Joy in the Morning: My Outer Beauty

You’re going to lose your hair.” Those were the words my oncologist said to me as he was describing my treatment plan. He glanced up at me to see my reaction. I didn’t freak-out or cry but swallowed hard knowing that this was just another step in my treatment to get my body healthy again.

Ladies let’s face it, our hair is important to us. It’s one of the few ways we can dramatically change our appearance that doesn’t cost a lot of money. We can color it different colors, wear different hair-styles, grow it long, cut it short. It can even affect the way we feel about ourselves; hence the term “having a bad hair day.”

1 peter c3v3 4One of the young women at church asked me if I was going to wear a wig or “rock the bald look.” Somehow, I wasn’t quite the type to wear the bald-look but it gave me a chuckle.  My beautician and friend, Jane, helped me make the transition to becoming hairless. She cut my hair into a short pixie and accompanied me to a wig salon where she helped me pick out my first wig. We settled on a blonde “bob” that was similar to my own hair. It was to become my new companion and friend over the next few months.

As my doctor predicted, three weeks after my first chemo treatment I was pulling clumps of hair from my head and piling them up next to me in the shower. I just wanted to get this over with and at that point it became a mission to accomplish. For awhile I looked like Gollum from Lord of the Rings with my few strands of hair on my head. It was not a pretty sight.

Not only did I lose the hair on my head but I lost all my body hair. Since there was nothing I could do about it, I thought I would make lemonade out of lemons. I actually found some benefits in my hair loss: I could get myself ready in the morning in less than a half hour since I didn’t have to style my hair, I didn’t have to shave or tweeze anymore, and I was saving a lot of money by not going to the beautician. I was able to try different hairstyles and hats that I could never wear before. Bruce said he never knew who was going to show up that day!

I also went to a local hospital to participate in a makeover class for cancer patients. They showed me how to “draw on” eyebrows and how to make the most of my thinning eyelashes. I sat around a table with 5 other ladies who recently lost their hair. We were just trying to feel somewhat normal again as this disease had robbed us of more than our hair–our self-image.

One day when I was packing away my curling iron and hair products,  I was thinking about what defined my beauty and the Lord showed me through His Word that it wasn’t my hair.

Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear, but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

Join me next month as For part 2 of this post, My Inner Beauty.

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