Wednesday, March 23, 2011


While Abigail was in the hospital we decided to cut her hair. It was knotting up terribly in the back and looking more like dread locks than pretty hair. Neither of us liked combing through it. So, my sweet sister Cassie brought her hair cutting scissors up to the hospital and went to work. She even gave her a bath first. She was really happy to see her aunt.I can't believe how long it was! She has never had a real haircut since birth and it was getting really long. I had recently been able to do french braids with it. They were so cute! But, so was her cut. She looks like such a 'little chub' (an affectionate term in our family) with her bloated stomach & chipmunk cheeks from the steroids. Short hair just looks so cute on her. In many ways the haircut has been a blessing. Her hair is not as matted in the back and it seems to stay out of her eyes better. It is also much easier to wash. Last Thursday when I was giving her a bath I took out her elastic and then started to undo her braid. Hair came off into my hands. It was just a little, but I knew it was starting. We were told it would most likely come out in clumps but that is not how it is happening. It's just coming out one piece at a time all over her pillow, her shirt, the couch and us. I gave her a bath Tuesday and my mom found me sobbing over the tub. I would massage the shampoo into her head and then watch in horror as hair stuck to my hands when I pulled them away. I pulled a ball of hair out of the drain and then a small one from the pic that I used on her after the bath. Since then it has only gotten worse.

I don't know what it is about losing hair that makes it feel so final. She still has a "normal" look to her now. Sure, she just sits or lays, has a pale face with huge cheeks & stomach from the steroids, but normal-ish. But as the hair falls I keep thinking about how real it feels now that she is fighting cancer. The thought of seeing her bald just seems to take the "little girl" away somehow. There are no pigtails and ribbons, no bangs needing cut, no hair to fill with mud & spaghetti. Don't get me wrong, her Aunt Sally is on a campaign to make sure she has the cutest hats around in every color (thanks Emily too!) and some loving friends & family are knitting her hats as well. Its just hard for me. I love to do my girls' hair. It's like a source of pride that I take the time to make them look good--especially Abigail & Natasha. I think it is my way of telling the world that they are really loved and cared for. Isn't that so dumb? When I really think about it, it sounds shallow. But, it's how I feel.

Yet, right now when we are dealing with so much it is also somewhat of a relief that soon "there are no pigtails and ribbons, no bangs needing cut, no hair to fill with mud & spaghetti." Her head will be cold but she has been pulling out all barrettes & bows we have put in to keep hair out of her eyes. Of course, today they have come out with a chunk of hair attached.

I wonder how she will respond to seeing herself bald. I am really curious to see her reaction. She has been such a trooper. Smiling when she can even though we know how sick she must feel. Each of the side effects she is battling right now are "rare but not unheard of" according to the oncology nurse. But having them all is very rare. Like I have said many times before, we do rare in our family.

Here is our sweet little angel as she is sleeping next to me tonight:

I have this same Buddy Walk T-shirt and she was so funny when I wore it too. She kept smiling and pointing to me & then her. It is amazing how much I love her. There are just those moments that hit sometimes when words cannot explain how much you love someone. Tonight I am having one of those. I would never say that I was happy she has cancer but I can truly say that I have loved many of the learning moments it has brought. I have had a lot of mind numbing, girl holding, cartoon watching moments. I have also had some soul searching realizations and life lessons that I will never forget. It's amazing how you can find some of your biggest blessings amongst your greatest trials.


  1. I want to comment and say something comforting, but I'm at a loss for any words. i've watched so many walk down this path you are on and the one thing that always blows me away are the blessings that each and every one of you find.
    Abigail's hair cut looks beautiful! And I'm sure she will be sporting some equally beautiful hats.
    God bless! keeping Miss.A in my prayers

  2. Oh the hair. She does look cute with it short :)
    Praying for you!

  3. Her hair looks gorgeous. I don't think it's shallow to take pride in the ribbons and bows, and making your girls look beautiful. That is the fun of little girls and they love it as much as we do.
    Your girls are beautiful. And so are you!

  4. I came across your blog through a friend and wanted to say your girls are beautiful! I have a daughter who just finished treatment for ALL about 4 months ago, and I remember so well those beginning months. It is so overwhelming. There is a facebook group of Utah cancer mom's I belong to. If you are in a place that you'd like the support, someone to vent to who understands, I would be happy to send you an invite. They are an amazing group of women. Just e-mail me:

    Hang on and get through these beginning months, even if it's by your fingernails! The hair loss was a hard one for me, but when we finally just shaved it we realized she was beautiful bald. Abigail will be too.


  5. I think you express yourself so well. I think I would feel the same. I would want a way to show the world how much I loved two sweet little girls - having them cute & pretty together is not shallow. It does show they are loved!

  6. I agree---I think you express yourself so well. I'm with you on taking pride in my girls looking beautiful--especially when they're wearing bows that you made especially for them--nothing shallow about it. :-) I know Abigail's on her last strands of hair now & I can't imagine how difficult that must be. She is beautiful inside & out. :-) We pray for Abigail & you & your family every night.

  7. I found u through a boutique that makes hats and i wanted to see what this was the funny thing is that i had a best friend that passed away in december she was 22 years old with 3 little boys and a husband she also had AML she was in remission and the pain med gave her a heart attack and today would have been her 23rd birthday it is so funny that i found this today it is like she is tryin to tell me something we are doing a walk in her name here in tx in oct. and i will keep ur lil girl in my thoughts and if u dont mind if i ask how she is every now and then that would be great. thanx so much and god bless i will keep her in my prays. Traci Donohue

  8. when I see that picture of your two girls- I think two special blessings :)

  9. Shallow is one thing you are not, my friend. My mom always felt the same way about my little sister. She always said, "She has enough challenges in this she looks doesn't need to be another." I know that this is one way that moms show their love and I know that your sweet children...all of them...are soooo loved! So, keep it up. Make those kids look cute as long as they'll let you :)