This snuck up on me.
I’m not going to lie.
And I have been so overwhelmed with what has happened, I frankly have not known where to start in saying thank you, or even showing you what has been happening in my mailbox and on my head.
It started with a few hats in the mail from my Mom. Yes, my Mom sent some hats. In my world where my Mom sends things frequently, this is totally normal. Then my Aunt sent a hat along with some things for the kids. Hmmmm, my Aunt and Mom must have been shopping together.
Again, entirely normal. So I didn’t think anything of it.
And then, suddenly, Howard (my mail carrier) knocked on my door to deliver a bunch more boxes and envelopes. He laughed and made some joke about how popular I was.
Hats. It was more and more hats.
Some came with totally inappropriate notes. Others with heartfelt poems. Some just with words of encouragement. Some with nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just a hat in a box.
I begged Aaron to tell me what was happening. He had to know, right?
He got that shit-eating grin on his face, and denied knowing a thing. I had to thank whomever did this. I had to explain what it felt like, as Lupus took yet another part of ME…my pretty red hair…and turned me again into this person I didn’t know or recognize.
But who? Why? What in the hell was going on?
Either fearing one of my steroid HULK SMASH moments or just wanting to help me say ‘thank you’ too because even HE was stunned by the amount of mail coming into the house….Aaron broke down and told me what he had done.
Aaron and Megan reached out to all our friends and family and told them about my hair:
In all seriousness, Erin (@QueenofSpain), in her valiant fight with Lupus, is doing battle with new treatments with a nasty side effect that is most likely going to cause her to lose her hair. We don’t know if she will lose it all, just some, or somewhere in between, but in any matter, it’s yet another frustrating part of all this, and it’s already half gone.
Erin could use some hats to keep her warm and make her feel beautiful. This is where you come in. Do you knit? Do you crochet? Do you sew? Do you shop? If so, it would be lovely if you could send a hat her way. Hats can be fashionable, cheap, silly, or otherwise. If you have an old hat that has sentimental value and you want to pass the love on to her that would be great. Send her a Colorado Avalanche cap for yucks. It’s not just about hats for her head but love for her heart.
This made my heart skip a beat. First, that they knew I was trying to struggle quietly about my hair. Second, that Megan had, once again, helped out in her organizational way. She rocks like that.
But really, because I can’t lie any longer and it’s stupid to even try to hide the vanity issues that come with this…it was the thought that Aaron doesn’t see me as growing uglier with this disease- steroid fat, hair loss, stretch marks, the works…but instead he was seeing courage. And beauty. I don’t know how anyone can see that in THIS body. This body that is NOT mine, but he knew EXACTLY how to take any fear I had about it and turn it into hope. When your husband loves you for YOU, it’s such a wonderful thing. I don’t know how he does it. I really don’t. Here I am, watching hair after thin piece of hair come out with every brush stroke, and he’s thinking about how hot I look in a cloche hat. When your friend will do anything for YOU, not your twitter follower count or your ability to make really awesome Christmas cookies…it’s such a wonderful feeling.
So now that I know what is going on, and can better understand what has happened…I want to say thank you. But thank you doesn’t seem like nearly enough when poor Howard is here every single night delivering box after box after box.
So I thought I would feature a few hats each Wednesday so you can see the wonderfulness that has come to my home. The hand-made, the thoughtful colors, the totally rocking, shopped for with STYLE, amazingness.
Kicking it off this Sunday (yes, I realize it’s not Wednesday but I couldn’t wait much longer) just so you can get a good giggle, here is the Detroit Lions TURKEY hat sent to me by none other than Sarah –
and one helluva Viking girl hat sent to me by Undercovermama (and modeled by my daughter who thinks this hat is so awesome she won’t let ME wear it…dang it).
And then a photo, just for good measure and fun, that has my daughter and Alana trying on ALL my new hats and seeing how many they can balance on their heads. Goofballs.
As for my hair? It’s thin, but hanging in there. By a thread. Now I really get what that means. I’m very thin on top and not entirely comfortable going out without a hat on. I can still easily cover the thin spots on top. My doctor actually offered me Rogaine. He said while now my hair may not look that bad, in a few months when everything really starts kick in, that’s when I’ll wish I had started Rogaine. Aaron and I talked about it and we really don’t want to add another chemical to my system, so we’re just going to stick with the hats. And if it gets really bad, maybe I’ll shave my head like he does. We’ll see.
There is a real possibly that Monday the doctor will up the low-dose chemo that is causing the hair loss. Or not. I may stay right where I am at, and watch is slowly slllllloowwwly fall out strand by strand.
I’ve officially caused Aaron to go buy more drain-o for the upstairs sink, where I brush my hair. It’s nice and clogged up there. However the same week I hugged two people, both wearing all black, and I didn’t get a strand on them. Strange considering every time you encounter me you I usually leave my calling card somewhere on you…a nice, long, red hair. So I just don’t know how all this will go. Will it get better? Worse? No idea.
I can tell you the hats make me FEEL better. I have a million to choose from each morning before I walk out the door and LOVE IT. I have always been a hat girl. And now to have hats with love behind them? Heaven.
So from the top of my balding head to the bottom of my toes: thank you.
It seems so small to say thank you. Like it means nothing, after you all done so much. But truly…thank you.
Now I’m off to pick out the right, warm, cute, full of love hat to put on my head before riding lessons for my daughter. Which one do you recommend?