Sunday, 4 March 2012

Hair today, gone tomorrow!!

I have almost been dreading writing this blog. Not because I dont want to but because I am afraid that I wont be able to express how incredible and emotional the last few days have been....So much love - So much Kindness - So much of a lot of emotions we dont express enough of.

At the start of last week I sent the call out to my girlfriends that it was time. I was really over seeing my hair fall out. Having a shower in the morning was something I had become to dread. I also knew with the end of my second cycle of Chemo happening on Wednesday, it was only going to get worse. So I put the word out there and little did I know the beast that I was about to unleash. A nice Beast but a Beast nonetheless! I met with them and we discussed ways and ideas to make it happen on that Friday!! I thought that I was pushing it to get enough word out there in a few days to make the fundraiser a success. We got confirmation the next day that the lovely owners of The Vic Brew bar would let us have it up in their upstairs function room! I was stoked!! Honestly, if you ever come to Nelson and want somewhere that has good food, drinks and atmosphere - The Vic is the place to go. Im not just saying it because they were so generous to us, I really mean it. - Check them out if you are ever here in Sunny Nelson :)

Once I had received confirmation, I got onto the old trusty Facebook and made an event. Before we knew it, we had people donating and also people offering to shave their heads. Both Female and Male. I was so excited for it to happen and couldn't believe the generosity and bravery of people. I dont know why I found it so hard to comprehend because if it was me, I would have done the same for someone else but it was really hard to accept. Without sounding ungrateful of course!!

Wednesday rolled round and it was Chemo day. Womp Womp! The word Chemo literally makes me sick. My stomach turns, my head hurts and I get a bad taste in my mouth when ever I think of chemo. Its almost like the feeling when you eat too much food and you feel so sick, that just the thought of food makes you feel like you could evacuate your stomach. This week my Darling Partner Cameron got the day off work to join me. It would be his first Chemo experience. It was just the usual.

  • Mum came to hold my hand for the needle bit before returning back to work. 
  • They had to take two goes at getting the needle into my veins. 
  • I didn't fancy any of the lunch options so I just had a yoghurt and a sneaky danish that I had in my bag.
  • I peed a lot. 
  • People watched as much as possible.
  • Watched the minutes count down with each Chemo drug.

This time it felt different though. Time went slower. I felt like I was in there FOREVER!! It could have been because their were less people at my Chemo treatment. Cam kept me hydrated and entertained. My lovely friend Amanda dropped in also with some baked treats. She is so good to me! It was good to see her and to have another person to talk to as well as Cam. The highlight of that Chemo treatment was seeing a Lady who had been at every single one of my treatments, finish her last round of Chemo at the Hospital. I wanted to jump up and down for her. While she is still having to take Chemo drugs orally, she doesn't have to make trips into the hospital anymore. A little part of me was sad to know that I may not see her again and that her face will be replaced with another but I know that she will continue to fight the good fight - just in the comfort of her own home.

Once it was over it was home to rest. Thursday was spent resting in preparation for Friday. I didn't think about the fact that in a couple of days I would have a shaved head. It just wasn't something that bothered me or I got nervous about. That was until Friday.....I woke up with a mix of nervous and excited butterflies. Everything was on par for the Fundraiser that night. I had organised to meet with the Function coordinator at The Vic at 3 and asked Sophie to come with me. Mum came and checked out the room and then headed off. As she left I started to feel REALLY hot and sweaty so I started stripping of the layers that I could. Next thing you know I felt like I was going to be sick and was feeling a little light headed so I excused myself and left Sophie with Jen to plan the set up of the room. I went outside to cool off and then dashed to the bathroom thinking I was going to be sick. Nothing happened and I had cooled off a bit so I headed back upstairs. Well....I dont really remember the walk back up the stairs and came to lying on the floor. I had Fainted. Face first into wooden floors. I could hear people running round getting water and what not for me and Sophie (bless her) was trying to get me into the recovery position. I remember the noise of hitting the floor and thinking "F**K! That hurt!!" Once I had lay down for a bit and downed a few jugs of water, I started to feel normal. With a sore nose and cut eye I realised that I needed to slow down and listen to my body. I was so embarrassed and couldn't believe what had just happened. More importantly, I didn't want it to effect The Big Shave. I put it down to the fact that I had a lot on my mind, I hadn't drunk enough and I had blown up a few balloons before heading to the Vic. It sounds stupid but a simple task like blowing up Balloons takes it out of me these days... I left The Vic with Sophie,with my tail between my legs. I definitely learnt my lesson and it gave me a fright! She dropped me home and Cam came home early to sit with me. I rested for the rest of the afternoon and then got ready for The Big Shave.

There are no words to describe how awesome the night was. I will start by showing you some Photos. Taken by my amazing man Cameron.

Tears were shed, laughs were laughed and hugs were given. I loved every single second of it. From a Cancer Fighters perspective, everyones support and generosity was something out of this world. All the money raised is going directly back into the Nelson Cancer Society. It felt amazing knowing that it was going straight back into the community. Nelson people helping fellow Nelson people. The one feeling I wasn't expecting was the sense of relief I felt once my hair was gone. I felt alive and so much better.
Along side me for the shave were the other Woman that bravely decided to shave their heads, Sophie and Megan. I grew up with Sophie and she is one of those people that no matter where you go in life, no matter the amount of time you go without seeing each other, its like we never were apart when we do see each other. She has ALWAYS had the best hair. Anyone that knows her can say that she has always had a good mop of hair. I will never forget the first time I saw her after I got diagnosed and she blurted out that she wanted to shave her head with me. Its not something that I was expecting from my friends!! Thats one thing I have wanted and want to make clear. I NEVER expected anyone to shave their head with me. But when she said that she would it truly warmed my heart and I know its something that we will share for the rest of our lives. Megan is someone that I have known since I was younger as well and someone that I looked up to as a young kid. I met her through Family friends and it turns out she is also good friends with my partners brother. Small world! She is married and has a gorgeous wee boy. Again, when she said she wanted to shave her head, I couldn't believe it because she had a good mop of hair too!! She said its something she has always wanted to do and its something to shave off her bucket list. With these two beautiful ladies by my side, the shaving began. The cold buzzing started and before we knew it, we were done. It was extremely emotional and I struggled as I looked around the room at people staring back at me with eyes full of tears. I know that each person in the room was touched in some way by the whole thing.

Next up where the boys!!! Aren't they handsome!! Everyone for that matter looked AMAZING with no hair! THere was not one person that you looked at and thought " should have felt your head a little more before doing that!" haha but thats beside the point because at the end of the day we were all there for one reason and that was to raise money for the Relay for Life.

I really cant sum it up any better than how I put it yesterday:

"I have been on an Emotional high since Friday. The deepest and most heart felt thank you to not only all those that attended The big Shave but to those who donated. We made $1000 alone in donations on the night and had about $2000 in the account before. The donations just keep coming and it is truly incredible. To my fellow shavers - You guys are superstars and look smokin with your new do's!! 
As I walked in the Survivors lap at the Relay for Life with my Mum, Brother and partner by my side, I looked around at every single person. Each one affected by Cancer. The support and money you have all so kindly donated will not only help me but will help so many others. All the money is going directly to the Cancer Society.
YOU are all our inspirations. YOU are what keeps us going.
Those who have passed will NEVER be forgotten, those who have survived will never forget and those who are still fighting will continue to do so with dignity and strength. Such a touching few days and ones that I will never forget.
Simply - Thank you. I love you all."

I can now report that we are almost up to $4000 and the donations just keep on coming. THANK YOU! You are all incredible.

The Relay for life was the day after and it was amazing!! I am not going to go into to much detail about it because this post is long enough as it is. BUT I do want to Thank all my fellow team members for the awesome effort you put in. You all did an amazing job - especially those that had the horrible grave yard shifts. I found the Tea light service the most emotional part. Around 600+ bags lined the track with a candle inside, glowing messages of remembrance of those who have passed due to the C-Word. I am sure I am speaking for a lot of people when I say it was the most emotional part..I cried so much. It was pitch black except for the flickering candle light.  We stood in silence to remember those that we have lost. I held hands with a complete stranger for the duration of the silence and it was ok to do so. I live for those moments. 
Phily and I walked some laps and she said that how she was feeling in that moment is what it truly feels like to be alive and that is the truth! I would not have wanted to be anywhere else.
I met amazing people and caught up with so many people that I hadn't seen for ages. 
I dont want to single anyone out so I am just going to thank everyone that is in my life because you all make it amazing. You all keep me going. Thank you. A.x

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