How long does a mommy wait to put her baby girl’s hair into pony tails?
I waited 3 boys and 10 years to finally have my baby girl. I had been practicing since I was a little girl for this moment. I could not wait to braid her hair and do pony tails…
…and then one day, she was staring Neuroblastoma in the eyes, in her piggy tails.
After her first cycle chemotherapy, things began to change. I was finding more and more of her hair in her bed. When she slept and played, it was like there was a long-haired puppy in the crib with her. It bothered me to see her hair all over the bed throughout the day.
So I talked with the nurse. She was starting to get small bald patches in her hair and I wanted to keep her curls and be able to share them with my mom and mother in law. This is her first haircut, right? It wasn’t like we could just go to a hair salon. So I started with the sides first.
Her top pony tail was just too cute too cute off. So I left it alone. However, the next morning was a reality check. I didn’t know if my cutting her hair triggered more loss. It was unlikely, but what I did know, was that there wasn’t much time to save what was left. So…
I cut it off… I cut it all off! I cried and I cried. I could not look at my daughter, my one and only, my long awaited baby girl, without crying. I felt awful for taking it all away. Taking away what we waited so long for. For the first time, I had to call my mommy. I really could not look at my own daughter without crying my eyes out.
I let go of the blame. I realized it wasn’t me that took her hair. It was the chemotherapy that took her hair. As cruel as it seemed, it was necessary to keep my baby girl alive. It wasn’t long before I realized, that her hair was just the beginning.
She soon lost her eyebrows and eyelashes too. Her whole head was baby bottom smooth. Her scalp was dry. The worst and most obvious part, was that now, she officially looked sick. She looked like a cancer patient. If there was ever a moment of reality, this was the first. I used a little oil to moisturize her scalp, but now…
…she really IS sick.
The chemotherapy is beginning to take it’s toll on her digestive system. She quickly loses most of her ability to taste, as well as the desire to eat, or even hold food down when she does want to eat.
Her hair quickly became one of the least of our worries.
Soon, her beautiful, shiny, smooth bald head was just another fashion accessory, along with her NG tube and my various tape jobs..
That is how tattoos became a part of My’isha‘s therapy, and a fun hobby to bring more awareness to childhood cancer. Not to mention it stopped people from mistaking her for a boy.
We had such a great time with them! I appreciate the inspiration and hope the warriors at 10-Strong provide to families at the Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City. They were just great, and I couldn’t imagine starting our journey anywhere else!