Buzz and Brownies
Review: Anne’s tumor has returned again. She continues to receive chemotherapy to treat it. After one cycle of treatment, her hair has thinned so much she decided to have her much anticipated Buzz and Brownie party.
Anne was originally going to have “special” brownies and regular brownies. However, she decided against it because of her large number of military and DOD friends. An honest mistake could ruin their career.
Whitney, a local hairstylist, volunteered to help with the big day. After coordinating her schedule with how Anne expected to be feeling, the date was set and invites were sent.
Mrs. Potatohead, a gift for Anne, was a big hit. Here she is manning the snack table.
After securing her mug mai tai in a 32oz hospital mug with a lid and straw, Anne was ready. She set up a Facebook live for friends and family unable to attend with the title “Anne takes it all off with some good friends… Hair that is, People!” (She added the last part so Facebook would not shut her down.)
Anne feels her shaved head for the first time.
Besides the obvious jokes for sunscreen and hair care tips, Anne also joked about how the cool breezes on her bare head would help with the hot flashes, or “personal summers,” as one friend called them. As Whitney finished, people complimented what a great head she had: no bumps and her scalp matched her face. While they sounded like jokes, they were sincere. She wears the new do very well! (An unexpected consequence is now it very obvious that her son gets his looks from her.)
Anne sees her new look in the camera of a cellphone for the first time. (Who needs mirrors anymore?)
While that was happening, Anne got lots of hugs, took lots of selfies with everyone there, and enjoyed some brownies. Anne’s mom made sure everyone got one and sent some home with anyone that would take them.
I know Anne went to bed exhausted, but also with a full heart from all the love and support of those that are with her near and far as she took this empowering step in her cancer journey.
Anne’s friend dyed a part of her hair purple in support of LMS awareness.
While she knew this would happen, it is still an emotional decision to look cancer and chemo in the face and say “You are controlling my life right now, but this is one thing I can do about it.” It is a way to take a piece of power from it. It seems like a small, easy step in the journey. It’s just hair. But if you were asked to shave your head, would you? Our hair is an extension of ourselves. We style and color to match our personality, to show the world who we are and how we want to be seen. She can no longer hide from strangers that she is fighting cancer. She must face her fear of being treated differently; being treated as a diagnosis, not a person. Cancer fighter is now the personality she will show the world. I don’t know about you, but being surrounded by family and friends, drinking mai tais and eating brownies seems like best way to take that step.
Check out Whitney’s post about the day. She beautifully describes what is like to be on the other side of the clippers.
Anne, her friends, father, aunt, and Whitney pose for a photo.
Follow Anne’s Journey with LMS
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