Two weeks ago, tired, after my annual breast MRI, I visited my friend Laura who’s battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma with gusto and glory in a way I know not of. She told me she had just endured four rounds of chemo for six days straight. WTF?! Is that even possible? I couldn’t even deal with one every three weeks!
I entered the room. It was so happily decorated with bright colors-an orange and cream blanket, pictures of Hawaii (which is her residence) and most importantly her beautiful two-year old son. I pulled a chair next to her.
I can relate. I know that feeling. It hurts your scalp but more-so hurts your livelihood, right down to your soul. Hair. It’s what helps define us women. Hair. It’s the single worst word that I have ever heard since cancer. Hair on the ground? Shitty. Pulling your hair out in globs? F*#@ S*&!
“I have been requesting a hairdresser for three days now,” she said.
In my mind I envisioned myself running down to the corner drug store and coming back up with a buzz-cutter. I knew that feeling of wanting to just get it taken care of, the feeling of not wanting to shower because it would come out faster. I was ready and willing to do my diligent duty right now. Then, a knock at the door. It was the hairdresser in all her glory. Of all the amazing people that had visited her throughout her stay, I KNEW that this was MY TIME to be WITH HER. At that. Very. Moment.
The hairdresser was smiling and compassionate. We got to talking. I mentioned how I had just gotten my annual scan earlier that day. I told her that it obviously had changed my life for the better, stating that I was on the “Looking Forward” board for a couple years and that this was the type of things we raised money for. I asked her if she had heard of it. As fate would have it, she was the hairdresser that we the board had been eagerly anticipating to hire for months! When we finally got the go ahead to hire her, everyone on the board was super excited! I mean, this touches lives. She would be touching lives.
Laura’s eyes were closed for most of the time while her hair was falling quietly to her sides from the razor. I sat across from her, remembering having the same exact feeling. There’s no turning back at that point. Her chin twitched. I got off my chair, reached under the black hairdresser’s cape and squeezed her hand. The sound of the buzz-cutters chimed on. The hairdresser was finished. Laura walked into the bathroom towards the mirror with her bad-ass self, “Well hey! Haven’t seen YOU in a while!”
I mean, this girl looked GOOD! She looked HOT! And her smile? Still as brilliant and radiant as ever. She took her much-anticipated shower and came out exhausted, although not expressing it with her words. I suggested that I go and she agreed she was definitely in need of some rest.
I closed the door. I knew she was tired. Surely more tired than I was this morning when I walked in to meet her. I mean, tired isn’t even the word. It’s stupid exhausted. Spent. Done. And ya know what?! She continues to fight. And I believe she will. And she will get through this for her son James. And for herself. And when she’s back thriving in Hawaii I will come visit her and say, “Remember when?”
Support Laura by visiting her GoFundMe page.