Spa Day

Today was the day I was going to lose my hair. About a week ago, I cut it shorter as I was too tired to take care of the long hair any more. But last night it started falling out into my hand as I tried to wet it down with water, so I knew the end was near. People at the clinic recommended just shaving it when that started happening because they said it was messy and comes out in patches. I knew it was going to be an emotionally trying day, so I called my fun sister over and told her it couldn’t be done without her. I spent most of the morning at Huntsman running tests and such. By 1:00 we were home, met by my darling sister with bags full of scarves, hats and hairless options. After a brief fashion show by Sondra, we browsed through some wig catalogs to find an appropriate wig. Sharon (my darling friends and daily caregiver) was pushing the Jacqlyn Smith wig with the “flirty bangs”, Sondra recommended we not forget the Raquel Welch wig series. We settled on trying some on before buying. With that decision made, Sharon made us a wonderful lunch of whole wheat pasta with pesto, kalmata olives and watermelon.

After lunch, I had worked up enough courage to do the deed, so  I retrieved a brand new, unopened pair of electric hair clippers I had bought originally to take back to Mexico for my boys’ hair. Conveniently, I had not sent them off with Paul.

Sondra retrieved a plastic lawn chair and insisted we do this in the shade under the apple tree. Sharon found me a pillow and an ice pack to sit on during the experience so I could keep working on certain “therapies”. Sondra found a very long orange extension cord and we wrapped a towel around my neck, double ports and all. For added protection, we cut open a white trash bag to protect the port. She shaved me down using a #3 and then used the micro shaver to get a closer shave. I don’t know really what my boys complain about when I give them buzz cuts, because it felt kind of buzzy and sort of good. Now I can tell them I really know what it feels like. Both Sharon and Sondra complimented my head shape (a bit TOO much), which they swear is not deformed in the least. You will just have to take their word for that, because you will never see that for yourself.  Once she was done, she washed my head and it felt very mentholated, even though we were just using $1.99 Pantene shampoo. No more need for conditioner and Sharon says she can always use more, so we have a definite plan for the conditioner in my bathroom.  Sondra wrapped a t-shirt around my head in the fashion shown me by my terrific mentor, Sarah.

At this point I was totally ready to bawl. It is true that I have had a love/hate relationship with my hair over the years, but in reality it has been mostly a love affair. I started to burst into tears and Sondra could see it coming, so she suggested we grab a lawn chair and spend some time outside in the shade to gain some composure. Sharon brought out chocolate and ice waters and took the “after” picture which you will never see. We all sat outside and chatted about family, friends and things happening in our lives.

After a pause, Sharon brightly said, “Well girls, this is just like a spa day!” The thought of sitting on an plastic lawn chair, pillow and ice pack getting my hair shaved completely off reminded of no spa experience I’ve ever had. Sharon insisted that we had shopped, had fashion moments, gotten a haricut, had Megan paint my toes the day before, and eaten chocolate while relaxing outside. It was well noted that it was completely FREE!

The irony hit me so hard I laughed  harder than I have in years. What should have been a day of trauma was a day made bright and fun by my sister and friend. It will be a cherished memory for the rest of my life. Sondra professes to have a secret desire to be Sinead Oconnor (I’ll believe it when I see it), but Sharon was comforted that I had not wanted anyone to be a “shave buddy” and encourage others to share the head shaving experience.

Do I feel beautiful? Not quite yet and probably not until I get real hair back, but what a fun day. Just know that you too can have a FREE spa day in the Bentley back yard but that it might involve an ice pack, an extension cord and and electric clippers, but that it will be under the apple tree in the the cool breezes of August. Sharon will throw in some chocolate. It’s on the house.

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7 thoughts on “Spa Day

  1. I am so glad that the day turned out with laughter. I wish I could have shared it with you too! The pictures are so beautiful and colorful. Thank you Sondra and Sharon for taking care of beautiful Jenny!

    Love Michelle

  2. Jenny–
    you are truly beautiful inside and out–hair or no hair!!! You and Paul have always been so wonderful to Clarke and I. We love you so much. If you should ever need anything at all from us, you know we would jump at the chance to help. Your kids are all so big and grown up!

  3. Jenny,
    I love that your spa day included clippers. That is a dream of mine to actually go into a spa and get my head shaved off because I hate my hair so much. Please let us know if you need anything. I know you have lots of family and friends around but we are an extra pair of hands and wheels and we have great babysitters so we can leave the kids and run up if you ever need anything extra. You are in my prayers everyday.
    Much love,
    Kim Allgood

  4. I’m losing my hair (just not as fast) and, unfortunately, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not going to grow back. You’re a trooper -keep it up

  5. Jenny,

    I ditto the above remarks. You are a remarkable woman and I’m so glad you have wonderful people around you, especially when I’m all the way out here in southern cal. But I’m not surprised you broke out in laughter. That emotion is so close to tears, than sometimes you have to do one to avoid the other. I love you sweet cheeks. And fair warning, I will get a hold have that ‘bald’ picture one day!!! (smile)

  6. Jenny, You are truly blessed to have such a wonderful sister! Every person I have ever known that has lost hair to cancer, I thought of it has a symbol of honor! They are brave and courageous, and the hairloss it just a symbol of the strenght they have inside! You are amazing!

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