September 9, 2013

file this away



When I found out I had breast cancer, three hundred and sixty five million thoughts took their turns rolling through my head.

Make that three hundred and sixty six.

I'm sure none of you will be surprised to hear that after the initial life and death types of thoughts, and the I have no clue what's in store kinds of thoughts, I eventually worked my way down the list to the losing my hair during chemo kinds of thoughts.

I put off thinking about it as long as possible, but the wonderful nurse who was pretty much in charge of managing my life from the day I was diagnosed finally forced me to think about it the week before I started chemo.

We talked about wigs and hats and scarves - all perfectly viable options - and then at the end, she told me about a company that takes your own hair and turns it into a wiggish/cap type of thing that you wear with a hat.

Bingo! I was sold. It was the perfect option for me.

The company is called Hip Hats With Hair, and they have several different products, but the one I chose is the Underhair Halo Wig.

While it was still extremely - and I mean extremely difficult to have my hair cut and then have my head shaved, it was a bit easier knowing that I would soon have my very own hair back on my very own head.

Here I am with my youngest the day before the big haircut.


My BFF followed the website instructions for cutting and packaging up my hair. We both cried while she put it in all the little ponies, we cried some more as she cut each pony off, and then we cried some more while she took the clippers to my head.

And then, thank goodness, we were finally done crying.

About two weeks later, my hair arrived right back here, ready for wearing.

Here I am with my hubby and my new hair and my favorite hat.


(This picture was taken with the self timer on my camera and we are laughing because I obviously have no clue how to use the self timer on my camera. That we ended up with one acceptable picture is a miracle in line with loaves and fishes.)

My hair is amazingly comfortable. (Although, bald feels the best, and the second I get home the hair comes off.)

I pop it on almost every single time I leave the house.

You can wear it with any hat that covers the cap.

It is very well made.

I feel totally myself when I'm wearing it, and during a season in life when I'm not feeling myself in many other ways, that means a lot.

In order to have a halo made with your own hair, your hair needs to be at least eight inches long. However, they have many similar products available that do not require you to send in your own hair.


So ladies, file this one away in case you or someone you love ends up walking down this road. It's been a huge factor in my ability to feel good about myself while going through chemo, so I wanted to get the word out in case it can be of help to someone else.

p.s. Random zinnia pictures included simply because I realized I haven't posted a single zinnia picture this year, and summer can't end without some zinnia love.

p.p.s. Six treatments down, only two to go. If I stay on schedule I'm done October 3rd. WOOT!



55 comments:

  1. You look so cute with your hair, and its curly! Praying for a speedy recovery, absolutely love your flower, farm, kitchen, bedroom (what the heck all your pictures) and mountain pictures....

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  2. Sending you lots of hugs from an almost 10-year survivor. These were not available to me, and they look to be a great idea! I tried a wig but it didn't look like me, so I lived in cute hats until my hair was back. That was okay. My most overwhelming memory of that time: people are SO KIND! Best wishes to you; you will be forever changed, but I believe for the better.

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  3. WOOT is right! Difficult to imagine what transpired between those two photos because all I see is a happy, beautiful, positive person who is kicking some cancer butt. (Sorry I said butt on your blog. Hope that's ok) ;-) xo!

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    1. Quite okay, Amy!
      Butt has always been a pretty high use vocabulary word in this house-o-boys and there's no reason that shouldn't carry through to the blawg.

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  4. You look gorgeous and thank you for this brave post. I'm bookmarking it and filing it away. :)

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  5. You look beautiful! I'll be praying for you :)

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  6. You look great.
    That is such a wonderful idea about the cap. I will file that away but hope I never have to open it for anyone or for myself. We never know, though.
    Keeping you in my prayers.

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  7. That is absolutely amazing! What a gift in a crappy time.

    You look beautiful!

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  8. That is about the coolest thing ever! I love it and you look so normal with your hair/hat. I would have given anything to have known about this before I lost my hair. I love also seeing a picture of you and knowing who I chat with from time to time. Hang in there! I start round 4 tomorrow and will finish the end of October!

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    1. October's going to be a good month, Terah!

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  9. What an amazing product! Can I be a dork and say that I never knew your age or anything, but always pictured you a little more, let's say, mature looking. You are one cute, young looking lady!

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  10. That's a great idea! You look beautiful and happy, before and after the cap. Thank you for sharing. Your zinnias are great this year, too! Mine are still going strong, unusual for this time of year in the MidAtlantic. We usually get mildew on them and they die quickly sometime in August, but it's been a dry summer.

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  11. I had to reread your post to see if that was your son as you said, or your son and daughter. You look like a child yourself! Hope all goes well and life is back on track for you and yours very soon.

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  12. You are so lovely in both photos and you look so young! Praying for a complete recovery!

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  13. Absolutely beautiful, Teresa! Thanks for sharing throughout your treatment. Praying God fills you with His continued peace and hope as He heals you completely!

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing...I will file this away. Thank you for being so honest with all that you are going through. These things are so difficult and it is good to know what is helpful so that we can bless others too.
    I love your blawg! Please keep us posted on your progress so that we may continue to pray.

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  15. Sending you lots of love and prayers and blessings for you posting this. You just never know how many people you will help by posting this. And I am so happy to SEE you, along with your lovely garden. You are beautiful, inside and out.

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  16. Yoou look great! First time on your blog and you look like your son's sister! Thank you for sharing....your story and your garden. Just said a prayer for your recovery, best wishes.

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  17. Teresa... like the reader above- I too pictured you a bit older and was taken aback when I saw the picture of you and your son....I scrolled back to it and thought you looked just like you could be his sister! You are beautiful with hair- in your cap and hair, with messy hair and with no hair (I imagine). Love to you- courageous, beautiful you. (p.s. I scheduled my yearly mammogram today-

    xo

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  18. You are gorgeous Teresa!!!!! And oh so brave!!! xoxo

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  19. You are beautiful, inside and out!

    All summer, I have been trying to figure out what those multi colored bright flowers are. I always see them from a distance. Everytime I run into a flower expert, I forget to ask. I have a place on my property that needs them.

    You just answered my summer-long question I've had running through my head. It's almost like it was planned.......

    Thank you!

    You never know who you're going to inspire or inform.

    Zinnia. :)

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  20. bless you~ you are amazing. and beautiful I might add. you look young, way too young for adult children! prayers your recovery is quick<3

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  21. You my dear are beautiful from the inside as well as the outside. Seeing the smile on your face and the love that surrounds you speaks volumes. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.
    God bless you.

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  22. Oh..my dear... you really look so pretty in your new hat. Seriously! I wish you the best of luck through this awful process. You will do fine. I just know it! Good luck!

    May the dear Lord be with you today and always.....and your family,
    Susannah

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  23. HI Teresa, I have read your lovely blog for some time, & have enjoyed it immensely!....I have never left a comment till now...but feel you are so brave to show your "before & after" for lack of a better description. You are a beautiful lady & even more so by sharing information that other's will find incredibly helpful!...Your friend, Heidi XO

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  24. I am happy to see you.. it's the first time I have.. I love it when my favorite bloggers show themselves.. it's the best way to know the person behind the blog. Hang in there with the treatments, you're almost done! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  25. Wow how wonderful to have your hair!!!
    I went through chemo in 2004...my daughter was brave enough to shave me and I was bald the whole time!
    It's always great when people come up with ideas that help a person feel more like themselves during difficult times.
    So glad you are nearing the end of chemo...yo

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  26. yo...was suppose to be You look fantastic! I hit the wrong button...lol!

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  27. Always good to hear about your progress...Oct. 3rd is just around the corner. Love you rocking that hat and real hair...someone was thinking with that product!

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  28. Sweet darling friend- I am SO sorry that I missed this whole story! I was in Africa when you posted your announcement, thus not reading a lot of blogs. That would explain my near HEART ATTACK when I read the first line of this post! I am so grateful that you are doing okay (I'm sure there are some pretty crappy moments but am guessing you are being you, which means oh so positive) and will pray that your recovery continues.
    Thinking of you,
    x
    kimberlytaylorimages.com

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  29. You look great! what an awesome thing wish I knew about this sooner, my best friend has breast cancer and this would love been awesome for her. She's already shaved. Glad to hear your treatments are going okay., and your almost thru

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  30. You described exactly how I felt when the doctor told me "It's cancer." Where the stories diverge is that I had short hair! To me, the worst thing was having my head shaved! I cried and laughed at the same time - trying to be brave, but hating it so much. It felt like my soul was being taken away, not just hair. Must have a lot to do with our identities- or at least for me. And yes - the same with ripping anything on my head off as soon as I got home. That wig went flying as soon as I walked in the door.

    You look adorable and just the same with the hair hat. Thanks for sharing the photos - I hope I can share this with someone who ends up with cancer, because almost every year someone I know is diagnosed.

    Hooray for being so close to the end of the chemo!

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  31. How cool is that . . . and how cool you are to tell us about Hip Hats With Hair . . . Plus, how wonderful you are to include the photos of you with your youngest and your husband. Onward to October 3 . . . and all the very best for you! I am keeping you in my caring . . .

    I know of someone who will be thrilled to read this post . . . thank YOU!

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  32. What a great idea!! Thank you for sharing. I can imagine that it makes a miserable situation just a bit better. Um, I thought the picture with your son was his girlfriend. So not trying to humor you, I honestly did!! Montana living must not age people. ;) You are beautiful no matter what...inside and out. "Pinning" for future reference but hope I never have to pass the info on to anyone. :)

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  33. You are so beautiful... inside and out :)

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  34. T! It has been almost 3 years and you somehow look younger than when I last saw you! How did you do that gorgeous lady? I'm so glad you found something to make you feel a bit more you.

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  35. sending love. and you look so beautiful. and healthy. and loved by all around you <3

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  36. What a wonderful person who designed this!!! You look great in both pictures and I am so happy you are down to the wire with the chemo.
    WONDERBOSA!!!!!

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  37. you are so sweet and so beautiful....and thank you so much for thinking of us........hugs,

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  38. awww love it the hair! and double WOOT WOOT to the two round left!!!

    xoxo, Michelle

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  39. This is just the coolest thing I've ever seen! You are beautiful with or without hair. Thoughts and prayers with you and your family.

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  40. You look absolutely lovely in both pictures. My friend Kim went through chemo and came out with beautiful curls afterwards. And she is cancer free after about 10 years! I wondered about those zinnias...

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  41. Had I not read the text....I would have never known. sending you prayers for strength ......My mother in law was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer and is now healthy as can be......fight this and don't look back. LOVE your zinnias....planted by seed or plants?

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  42. Beautiful! Just beautiful. You and your flowers!

    Hugs and prayers,

    Barbara

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  43. You are beautiful! Your smile is contagious! Thank you for sharing this. I had no idea what kinds of options are available. Blessings!

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  44. Not hard to see where your boys get their fabulous smiles. You are absolutely gorgeous not matter what. Now we know the secret to your beautiful gardens and flowers. It's all that contagious happiness and smiles that you give them all the time. Here's to the last to chemo treatments! Kick this thing in the butt Teresa!

    Hugs!

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  45. Well, you look fabulous dahling! Glad to hear you will be done with the chemo soon!

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  46. Thank you for sharing your journey in such an informative & encouraging way. BYW, after seeing your zinnia garden I planted one this year and it turned out beautiful!!!

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  47. I'm new to your blog and have never seen a pic of you before and can I just say how gorgeous you are? Seriously, when I scrolled down and saw the photo of you and your son my first thought was that was his girlfriend--you look way too young to have grown children! Thank you for sharing this journey with us; you're almost there! :)

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  48. Gorgeous lady,
    I had no idea. I am going to be praying from now on. This is what happens when I quit reading blogs!!I think you are just adorable. Those zinnias don't hold a candle to you.
    October is going to be a great month. Hang in there sweetie.

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  49. Wow, I can't believe how young and gorgeous you are! I mean, you're always so full of wisdom and talent that I've been assuming you're a good ten years older than me. You might be, but you don't look it!

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  50. That's kewel ~ I'd never heard of that company. You look beautiful. :)

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  51. Stinking, freaking A! Benny, HOW am I 1 month behind on your blog? I almost commented back on your last comment asking you to please, so kindly, use your commenting time to BLOG. But then that seemed not nice.

    Fast forward to today, and my SILs start telling me about "that post where she had the wig made" and I'm all...WHA???????????

    I double-checked my Bloglovin' account - Yes. I follow you. So WHY do they hate our friendship enough to try and tear us apart like this? Haters.

    Gah. I have catching up to do. And all this time I thought you were shoveling manure!

    ps - HOW are you so pretty? All the time? How.

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  52. I just found you, and you are amazing. Love your site, and your photography. Will be following. Love the Journey bag, and isn't it wonderful that your friends are so thoughtful. So many nice people in the world. Just gotta look for them. Hugs and prayers to you. xxoo

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