MomBoss: Bravest Kid I Know
Four weeks into my daughter’s cancer treatments, she started to lose her hair.
The doctors warned us that this might happen – it might be a little bit, they said, or it could be a lot – but they wanted us to be ready for it just in case. It’s something that I didn’t expect to bother me. Hair’s just hair, right? In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter at all. Not at all. That is until it started to happen.
When just a few strands here and there started to trickle out, I trimmed her once long, thick brown hair into a precious little bob, but as time passed, it became more and more noticeable. My husband and I weren’t sure how to tackle it at first, but after talking it over, we decided that it would be better to shave her head rather than for her to have to go out with thinning or balding hair. We prepared her ahead of time, trying to hype her up and somehow make it into a fun activity. Despite our best efforts, we could tell some of her nerves remained, so my husband made a promise: he would shave his head, too.
One sunny Saturday afternoon, we sat down with the razor. It is endlessly amazing to me how resilient kids are. As I began to trim her hair back, I choked back tears, trying to stay upbeat and positive for her. Meanwhile, my brave little warrior was all excitement and nerves, unsure what to expect.
It wasn’t until we were finished, when she realized that all of her hair was gone, that the shock hit her. She spun around and buried her face in my chest. My heart broke for her, and I lost the battle with my tear ducts.
But when she saw her dad’s matching bald head, the feelings of loneliness and otherness melted away. She immediately leaped to touch it, feeling the smooth skin of his head that was exactly like hers. As she took picture after picture with him, the sadness began to fade, and laughter rose to replace it. What could have filled our home with sorrow became yet another moment during which we have grown closer as a family through this challenging time. We have learned that, together, we can adapt to conquer any unexpected obstacles life throws our way. My husband and I lean on each other, rather than allowing the daily stress and emotional strain to tear us apart. As he focuses more on work, I am able to step back a bit from mine to be the mom that my children need me to be.
Juggling work, home life, our marriage, a nine-month-old and a daughter with cancer can feel overwhelming at times, but with the incredible support of our family, friends, hospital staff and even clients, we are making it through. Our family close by has taken shifts to bring us food at the hospital and held our hands through the surgeries and recovery. Those farther away have made us “Team Sura” T-shirts, and some even shaved their heads in support, too!
My clients have been ridiculously understanding, jumping to reschedule photoshoots and checking in on us from time to time. One client even brought us dinner on our first night home from the hospital.
The treatment schedule has been nothing short of insane as we spin through the hospital at least once a week, sometimes more, but the intensity of the treatments, transfusions and scans are made a little lighter by the sparkly walls and bright colors of the children’s hospital. As kiddos ride spend their downtime riding through the halls in wagons surrounded by the friendly now-familiar faces of the staff, I am endlessly grateful that, while the hospital is a place they come to for a terrifying reason, the process doesn’t have to be scary, boring or sad.
Through it all, my brave little girl has amazed me with her strength and resilience through this experience, and the courage with which she has approached every aspect of this journey is awe-inspiring. She really is the bravest kid I know.
Questions or comments? Please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
© Crystal Hollman, Crystal Clear Photography, 2017