How it felt for us when Poppy lost her hair...
When Poppy lost her hair first time round, she was only 18-months-old, too young to understand, but with a head of beautiful curls forever in cute bunches. However, for me as a mom it was an incredibly low point. I remember saying to Brian that I just wanted to get in the car & crash it with the 3 of us in, as I couldn’t take any more. Bri had answered that it was just hair – we’d coped with Poppy’s diagnosis, with her surgeries, with chemo – this was nothing, just hair that would re-grow.
I suppose though, it is the first really visual clue that your child has cancer. Everyone can see that your child is ill, you cannot hide from it yourself, it is a reminder every day ‘Mommy, I’ve got cancer’. Once Poppy’s hair started to fall out, we had it shaved off, for us that was easier than watching it gradually disappear. I still have a pot with Poppy’s light brown curls in from those days.
Once Poppy’s hair (and eyelashes & eyebrows) had gone, we simply got used to seeing Poppy like that. She was still beautiful, still smiley, still happy, just bald! I felt silly then that I had made such a huge issue of it, compared to the real risks of surgery & chemo. I tell people going through it now that the build up is far worse than the actual event.
The Hair Fairy comes to visit Poppy...
When Poppy started her radiotherapy, we knew that she would lose some hair again. By now, Poppy was 5 & very girlie & proud of her long brown hair. I had read in a magazine about ‘The Hair Fairy’. So, we explained to Poppy that the hair fairy had asked if she could have Poppy’s beautiful hair to make blankets for her tiny babies as they were cold. We told her that they had asked for her hair because it was so special. We told her that she would need to decorate a box, place her hair in it as it fell out & that the hair fairy would collect it & leave a present in its place. Poppy was so excited; she couldn’t wait for her hair to go!!
When Poppy did lose her hair, she was not upset or scared, we had prepared her well, it was just as exciting as losing a tooth & waiting for the tooth fairy. Poppy told everyone about it, I think some of her friends even wished that they could lose their hair! Poppy proudly showed everyone her bald patches & simply accepted that this was a completely normal thing to happen.
I hope that the hair fairy can help other children come to terms with losing their hair in the way it helped Poppy.
'Poppies grow in an environment of wind, rain and the worst nature can throw at them. Despite this they grow up strong and hardy, yet delicate and beautiful.'