Friday, May 15, 2015

Chemo Hair Loss Party

Greetings friends and family,

Everyone is busy.  I know this because when I ask friends "how are you?"  they all say, "busy!"  but I have often thought to myself how broad the scale of busy can be.  One of my single friends with no kids and an 8-5 M-F job mentioned how terribly busy his life is.  I laughed out loud and he had no idea why.  I had no way to describe for him how busy life can really get and I know there are people whose lives are so busy they make me look lazy.  I give a golf-clap to those crazy individuals, but as far as I'm concerned my busyness scale is maxed out.

Even so, I usually leave work early on Wednesday to take the twins to ice skating.  Easton's recent advancement means both of them are on the ice at the same time now instead of each one being in a class of their own for an hour.  It works out much better this way.  Easton made some new friends on the ice and Layla is a bit of a superstar because she's so advanced compared to other seven year olds who are just starting on the ice.  Watching them encourage each other is music to my ears.

Before we went camping last weekend Layla wrote a note for Kendra's mom and I'll translate since her words and spelling are at the level of  her seven-year-old self.

Dear Ouma, I need you to take care of Mom while I am gone.  Love, Layla

I chuckled when I read her note because it is so cute.  She is extremely thoughtful and caring; especially when it comes to taking care of Mommy.  I love how she thought it was necessary to leave Ouma a note to take care of Kendra.

Layla had a fever and since Kendra is going through Chemotherapy we need to have healthy kids so she doesn't get their sickness.  I took Layla to the doctor as a precaution.  This required several reassurances that there will be NO SHOTS given at the pediatrician's office.  She was brave, but overly concerned about shots because she really hates them.  can't blame her....

Since this was kind of a daddy-date I let her wear whatever she wanted.  Pink hair band, pink shirt, pink frilly, fluffy skirt, and pink socks.  Who would have guessed?  The doctor confirmed she just had a common fever and flu-like symptoms that she would have to ride out.  There was nothing they could do to speed it along.  Although I found that some sunshine, Jamba Juice immunity-boosted healthy smoothie, and laughs with Daddy sure seem to help.  Her face is always towards the sun.  I love this little girl.

Easton had his own sporadic Daddy time over the past few weeks as we built an FM radio receiver.  I bought a kit off Amazon for $18 so he could get his first electronics training.  The kit was simple enough we were able to put it together with just some pliers, and a screw driver.  it was complex enough to give Easton some great hands-on understanding of what it takes to make a radio work.  The kit uses springs wire pieces and transistors along with the control module to make it all work together.  We followed the instructions and it works!  I shouldn't be so surprised, but given all the parts and connections I only gave it a 50/50 chance of producing any sound at all.  Easton is amazed and happy to have built something functional.  He's got the curiosity to be really good at engineering stuff.

Kendra is driving!  It's not as exciting as a 16 year old getting behind the wheel for the first time, but it's been nine long weeks since she's driven at all.  Her trip around the block was successful and she is cleared to resume normal driving privileges.  Now that Ouma is gone, her back healing enough for her to drive is perfect timing.

The oncologist said Kendra's hair would start falling out around 3 weeks into this journey.   Just like clockwork her hair started disintegrating at her finger tips.  She went to scratch her head and wound up with a handful of hair.  She decided to just shave it off to get ahead of the Chemotherapy effects.  She mentioned it to a few friends and we had a very spontaneous head-shaving party.  Stephanie came over with hats expecting Kendra to shave her head bald.

As Tam cut her hair someone said the word "mohawk" and everyone (including Kendra) agreed to give it a try.

She likes it and we all do too.  The hair loss celebration party was really fun.  We were laughing, playing music, and even a little dancing here and there.

Betty, Stephanie, and Tam are three of Kendra's friends.  She has many and is very blessed.  These are just the three that happened to be around and available for a spontaneous event like this.  The day was happy because that's just who Kendra is.  That night as we were getting comfy in bed I asked her if there were any moments of sadness or concern or negative feelings that came up.  She thought for a short moment and said, "no, it was fun and I don't care about my hair or what anyone else thinks."

I would have been perfectly fine if she had any negative feelings or issues to talk through, but she really is this content and joyful even at the thought of her hair falling out.  It's just temporary and she'll have a new head of hair growing in starting in December through 2016.

Here's the video clip I made to commemorate the chemo hair day.  I'm sure there will be one more such party before her hair fully falls out.

As much as I'm learning and enjoying every moment of this journey with Kendra, I can't wait for this year to be over...  See you soon!

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