose her hair. It's a very defining part of our physical selves.  To find a silver lining I had to make a mental list of all the money I will save because I don't have hair:
No cut and color costs
No shampoo and conditioner
No mousse, hairspray, styling gel
And Jason loves how clean our bathroom vanity is now that all my products are gone!  And how fast can I get ready...20 minutes flat!
Me with my fab new wig:

A popular question:  How are Eli and Margaret handling my new look?  It's a process.  They knew the day I would lose my hair, I prepared them when they got home from school I would be bald.  I had on a hat when I picked them up and they immediately wanted to see my head.  Then they immediately wanted me to cover up my head!  It's been tougher on Eli than MJ.  Mommas of boys know how much a little 7 year old boys loves and adores his momma.  He just stares at me, shakes his head, and will say sadly, "I just cannot believe a doctor would give you medicine that would make you lose your hair."  I keep reminding them it is temporary! Each day they get more used to my new look.  And so far I am able to be "normal Momma" with a smile on my face and reading and cuddles and taking them to Chick-fil-a.  As long as I'm acting normal they will be ok. Around the house I wear a little cotton cap, not my best look but it is comfy and they're ok with it.  Although Margaret often says, "Momma, please put on your pretty blond hair so you can look like me again."
Yesterday I had a County Commission meeting and got rave reviews about my wig.  Most folks didn't even realize it wasn't my real hair.  My favorite comment was from a lady who told me her daughter wears wigs and always says, "You either wear your wig or your wig wears you."  Then she told me, "Ronda you are wearing that wig!"
I'm feeling pretty good this week.  My next treatment is on Thursday, January 29 and I do not have any doctor appointments until then!  Hoorah! Tomorrow we will celebrate Jason's birthday and honor him for being such an amazing husband and father.  He's going over and beyond for better and for much worse.  I love him and thank God for knowing and loving me so well as to let me be Jason Walker's wife.


  1. You are so articulate, Rhonda! The emotion and courage behind your words shines through! Give Uncle Ron a hug for me and know that I send you one each day!

  2. That wig really suits you. Well, it may be hard at first to accept about the hair loss (since you are undergoing the chemo), at least, you are doing your best to cover up and wipe away those negative energies and replace it with the positive one. Thank you for sharing about that, Ronda! Kudos and get well soon! :)

    Tommy Clark @ Her Hair Company