Friday, October 19, 2012

Helping Just One

If I could help one person with cancer, I would.


I stood beside her bed not knowing if she was aware of me.
People had been in and out of the room talking about her, talking about the coming days. 
It was as if she was not there.
She didn't look like herself. She couldn't move. She was there. 
I reached for her hand and held it gently.
Just loud enough to be audible, I said, “I love you, Paula.”
Her eyes flickered and locked on mine.
In that moment, the love was all that was important.
It was my last visit with my aunt.  
She died from a cancer that started as breast cancer and spread to the rest of her body.

Two years ago, a 9 year old lost his dad to cancer. 
This 9 year old was my 9 year old’s friend. I met his dad when he was healthy. A few short 6 months later, he was gone. I watched as chemo took his hair and ravaged his body. I walked around the block with his wife as she struggled with hope, pain, and impending loss. He couldn't answer the door when my son knocked on it. As light-heartedly as possible he said, “I don’t bite.” when my son looked apprehensively in his dark living room.  
We came and went as a strong man faded. 

The pictures were moving.  Riveting.
My friend, Becky, was fighting cancer. The emotions were transparent but not capable of being fully captured. Love and pain captured in a beautiful way: A father, holding his grown daughter, as she rested her bald head on his chest.
Her hair was red- a beautiful red- and long. Her gorgeous long hair ended halfway down her back. In her pictures on Facebook, the cut was documented in an album called, The Chemo Cut. The next album was Bald Becky and the Wigs. She looked vibrant in those wigs. My 7 year old looked at the pictures and said, “Well, she looks good.”
On January 30th, she celebrated her last cancer treatment.
She is Cancer free.

My best friend’s mom is fighting cancer. It began as breast cancer. Years later, it has spread to the rest of her body. She is fighting. The doctors have said it is a matter of time. We are all praying.

Today, I donated my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
Hair That Brings Hope "Beautiful Lengths is a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society, the largest non-profit health organization committed to saving lives from every cancer and improving the quality of life for people facing the disease. The role of Pantene is to help women grow long, strong,* beautiful hair and provide the funds to turn this hair into free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer. So far, Pantene has donated 24,000 free real-hair wigs to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks, which distribute wigs to cancer patients across the country."

If I could help one person with cancer, I would.

Today, I prayed for the person that will receive my hair. 
I hope that my hair helps them look and feel good.