Liv’s hair had been coming out in handfuls for the last two days. Our whole house had a fresh layer of blond hair all over it. She couldn’t stand the hair all over her and that it was falling into her food and covering all her blankets and stuffed animals. Every time we flipped a Memory card over when we had it laid out on the ground, we would scoop up a pile of hair with it.
We woke up Saturday morning and I gave her a shower. She called to me and said, “Mom! My hair is all over my body!” I went to help her and I knew we were going to have to buzz her soon. Half of her hair had come out 😦
I told her in my happiest voice, “Babe I think we are going to have to cut it all off soon.”
“I want to now!”
“Really? You’re ready to cut it all off?”
“Ok, do you want to have a big hair cutting party and have all your favorite foods and have your grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles come? Or would you rather just do it here with our little family?”
“A party! And I want to have Cheetos and Cheese at the party!” 🙂
“Ok! I’ll let everyone know!”
I tearfully texted both families and told them that it had to be done soon and that we would be cutting her the next night (Sunday evening). I also texted a good friend and asked if she would go headband shopping with me. I just needed to get out and take a breath. This was all happening so fast, so much faster than the doctors said it would. Some kids do lose their hair in the first round of chemo, but most don’t lose it until month 3 or 4. I knew it was going to happen, and I thought I was ok with it. But then all of a sudden it was happening NOW, and I wasn’t ok with it! I’m so glad I went out and got cute headbands and food for the next evening, it helped me gather myself and take my mind off of things for a while.
The next day her hair was even worse. It was just falling out in clumps onto her back and her pillows. I knew that we had made the right decision to do it today.
We started getting ready for her party. She was SO excited. I decided to make her very favorite food: White Chicken Chili. Liv LOVES to cook with me, but because her hair was falling everywhere, I couldn’t let her help me with her soup. She was so sad about this and said she couldn’t wait until her hair was gone so that she could help me cook again. As sad as it sounds, I’m so grateful for little things like that, that made her want to get rid of her hair.
Dinner time came and our families started to arrive. My mom brought salad, and we had rolls, GF cornbread, jello from my grandma, Creamies from my sister in law and then her favorite snacks (cheetos, “circle cheese” and Chicago mix popcorn). I wanted her to have fun, and not have any reason (other than having to buzz her hair) to be emotional, so I made her her favorite foods and didn’t restrict what she ate. She was in heaven! Everyone from both sides of our family was able to make it and it felt so good to have them all there and feel their love and support. After dinner, Liv played Memory with two of my sisters in law (and won, of course 😉 ) and then said, “Ok, Mom! I’m ready to cut my hair!” I was so surprised that she was telling me she was ready, I thought for sure that once the time came, she would decide she didn’t want to.
So, we pulled up the chair, got the clippers out and put the hair cape on. I was shaking so bad as I picked up the clippers and turned them on. It was painful for me to do this to my baby girl. I knew that it needed to be me that did it. She has had a really hard time with anyone else touching her or doing things to her. I think because she has so many strange people poking and prodding her at the hospital, anyone that she isn’t familiar with sets her off. She trusts me, and I think she knew that if I were doing it to her, that everything would be ok. I put a smile on my face, lifted up her thinning hair, and did my first swipe. As it fell to the ground I felt my emotions getting the better of me. Silent tears streamed down my face as I slowly made my way across her head. The room was silent; not an uncomfortable and awkward silence, but a calm and spiritual silence. Everyone watched as our brave girl sat strongly and had her “Rapunzel hair” shaved off. There were a lot of, “Liv, you look so beautiful!” of “It looks so great, Liv!” or “I’m so proud of you, Liv!” It was so great to have the support of those that she loves. I was shaking so badly by the end that Rick stepped in to help me finish it. As soon as we were done we let her pick the headband she wanted to wear. She picked a beautiful green floral one. As soon as she hopped down and we took the cape off she gave a great big smile. She was genuinely so happy!
It was now everyone else’s turn! She really wanted to help buzz her dad’s hair 🙂 So, we had Rick hop up and Liv went to town! She got a little rough with her scraping, so Rick was grimacing in pain for a little bit of it. Haha! She smiled and laughed and stuck her tongue out in concentration the whole time. She was loving it!
Once Rick was done, she was ready for Street! Street hopped right up there and got his head shaved, and then one by one uncles stepped up. It was so great to watch. Liv really enjoyed cutting their hair and was so happy the whole night. It honestly could not have gone any better. It was what I had been praying for.
The evening went so great and we couldn’t be more grateful for the love and support of our sweet families! They made Liv feel like a princess!