As Mallorie sat on my bed, I began to brush her hair. We knew it was only a matter of time before it would start to fall out. Still it came as a shock as to how much actually came out onto the brush. With each brush stroke I would set aside the clump of hair removed from Mallorie’s head. Inside my heart was breaking, but at the same time I was comforted because the anticipation from this chemo side effect had finally arrived. Mallorie knew hair was falling out with each time the brush touch her scalp. She would ask me how full the brush was after each stroke. I wanted to lie and say, “Oh honey, it’s not that bad.” but I couldn’t. I had to answer, a lot. When I finished brushing, I asked her if she wanted to see the pile of beautiful, blonde hair placed beside me. I was scared of what she might say or do after she saw it. I mean, how devastating it must be for an 11 year-old to see half their hair detached from their head. She said she wanted to see it, so I took her hand and placed the wad of hair in it and waited.
As she looked to her hand, her eyes got as wide as silver dollars. Her mouth dropped to the floor. She just looked at it, staring like it was some hideous monster in the palm of her hand. She shook her head, her eyes become glass and she threw herself down on my bed and began to cry. There are very few moments in my life where I have been at a loss for words, and this was one of those times. What do you say in this situation? I had nothing, so I said nothing. I just laid down next to her, held her and let her cry.
What seemed liked hours, only lasted a few minutes. Mallorie sat up without warning and said, “I want to donate it. I want to donate my hair so someone can enjoy it like I did.” You would think by now I would not be blown away by her generosity and goodness, but I was. She found something good out of something bad. We started talking about wigs and hats. And the darkness that shadowed over us was lifted and we pressed on as normal.
If you saw Mallorie right now, you really wouldn’t be able to tell she lost a lot of hair, but it won’t be too much longer. To be honest, the first thing I wanted to do was get mad. How dare this disease take away my daughters hair. But slowly this feeling of peace overcame me and I realized that this bump in the road is actually a blessing. You see we are one more step closer to getting her well. It represented the sickness falling away so new, healthy cells can grow. I want nothing more than to have Mallorie back to herself and each day we are closer.
I close with a tweet I read from Rev Run; Life is all about attitude. A bad attitude is like a flat tire, you won’t get very far unless you change it.