Friday, January 9, 2009

Because there IS something we can do.

Mom starts her chemotherapy today. This is a hard thing for so many reasons, but it’s necessary. It kills the cancer. That’s what we want. Unfortunately, it kills some other things along with the cancer, which is why hair can fall out as a result.

One of the worst parts of watching a loved one go through this ordeal is the feeling of helplessness that follows. Sure, I try and do research so I’m as educated as a layman can be on the topic. I call Mom and talk to her on a regular basis. And I go to some of the doc visits. But the reality is I can’t do a whole heck of a lot.

Locks of Love is something I can do.

My cute friend Wendy Smedley suggested the idea. Unfortunately, her mother has also had breast cancer, so she can relate firsthand to the pain, frustration and fear I’m experiencing. Feeling my pain (she’s one of the strongest feelers I know), she made this suggestion, and it was just what I needed. So, we’re donating our hair, as is our friend Angie Lucas, yet another woman who has a female family member with breast cancer (who also happens to be in treatment right now).

Why Locks of Love?
It gives wigs to underprivileged children who’ve lost their hair due to a medical condition. Since there’s a chance Mom’s hair is going to fall out, I feel I might as well lose some hair along with her, especially if it’s for a wonderful cause. (*Gulp* I've never been a big fan of short-hair Meg, but I'm definitely a fan of Mom, so short-hair Meg it will be. Sorry, Cor.)

Some of the details:
Your hair has to be in a ponytail, and that ponytail has to be at least 10” long from tip to tip.
Colored hair is okay (as long as it hasn’t been bleached).
Layered hair is okay (as long as the longest layer is 10”).
Men can donate, but the same length rules apply.
Curly hair can be pulled straight to reach the 10” mark.
For more, check out the organization’s website (linked above).

What next?
Angie, Wendy and I need to grow our ponies. As you can see, as measured from the nape of the neck, I’m at 8", Wendy’s at about 5" and Angie’s at 6.5", so we all have a ways to go before we can make the cut. Plus, I don’t think any of us want super short haircuts, so we’re all shooting for about 12" of hair (it will give us each a bit of a bob, at least).

Me on measure-in day. I've got about 2"-4" to go before I make the cut.

Wendy on measure-in day. She's got about 4.5"-6.5" to go before she makes the cut!

Angie on measure-in day. She's got about 3"-5" to go before she makes the cut.

You can help.
Do you want to donate your own beautiful hair? If so, we’d love to have you join us in this cause.

Just leave a comment on this here blog, saying that you’re in. You can also mention the name of the person you'd be doing it for, if you do desire. If you have a blog of your own, it would be fun if you made a kick-off post of your own, complete with a measurement photo showing your starting point.

Please know that there’s absolutely no pressure to do this. If it’s not something you can commit to, you can show your support through words of encouragement and prayers for those out there who have cancer (or any other hardship for that matter), which is just as important as any donation.

On Facebook
I’ve started a group on Facebook called Locks of Love: Because there is something we can do to help. If you’re on the book, I hope you’ll join. If you plan on donating hair, you can post pics of your progress and your big cut. If you’re donating your support as a cheerleader, you can join to cheer us on as we work to get to the big cut. Either way, I hope to “see” you there. Angie, Wendy and I will be updating you on our progress and posting pics as we go.
Read all about it.
Wendy and Angie will also be blogging on this topic. Wendy will post on her personal blog (a super cute place to visit, BTW) and Angie will make mention on the always entertaining Simple Scrapbooks magazine blog (which is also a great place to go for lots o' giveaways).
Together we’ll spread the word and share the hairy love! :) I hope you'll join us on our journey.

I love you, Mom. You’re going to get through this, and if that means a little hair loss, so be it. Hair’s overrated anyway.

P.S. I also want to mention two wonderful people who’ve already made the cut:

My sweet niece, Katie. (She was only six years old when she decided that she wanted to do this. Yes, it was all her idea. Her mom is a leukemia survivor who also happens to be my beautiful sis-in-law. Love you, Bina!)

My cute friend, Jen Wozab. She has a pretty ponytail of hair (that she lovingly calls her rattail) already bagged up and ready to go. WTG, Jen! Doesn't she look cute with her short do?


The Sonboul's said...

I'm so proud of you for doing this post! So proud! This was a beautiful post!

ronee said...

tyra and i, she's my oldest, have done this twice. AND tyra's hair is the type of hair everyone wants. So they say. You really could turn her hair into rope!!! Congrats on making a difference!

Emily Call said...

Megan, how cool that you are doing this. I'd join you, except my hair grows as slow as molasses and would take me probably 5 years to grow to the needed lenght.

MAM said...

Found my way from Wendy's blog and love that you guys are doing this. In fact, I decided a few months ago to do this just because and have already started growing my hair out. I will definitely be joining you guys.

I suppose its time to post an update picture!


Celeste said...

you are too wonderful megan. my mom had breast cancer too. here's wishing an easy go of it for your mom.

Anonymous said...

very cool! i've been growing my hair out to do this..I'm at 8 inches.

Unknown said...

No way! My daughter just cut her hair for Locks of Love this week! We have her 11" ponytail in a baggie.
She looks cute with her little bob.
We just need to mail it off.
Such a cool thing.

I donated a couple of years ago myself.

Latisha said...

Thats so awesome you are doing this. My daughter's hair is almost to her booty crack. She just got it cut 5 inches, but when it grows back out a little more, she is going to donate her hair. She has wanted to do this since one of her friends in the 1st grade lost her hair from chemo (about 6 years ago).
I did this once in college as well. Its really hard parting with your hair, your hair is what makes you feel feminine, however it felt so good to know it was going to make a huge difference in another woman's life.
big hugs to you and your mom!
ps I finally made it to Florida I will email you my addy

Anonymous said...

I wish I could help, but obviously my hair has started out from nothing after chemo, so I don't have that much. But I'll be with you in spirit!

Laurie in MN said...

I think donating to Locks of Love is a wonderway to show your Mom support.
Keep us updated to your Mom's progress.

Anonymous said...

I am in Megan! :) So sorry for what your mom is going through. My brother was just diagnosed with thryoid cancer (this past summer) and he has just finished his treatment (via radioactive iodine...the only type of cancer you can treat this way). He's clear for now so that is a big relief. Oddly enough, I actually donated my hair (on the recommendation of my hairdresser) earlier last year but I'm totally up for doing it again. My hair grows pretty fast too so hopefully it won't take too long. I'll join up on FB when I get a chance as well! Take care Megan...I'll be thinking of you and your mom as I grow out my locks! Lots of prayers and hugs too...

Ms. Maxwell said...

I did this in January 2006. I started at Short Hair Jennifer in late 2002 and ended up donating two 14-inch ponytails (thick hair, you know). Kinda the opposite of you, everyone agreed that Long Hair Jennifer wasn't my best look, so the cut was quite a celebration. I was also 9 months pregnant, so I think I lost 2 pounds of hair (not bad when there were 43 other pounds gained...). You have my full support, and I know a stylist who will give you a free haircut when you are ready to chop away!

Anonymous said...

My daughter donated her 1st time just before she entered Kindergarten and just donated her fourth time last spring @ school during 4th grade and got her 1st grade teacher to donate her beautiful hair too! They are both growing it out again! We opted to donate this time to The donation amount is 8", which is a little easier and the don't charge recipients for their wigs. Check it out!

Anyone I run in to with long, beautiful hair, I always ask to donate... even men :)