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Let's Do It!

Gail's Journey

Last Friday was the Night to Shine prom at Capital Area Christian Church for those with special needs. It is sponsored by the Tim Tebow foundation, and planned and beautifully run by Lori Cartmill and Kristin Hamilton, along with many, many volunteers. It was a wonderful night! I had the privilege of putting crowns on the guys before they walked down the red carpet and dance with some great dancers who have been practicing their moves for the prom all year! I originally thought I would not get to help this year as I was scheduled to have chemotherapy that day, but when my whole regime changed, I didn’t have treatment that Friday and was excited to be at the prom!

Now…..what would I wear??!! I found a dress in those left over after the dress fittings. I would get some gloves to keep my arms and hands warm due to the side effects of cold with the chemotherapy. I would get a scarf to cover the port, which is prominent in my chest wall below my right collarbone. Now, what about my hair?? It was so thin that I had to wear a hat and it was still falling out quickly. I knew I would get to a point where I was ready for the dead hair that was struggling to hang on, to be shaved off. I had a wig from the American Cancer Society waiting for me. It was time!

I called Kathy Hunter, my friend, encourager, and hair specialist. She came Friday morning with her clippers. Two of my daughters were with me and we got the other two to participate via Facetime on their iPhones. Someone had anonymously sent me some bright colored Lu La Roe leggings that are extremely comfortable (thank you whoever you are!). I call them my “happy pants”. Since I have known I would lose my hair, I have thought about Demi Moore when she played the role in the GI Jane movie. I never saw the actual movie, but remember hearing about how good she still looked after shaving her head. So Friday morning, I put on my happy pants and my Demi Moore attitude, and told Kathy, “Let’s do it!” It was not as traumatic as when we first cut my long hair. I was mentally ready this time.

So I wore my wig to the prom. It is different than my old hairstyle, but one I may have tried someday if I had gotten brave enough to cut my long hair before I got sick. It was an adventure to see if people recognized me. It was a fun night!

Yes, I am dealing with some tough issues, but I was reminded of others with lifelong struggles as I watched those with special needs and handicaps, laugh and dance and enjoy life! They are an inspiration.