Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hair by Cancer, Strong by Choice

So my journey continues with cancer. The next new phase was the hair. The first step was making the call to my friend Marina to have it cut short. That call was a hard one to make. My hair represented a new lifestyle that Jared and I work hard on this summer with our running and eating healthy. The layers in my hair had grown out just enough to be able to pull all my hair back in a ponytail without clips. I loved it! I worked for it, and now cancer was taking it away.
Marina was wonderful at keeping me talking and distracted during the cut. Just what I needed. It was fun to catch up on the Wellsville happenings and the changes in ward boundaries in the 2 two years we've been gone.
So here I am with my cute short do.
I've had a few good weeks with my new hair do, having fun with a new look. And then came day 12 after my first chemo treatment. My hair began letting go. I could pull handfuls out at a time. Then I took a shower...and clog the drain...for 4 days in a row! Here is what I would have to clean out after each shower.
Friday I wore a scarf across the front of my hair to help hold it all in and not shed on the little first graders I work with. It was a fun sassy look to play with. Saturday I wore a hat to the mall, while we tried to find some appropriate scarves for church. We ended up at Joannes buying fabric. And that worked well.

Later that night we had a family hair shaving party. First I shaved Jordan and Jared's hair, cut Tia's and then everyone (minus Jordan who then fell asleep, deeply) cut and shaved my head. I was amazed at how it really didn't affect me. I have really come to find that I am not a vain person. There is more to this than loosing my femininity. In fact It's more about finding it.

This morning while getting ready for church, I took a good look at my bald head in the mirror and asked Jared why this wasn't bothering me. And then it hit me. I have seen pictures of women who are in this same battle, they are bald, they are fighting, and they are STRONG! And I have joined their ranks. Jared says it makes me look stronger, not weaker. That's how I feel. I am again awed by what I must go through, and the person that I am becoming through it. I am once again grateful for my cancer trial.

Here are Jared and I in our matching Sunday attire.

Me with my boys and our matching hairdos.


  1. Brittney's got nothin' on you girl!!!!! You still look hot! Looks like Jordan is holding up fairly well too. Glad things are going well.

    Love Ya! Susan Mateer

  2. This is so unfair. You look good under all circumstances. I was talking to my mom the other day and telling her the happenings and how amazed I was at your attitude, your strength and your . . . . ummm, stubbornness? I realized then that I do not know one other person who has the ability to so strongly lean on the Savior and His promises as you do. This characteristic is so integral as to who you are and why so many of us look to you for friendship and as a role model. I really do want to be more like you because you are more like the Savior than I am. I am so very proud of you!!


  3. Jen you are AMAZING!!!!! There are no words for how I feel. Keep up the good work and Love and keep close to your family. You are already showing how close you are to the Savior. Your thoughts on how your have included your family in everything is amazing. Keep going strong girl. Kaisa

  4. You look beautiful! You have a very nice head. I think you should consider a short bob when you're all done, it really becomes you!

  5. You are beautiful bald!!!!! I love you- Nicole

  6. Thanks so much for sharing. It is wonderful how you are including each of your family members in each changing stage. You are beautiful! Melanie R.

  7. You amaze me!! You are so strong. I also agree with Christy. You are an inspiration to all that come in contact with you for any reason. John even noticed how happy you look in the pictures. I loved to step by step of the pictures. "YOU ARE MY INSPIRATION!" To see how you have handled this it makes us(my family)reflect back to losing our father, father-in-law, and grandfather 3 years ago with the battle of cancer as well. Thanks to you and your family you have made this year easier to deal with our loss. I love you!


  8. Jen, You are amazing. Thank you for sharing this with us and for sharing your incredible strength. You are an inspiration. You look beautiful. We love you.- Wendy

  9. So, the first thing I thought when I saw you with that smile and no hair was, "Wow, GI Jane." Way to keep them combat boots alive, girl! ;) I then called Justin over to show him the post and you could see the ache in his eyes when I told him, "She did it." He came over, read the post, and his comment was, "She makes bald look good!" And he had a smile on his face! We are proud of you! I especially love the pictures of you with the boys. That is priceless! And you'll have to pass the message along to Tia that her hair cut looks great. Especially with that cute little flip! Love you guys!

  10. You looked so gorgeous at church today! But as beautiful as you are on the outside, the beauty within is what is amazing. You are incredible!

  11. Jenn, as adorable as you are with your hair and short hair style, I don't think I've ever seen you more beautiful... I think I like the look even better with out the scarf! I was trying to think of why that is, and it didn't take long to realize... because it leaves absolutely nothing to distract from your beautiful eyes,smile,and the beauty and brightness of your faith that shines stronger than I remember ever seeing! Perhaps you will consider keeping this look permanently!)
    So, why doesn't it bother you? I think it goes beyond knowing other women who have been where you are and how strong they are/have been. You have the unconditional love of your family and so many friends, and even more so, you know who you are, and your hair is just a part of the package, by far not the best part! Like a gift, too many of the rest of us have it backwards and rather than treasuring the actual gift, we disregard it and value the wrapping paper instead. Sure, it can be pretty, but wrapping paper was never meant to be important, let alone the focus. (can you imagine what the curb-sides would look like after Christmas if we treated our temporal gifts this way?!) You are still one of the best teachers I have!
    I love you! I miss you! I am so grateful I have the honor of calling you my friend.
    ~Hugs~ Paige

  12. You really do have a beautiful head Jen!! The lack of hair also puts more emphasis on your beautiful face! Look at those eyes!!!..and your beautiful smile! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Okay, yea- you look beautiful. I'm really disappointed. No scary fat head like I would have. You just look the same but somehow more beautiful. I like it with and without the scarf. It'll be fun to try different colors or fabrics, etc. You are very brave, and of course I'm not really disappointed that you look great. I am thrilled for you and so happy to see you and your wonderful family so united and loving!

  14. You really are SO STRONG! And you look good sans hair or with your beautiful scarf. When we have some time I have to tell you about the spiritual experience I had (thanks to you & your family) on Sunday. You continue to inspire me!
    BTW, your family looks great as well.

  15. Your head is the perfect shape for a shaved head, you look beautiful!!!

    *I've secretly always wanted to try shaving my head....I don't think I'd look half as good as you!

  16. Wow! I can't believe how much Jordan looks like you! You are amazing, strong and beautiful! Keep up keeping strong. Show that cancer who's boss! XOXO

  17. You have amazing strength! I have to admit your head looks far better shaved then mine would ever look. I have funny dents and bumps. I think it is great that you and your family are making every step of the journey together as a family.

  18. It's been so long since we've seen or talked to each other. Reading through your blogs on this challenging journey I see that fundamentally you are the same amazing person I knew in Jr High and High School. Life brings us all through the peaks and valleys that make us the people we are. It's great to see that you are strong, confident and loving and that lifes challenges have only deepened those character traits for you. I love you and admire you and look forward to catching up with you soon.

    Your friend,
    Donna W


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