I’m often asked how the kids are taking all this. I first broke the news to them a couple of months ago. Since then they seem to have been dealing with it pretty well; and by that I mean, life goes on as normally as possible. I’m walking around the house completely bald – I sometimes startle myself when I catch a look in a mirror – and the kids don’t even blink; they’ve gotten used to it faster that I have.
Even before all this happened, Paige has been interested in my body, which makes sense for an eight-year-old girl to be interested in a grown woman’s body. She’s definitely been paying close attention to the changes cancer has brought to my body. I haven’t changed my behavior or tried to hide anything; I’ve tried to acknowledge the changes, agree that “yeah, it’s kind of ugly and lopsided,” but otherwise not make too much of a big deal of it. I think they’ve both found this reassuring, especially Paige. And of course I remind them that eventually it’ll all be mostly fixed; I won’t look like this forever.
But I know they are paying attention. The other day we had back-to-school night at the kids’ school. Tad went to Lane’s classroom, and I went to Paige’s. As I was listening to the teacher describe the curriculum, I started poking around in Paige’s desk. In her vocabulary workbook, she needed to use the word “absent” in a sentence. Here is what she wrote:
4 thoughts on “Bald Mom”
You and my friend Chrissy are wonderful role models for your kids, the neighborhood kids, your nieces and nephews and anyone reading this blog. Chrissy had fun with her wig and hats and worked at Carleton through her breast cancer this spring/summer (the two of you are on parallel paths). She too has young children and to see the both of you try to keep everyone’s lives as normal as possible is amazing and refreshing. This is totally curable, but it just sucks.
The cancer battle has come a long way from the 1980’s when Ursula Haase fought the battle. Strong role models who chose to fight this battle with poise and a positive attitude help the future generations form expectations where cancer isn’t an automatic death-sentence like it was years ago. In the 80s, for Ursula, it probably was a death-sentence (oh, and of course, it was a different strain of cancer) but because of all that research (love academic research labs!) and this blog we are all learning to let-go of the fear of the unknown and to face this head-on with our kick-butt positive attitudes!
Oh, and tell Paige that I’m going to have her write my “Absent-Notes” from work from now on!
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I am flattered by the comparison to my amazing grandmother, and grateful that things have come so far since then that my battle is not nearly as difficult.
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Loving your blog (Jessica’s mom). On a homework related note, I got called a “dictator” this week in 5th grade vocab lesson. I hope Lane was kind, lol!!!
Your grandmother and your two aunts as well as my sisters, paved the way for you. Attitude is 90% of the battle and that you have! Love Dad