Why does this have to be such an issue with me? Last school year Marcus took his school pictures 2 weeks before he was diagnosed with his brain cancer. I couldn't look at those pictures for months because it represented him as "before" the nasty tumor. It just hurt too see that innocent face now changed forever. Now, it is time for school pictures once again.
Marcus has been trying to grow his hair out cause its getting cold again. The front part of his head has just sporadic hair strands growing in and has quite a few bald spots. Especially on the side of his head where he had the radiation. Well, he missed the first 2 takes of school pictures due to Band camp and then the big "shiner" (which is still lingering a little) he had from the "basketball in the head episode". So that just left today. Of course will all the band practices, scouts and chemo going on, he didn't have time to get it trimmed up by my cute cousin Jenny. (Love ya Jenny!) So monday nite we took a chance at one of the "walk in" places. I didn't expect miracles, cause there is no way you can cover up with hair you don't have. But when we got in, the only person available looked like she was 12 and just out of beauty school. Personally I think she was really freaked out about his head, and she had no ideas what to do with his hair. I suggested just waiting to cut it and just wearing a beanie over it for the pictures. He said "no, just shave it". He did at one time while he was getting in the chair say he didn't want to shave it, but then changed his mind again. I tried to coax him to wait, but he was persistant that he didn't want to have goofy hair for his year book pictures, so he told her to shave it. I bit my tongue cause I am just the mom. He also had it shaved with the tiniest clippers (that they use to clean up the edges) and so the only thing to cut it shorter would have been a a razor. I could tell once she began to cut, that he was NOT happy. He tried to act cool about it, but I could see it in his eyes that it was killing him. So I swallowed hard and tried to cheer him on and encourage him. What else are Moms for, right? He later said he thought it looked good and said "It will grow back even thicker". My heart just broke, but I kept it all inside until all the boys were in bed.
Once I knew that Marcus was asleep, I went in my room and bawled. I hadn't felt such pain in so long. All I could think about was Marcus's picture in his yearbook and him labeled the "cancer kid". How can I hang those pictures up on my wall and see that everyday? How will my family feel when they see his pictures, will they feel the same? How will he feel when he sees himself in those pictures? Its not like he hasn't been bald before. He has kept his head buzzed all this time so it could grow in evenly. But why does being completely bald bother me so bad? Its not like it was the first time. Maybe cause I saw the hurt in his eyes and there weren't 20 other kids there to support him this time. I guess its just I wanted so badly to be over this. I know it will never be "over" but this is supposed to be a happy time. A time to celebrate! We are DONE. The chemo, the radiation, the whole treatment . His last MRI was the same, and he is enjoying Marching Band and life. Why aren't I just happy for that? There are sooooo many kids doing so much worse and aren't able to have the quality of life that he is blessed with. I should be so grateful and thankful for the life we have now, which I am, but yet I am not. I know this is part of the whole process and for some reason (I really know the reason) we have to LEARN something in this life, and this is just a smidge of it. My Faith has grown so much in the last year, but yet I feel like I still fall so short. Its an ongoing process. So.........onward we go.