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Hair Prayer - God's Not Done Styling Yet

Posted Dec 23 2009 12:00am
I contemplated even writing about this one because it seems a bit vain. But, the more I thought about it, the more I thought I should. Let me give you a little background.

Gavin's oncologist dropped by the recovery room on Friday to check on Gavin. We got to chatting and brought up Gavin's hair growth. We knew from the very long consent form we had to sign before radiation that hair growth might be an issue. They basically said his hair may grow back well, it might grow only in patches, it might grow in very thin, or it might not grow in at all. Just part of the price you pay when you radiate the entire brain like we had to do. Not what you want to hear, but it's part of the package.

Gavin's hair has been growing in and I feel like it's even gotten thicker just in the last month. And I really think that most areas of his head are starting to get some hair growth. Radiation makes the hair grow in slower anyway. The kids that have cancer in other parts of their body or don't get craniospinal radiation have a full head of hair (like a buzz cut) in 2 or 3 months. Not so much Gavin.

So I casually asked Gavin's doctor what he thought about the rate at which Gavin's hair was filling in, fully expecting him to say that he thought it was coming in nicely given the fact that he had whole brain radiation.

Not so much the case.

He said that in his experience what you have at about 6 months out of treatment is what you are going to end up with.


You should have seen the looks on our faces. I saw Jeff's and I felt mine and I think it was pretty much the deer-in-the-headlights effect. A shocker, to say the least.

Being the Mom that I am -- I refused to accept that response. And being the extrovert that I am -- I verbalized the fact that I didn't think that would be the case for Gavin. Some might call it denial. I'm calling it faith.

I feel vain for even praying for hair growth for my son. We are so fortunate that he's even alive and is actually in remission. But, it just saddens me to think that the doctor thinks this might be the end of new hair growth for Gavin. He's so far from a full head of hair. We still get the oh-how-sad --- that-boy-has-cancer looks on a regular basis when we're out and about. I so don't want Gavin to deal with those kinds of looks forever. I was excited to get the Ommaya out. One less bump on the head for people to stare at. And I've been looking forward to more hair growth to cover the shunt that is another big source of stares. And now the doctor says this might be it?!?

Nope. Can't accept that one. Gavin's always been that "rare and complicated" case that didn't fit well into the timeline the professionals expected.

So, I officially begin my hair prayer for Gavin, trusting that God's not quite done styling it yet. :) If you don't think I'm too vain, could you join in on the hair prayer?

If you do think I'm too vain, well, please don't tell me about it. As you probably guessed by now, this mom might be a little too sensitive about this topic. Yes, hair is not nearly as big of a concern as some of the other possible side effects that come along with Gavin's treatment. But, would you want your child to forever look like they're on chemotherapy?

Much love,
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