The Physical Battle
Hair and Tears
“It seems that everything is falling from my head; my hair and my tears.” This was a very hard time in the cancer journey. I knew that the chemotherapy was going to make my hair fall out. I thought I was prepared for this, but when it happened it was an overwhelming and depressing experience. Even though I mentally knew why it was happening, it was very emotional.
I could tell when everything started to begin. I found a few hairs in the bathtub drain for a few days. I expected that would continue and that it would just slowly thin. It didn’t happen that way. One day it just started falling out in chunks. You could actually feel the hair letting go from the scalp! It would slide down my back or into my eyes. By midnight, I was bald.
I struggled with my feelings. It didn’t seem right to feel so vain to be so worried about my hair. I knew it would grow back. I had a wig and many hats and scarves. I was alive and had a pretty good chance of living through this cancer. What was I worried about? I found comfort in knowing that God knows me so well that he knows how many hairs I have on my head everyday! “Even the hairs on your head are all numbered.” (Matthew 10:30) I prayed, “Lord, I need to remember that I am to focus on the inside.”
I began to focus on what the Bible said about me and to ignore what the fashion magazines would say. I am a child of God. He loves me enough to give up his son. (John 3:16) He is my light and my salvation, and I shouldn’t fear anything. (Psalm 27:1) He knows the plans he has for me, to prosper and to give me a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
I will not lie. I continued to struggle with my bald head and to cry about my looks from time to time. But, I found comfort in the knowledge that God counts and collects my tears in a bottle. “You have kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.” (Psalm 56:8) I also liked what Psalm 126:5 says “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” And finally the comforting words in Rev 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things will pass away.”
Reflecting back on the grieving process, I found that focusing my mind on these truths was a very peaceful way to live during those trying months. Remember, He will give you peace no matter the circumstances. “Great peace have they who love your law.” (Psalm 119:165) and “Be at rest once more, O my soul. For the Lord has been good to you. He has delivered you from death.” (Psalm 116:7-9)
Above all, remember that He loves you no matter what you look like and don’t worry. At least you will never have another “bad” hair day for a while!