One of the inevitable side effects of chemotherapy is losing my hair. I have been surprised how difficult the prospect of this has been. I guess I never realized how closely connected I see my physical appearance with who I really am. Losing my hair seems a little like losing part of who I am.
I also have been meditating on the process of aging and decay of our physical bodies. If I have felt any anger in this process, I think it has thus far been directed toward my body itself. How could it have betrayed me so thoroughly to allow such an invader as cancer?
As I prepare for chemotherapy and radiation, knowing that these very processes are designed to kill cells (hopefully more cancer cells than healthy cells), losing my hair and experiencing the other side effects seems like a stark reminder of how fragile and temporary this ole body is.
But as frightening and uncertain as it is to grow old and to break down and to become frail and eventually to die, it’s the natural destiny of all flesh and blood people. I can move forward into this painful process with faith that this destiny is not the end. The reality of eternity and heaven and rest with Jesus brings peace in the middle of it all.
One way to help me deal with my inevitable hair loss was to go ahead and cut it very short now so when it starts to fall out, it won’t be quite as dramatic of a change. I thought I’d show you the new me — the shortest hair cut I’ve ever had. Some friends are already saying I should have it cut like this again when it starts to grow back!