Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hair Here Hair There

While today started out well, it had a few rough patches.

And the doctors and nurses are so wonderfully kind to remind me that these ups and downs are to be expected.

But that doesn't make it any easier when Sam shows me his pillow, covered in little hairs. Yep, that's right, his hair is falling out.

"So let's shave it off!" I say, to my child who has always asked for his buzz cut to be shorter and shorter.

"No. I don't want to be bald."


"It will grow back."
"It will look great."
"You'll look just like Uncle Josh."
"We can decorate your head."

None of those worked.

And the hair kept falling out...into his eyes and his mouth and all over the pillow.
He wouldn't take a shower to wash it away.
He didn't really find a hat that was comfortable to help keep the hair out of his face.
And he wouldn't let me shave it.
He was generally disagreeable all day long.
And who can blame him? I don't want to give up my hair either.
(Which, by the way, is a different project in the works for the future...stay tuned.)

Finally he agreed that tomorrow when Uncle Josh arrives, head-shaving can commence.
Until then....a little bit of extra itching won't hurt him.

More blood transfusion today...more pain meds....a few happy visitors and a lot of just hanging around. Here's hoping for a better tomorrow.


In other news, Bubbie and Zeyde and Grandma have embarked on a project of their own.

Perhaps you've heard that Stephen Colbert wrote a book?
If you'll recall, Zeyde read it to Sam a little while back:
 So now they are sending this picture of Sam and his Pole
to Stephen Colbert.

Think he'll get a kick out of our little Superman Sam? Maybe we can get Stephen Colbert to pitch for bone marrow registry. It's one thing when Good Morning America does it. (Yes, that is Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and our friend Dr. Dave!)


  1. I completely understand and sympathize. I still can remember the day my hair began falling out when I was going through my cancer treatment. It wasn't that it had not been expected... It was just the stark realization that it was all really happening to me. The treatments had become routine by then and the hair falling out was something new and different... Making it all real again. Please tell Sam we are sending our love and strength! Hugs.

  2. I'm sorry your day was a bummer.
    But don't forget, Sam, you're a Sommer.
    You're blessed from above
    With people you love.
    One step, then two, you're a runner.

    Shaggy or shiny, mohawk or stubble
    White, purple or black, it'll come back.

    The Kalmans

  3. Even when expected, no doubt very tough to accept and live through. G-d willing his hair will return with good health.

  4. Coincidentally, I was directed to this article on a friend's facebook page the other day:

    While a six year old boy may not be interested in having henna flowers painted on his scalp, you all have such ingenious ideas, maybe you can think of something inspired by the idea.

  5. I still remember the bald head of my patient with acute leukemia 20+ years ago - a little boy of 5 or 6 at the time - now an actor, age 27 or so, living with his girlfriend in Chicago and working as a barista to pay the rent - as a family doc it wasn't something I diagnosed every day - and he hated his chemo and IV pole too - and is clearly now thriving and living his adult life!!
    (Julie P-A said you'd like that story)

  6. I watched GI Jane for inspiration. Sadly, not appropriate for Sam. (And probably the whole tougher-than-nails-woman image wouldn't be too helpful for him anyway.)

    Personally, I think there is PLENTY of reason in all of this to be generally disagreeable now and then. Even outright hostile.

    That said, I hope tomorrow is better for Sam - and you - too. After all, no matter how justified it is, generally disagreeable (and even hostile) sure is hard on even the most understanding and patient caregivers.

    (Also, even after it's shaved, my experience was when those little bits of hair fell out they still itched, and still got all over my pillow. It was definitely better - no doubt about that - but it was something I planned more for the second time. I slept in those cotton sleep hats just to keep those hairs out of my bed.)

    I feel for ya.

    Just got my third haircut this week. The texture's still . . . different . . . but it's coming back.

  7. I went through this with my mom at 80! We went into the bathroom and cut it very very short. When my friend lost her hair, her husband and 3 sons shaved their heads as a show of solidarity. All the boys in the family could have the Sommer men look! Think about it.

  8. Dear SuperSam,

    This sucks.

    Maybe Mom will let you draw all over your head with markers. Or chocolate syrup. Or something really crazy.

    We love you!
    Rebecca and the rest of the gang

  9. Yeah Sam, it does suck. You might need a rainbow afro wig soon. I bet that would look fabulous on you. Especially with your fake glasses and nose disguise.

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  11. One thing I know a lot of kids like once they shave their head in these situations is to use a lint roller to get the stray hairs that the clippers miss and that are going to come out sounds silly..but ask him if he maybe wants to lint roll his works and is fun :)