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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Reality is raw

Today for the first time since her diagnosis, for the first time in five months, my mum looks like she has cancer.
Her hair had started to fall out over the past week, a simple touch, and you had hair in your fingers.  It was floating down onto her clothes..... each morning when she woke up, there was hair on her pillow. When I walked through her door, I could not believe how whimsical her hair had become.
The reality was setting in, my mum was losing her hair, our "interesting" journey on the yellow brick road was taking a turn.
My sister and I had turned up to do some cleaning and gardening at my parents house.  When someone becomes sick for such a great period of time, household chores take a serious back burner.  We have all been contributing to try and get my parents home, back on track.
My sister took along her clippers to see if mum was ready to have her head shaved, she was.  She said that she had been crying in the shower about losing her hair, the inevitable was near. I have been dreading the day that she was going to lose her hair.  You know it is part of the process, but nothing prepares you for that moment. That moment when her hair is gone and she looks sick, she looks like she has cancer. She only looked at herself briefly in the mirror, no doubt seeing the reflection of a woman who did not look like her.
We could see that dad was struggling, sadness in his eyes as he had just watched the love of his life lose her hair.  He encouraged her to try on her wig, the one that he had chosen - we are so proud of how strong he has been on this journey. We helped her put on her wig, and it instantly changed her.  She no longer looked sick, and it brightened her up and made her feel better.  She left it on for the rest of the afternoon and still had it on when we all left.
I walked into the kitchen at one stage and mum and dad were there - dad said to mum "how you going sorty?". I said to dad, "do you think you have yourself a new girl now?" We had a laugh, you have to grab those light hearted moments whenever you can.
I took some photo's of mum today so she can reflect on them throughout her journey.  At this stage, these moments are only for my family, we need to respect mum's privacy at present.
As I said, reality is raw, sometimes so raw, you don't want to face it.  However, the upper hand is sometimes forced and no matter what you try and do, you have to face it at some stage.

My parents gave me my birthday card today, the most beautiful card that I have received from them. I know that it was hand picked with love, and they would give this card to all of my sisters if it was their birthday too.  We are all treated equally, so much love shared amongst us.

The words printed on it are as follows;

For our Daughter
If you could see yourself the way we see you,
you'd know how truly special you are
You're a loving person and a caring daughter
all the things that would make any parents proud
On your birthday and every day,
thoughts of you are filled with love
because you're such a wonderful daughter

To my beautiful mum, no matter what this journey brings, no matter what you are forced to face, your loving husband and four aces are right beside you, each and every step of the way.


  1. Oh Buffy, what a tough day for all of you. So sorry to read about your Mum going through this really difficult stage in the journey. I think the wig is a wonderful idea and a few little laughs here and there don't hurt either. You sound like a beautiful family. Keep going strong, you'll get there :) xo

  2. Thank goodness, that we live in a time, when medicine has the ability to heal. You're so right, it's a journey, but not one we wish to take, but one which will inevitably make you all stronger for having taken it. To your, and your families health! xxx