HAIR TODAY…..GONE ON SATURDAY!!!!
So, here I am, writing my first ever blog post.....go me!!!
I have wanted to do some 'blogging' all year, though I have never gotten around to it. I have started a few, though never finished them. I have thought of so many things to write, though have never written them. This time, I have made a promise to myself, and a few select people that this blog WILL get written in its entirety and will get posted.
Because I was never all that good at English (though could talk your head off if you let me), I am not sure how or where to start, so I am just going to start back in March 2016. March was the end of our family holiday, the end of fun filled days and nights, the end of having rare girly time with a couple of my besties, the end of having hubby home to help with the kiddies, though the beginning of some exciting and nervous times ahead.
Straight after our family holiday, me and my little Daisy (10 months at the time) were taking our own little holiday, to what we in our family call 'Monster School'....better known as Tresillian!! Now whilst the main objective of Monster School is to come home with a sleepy, happy baby and brand new 'can do' attitude (which I did...thank you tresillian), for me it was something a little different.
Like many Mums, I had the usual post baby hair loss. This time around, with number three, it was delayed and REALLY falling out. I honestly thought that I was going to go bald!! So, whilst sitting at monster school, with a baby who was making a liar out of me, and sleeping like an angel, I posted on Facebook asking friends for suggestions on what to do. There were quite a few responses of "I think you would suit a pixie style cut"....eekkk!! I have never been one for short hair, and imagine myself old, grey and still having thin straggly shoulder length hair.
Enter light bulb moment!!
Back in 2010 I had thought about shaving my hair for cancer, though decided that being pregnant with my first I would hate to have maternity photos with no hair....so didn't! Then came baby two, our wedding, someone else's wedding, followed by another excuse, and another. Now, I didn't have an excuse, none what so ever, so if I was going to do the pixie cut I might as well do the whole lot and donate money to cancer. Then came all the thoughts about how selfish I had been. Someone with cancer didn't get the opportunity to choose when they got sick, choose when they started chemo, choose when they lost their hair. They couldn't decide that they were getting married, so would get sick later because they wanted nice hair for the day, for photos, for a night out, for an anniversary. So even though I didn't have anything coming up to keep my hair for, I shouldn't have needed an excuse to not do it...they didn't get to choose, so why should I??
When I contacted my friend, who raises money for Cancer every year, she asked me what made me decide to do it?? Was there someone that I had lost to cancer, or was going to lose for Cancer?? Even though, there was someone special that we have lost to melanoma, this wasn't my reason to lose the locks. My reason was just to bring awareness to this dreaded disease, and raise money, any amount, to help those going through the horrible journey, those who are supporting someone going through the journey and those that may unknowingly have that journey ahead of them.
My husband's Nan passed from melanoma. I was lucky enough to know Nana Audrey for just over one year. A year where I watched the unbreakable bond between her, and her family. The first time I was introduced to her was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. One of those moments where you want to burst into tears of joy and your heart goes all warm and fuzzy and everything in your body tingles. As we walked through the door to Nana's house, I was nervous. Being introduced to one of the most important women in Ian's life. If she didn't approve of me I think I was done for. If we didn't get along I certainly wouldn't have been back for a second visit. She was my husband's everything and what mattered to her mattered to him. So, we walked in the door and that's where all my nerves were left, back at that door. The smile that lit up on Nana's face when she saw her grandson cannot be explained. A smile so big, so proud, so loving and then she just held his hands, both of them, and stared at him for what seemed like an eternity, with that smile...A smile that I would never forget <3
Nana Audrey passed away the day before my husband's birthday, 23 days before she got to meet the granddaughter that she so desperately wanted to meet, to hold and to love. You know how they say when one door closes another opens? Well this could not be any truer with Nana's passing and the birth of my first baby. My Cali is everything that I know of Nana. She is strong, smart, extremely caring, cautious, loves her family, would do anything for anyone and has big dreams that I know she will fulfill in time. From the day she was born so many people comment with "she has been here before", and I know that she has, and Nana knows too!!
When Paula (my cancer fundraising guru) asked about my personal experiences with cancer, lucky for me Nana was the only thought that came to mind. Whilst it was sad to lose Nana, I was lucky enough to not have lost many people in my 37 years of life. So many others aren't so fortunate, so in a way I felt lucky. I have had melanomas myself, surface melanomas, yet melanomas nonetheless. Other than that, that's all I really knew about cancer with my family and friends. I had heard of so many other stories that broke my heart, though none that really affected me and my every day thoughts and living....until recently!!!
Earlier this year I read a post on the Facebook page of a local businessman. A man, and his wife, who open their home to care for others kids, who care for our kids and their safety. A man, who on many occasions over the past 5 years, has kept my children safe. This post was to let all of his loyal customers know that his hours at the shop would be a little less and things may be a little different for a while, because his 3yo son had been diagnosed with cancer....3 years old....CANCER!!!! A son who he has loved and cared for, for over 3years, sick, and none of his, or his wife usual parent tricks could make him better. A cuddle wouldn't fix it and neither would a band-aid. All the kisses in the world couldn't make him better.
For months I would check in daily to see if there was any update on this little superhero. Some days the updates weren't good, other days they were. Some days he was sick and lethargic, other days he got to go home for the day. Last week's post was one I didn't want to read. No one wanted to read this, let alone a heart-broken dad wanting to write it. The post included words to the effect of "chemotherapy hadn't worked", "growing at an alarming rate", "nothing more that they could do" and "beyond devastation". Fast-forward a few days and there was a family whose hearts and lives were shattered. A community who was shattered too. People who had never even met this little man (me included) who were shedding a tear. A tear for a family, a tear for a little boy, a tear for a mum, a dad, a sister, a brother, a tear for a Superhero!!
A day after reading that this little man was losing his fight, I finally spoke to one of my best friends. A friend who I should have called weeks ago, though selfishly I didn't. Why?? Because I didn't know what to say, I didn't know what to ask, I just didn't know how to have the conversation. I didn't know how to have a conversation with my best friend?? A friend who knows more about me then a lot of people, a friend that I should never be afraid to talk to. Why?? Maybe it's because I would have rather had the conversation face to face, maybe because I wanted to travel the 2.5hrs to see her in person, to hold her, to hug her and to cry with her. Maybe its because I didn't want to have the conversation at all. Maybe its because it was about cancer. Cancer in her family, in her husband's family. Cancer of a son, a brother, a cousin, a nephew and a grandson....a six year old!! I won't go into too much detail out of respect to the family, though after speaking to her I cried. I cried because her children were being loving and caring to their cousin. Wishing for real life superhero powers to make him better. Who were holding his hand and loving and caring for him, even though they too were scared. I cried because there was a mother and father out there who were devastated. I cried for grandparents, whose hearts were breaking in all different directions. Who were watching their children's hearts break, and watching their grandson suffer, and there was nothing they could do to, not as a parent or a grandparent, to fix it all, to make it all go away. Aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, family, friends.....I cried for them all, and I cried for a long time. I just couldn't stop, no matter how hard I tried.
It is amazing how kids can be. They can be evil little creatures at times, pushing buttons, defying you, testing your limits!! Though there are those times when they surprise you. It's astonishing how, with not much experience in the world, they just know how to love. To not ask questions, to stop testing your limits and to just care...silently. This is what my three princesses did on that afternoon. As I sat there crying my 15 month old patted my back, my 3.5yo sat next to me and held my hand and my 5yo just hugged me tight and kissed me....all without saying a single word. They were there just to love me and show me that they didn't care what I was crying about, they only cared that they could try and make me better. If only those hugs, kisses, rubs and hand holding could make everyone better...if only!!!
So, from entering into this venture with little personal experience on the effect of cancer to my loved ones and me, I unfortunately am now more determined than ever to raise money and awareness to support anyone I can through this horrid disease. So far I have raised nearly $6k through a trivia night I held in August and kind donations from family and friends, though I am being greedy now and want more!!! More for Nana, more for Superheroes and more for little sports stars!!
Do you know who you can help with donations??? I didn't, well not until back in March when I signed up to Relay for Life, signed up to shave my head and signed up to help make a difference. A difference like this WHERE DOES YOUR DONATION GO
Do you think you could give up just one coffee, one cupcake, one cookie, $1, to help make a difference?? If so, please head on over and make a donation to Relay for Life on my behalf. Jade Dawson - Relay for Life
Also, if you are on Facebook, make sure you 'like' The Wolfpack's' page. I will be posting lots over there this week and also the before, during and after photos/videos.
Remember, cancer doesn't discriminate, so hug your little ones, hug your big ones and most importantly love like there is no tomorrow.