If you have been following my blog posts on Journey Thoughts in recent weeks, you will read that I am once again battling cancer. Uterine cancer to be specific, and I had my first round of chemo on June 25th, with five more cycles to go to be administered every 21 days. There may be follow-up radiation as well, so I am in the throes of the battle once again. I battled breast cancer in 2001 so I know all about what I am facing and the toll it will take on my body.
First to go will be my hair. 1 Corinthians 11:15 talks about a women’s long hair being her crowning glory, her pride and joy, and her hair given to her for a covering. Proverbs 16:31 calls gray hair a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness. I remember losing my hair in 2001. For many women going through chemotherapy, myself included, it was devastating to lose what was considered crucial to my self-esteem, my femininity and outward beauty. I covered my bald head with a wig and head coverings but it wasn’t the same as my natural “crown of splendor”. I have ordered new head coverings and my daughters picked out a sassy new wig for me but I must be a lot less vain than I was nineteen years ago, because I’m not nearly as stressed out about losing my hair this time around. In fact, I’ve learned that all women who battle cancer should wear their crowns boldly and fearlessly, and learn to embrace our beautiful bald heads that are after all well-earned battle scars that will eventually heal in time.
The verse I have embraced with regards to my hair loss is Luke 12:7, “Indeed, the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” God is with me regardless of whether or not I have a full head of hair. He looks at the heart, and the true beauty that is found there.
Chemotherapy wreaks havoc on the body. It’s hard to explain to someone who has never experienced chemo. It’s a weird feeling having chemicals purposefully pumped into your body that can cause a host of unpleasant side effects. Chemo is also known to have long term and sometimes detrimental consequences to your health for years after. Yet, it is the crucial part of the arsenal for this battle, and with every treatment I just pray cancer cells are sought out and destroyed. I will gladly go through this season, in order to once again declare myself to be cancer-free!
As I look at myself in the mirror over these next few months, I may find myself despairing over my appearance, but I need to constantly remind myself to look at myself through God’s eyes and not my own. I am valuable, God breathed into me the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). I am created in His image (Genesis 1:27). I was knit together in my mother’s womb and I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139: 13-14). I am a brand new creation for I have died to sin and all my unrighteousness has been cleansed by the blood of Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:11; Ephesians 2:4-5; 1 John 1:7,9). I am saved by grace (Ephesians2:8). I am being transformed into the image of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18). I have a glorious future (Romans 8:18). (From desiring God – What God Thinks About You by John Rinehart)
Lynn Dove is the award-winning author, of the YA “Wounded Trilogy”- a contemporary Christian fiction series with coming-of-age themes. A wife, mom, grandmother, and free-lance writer with articles published in several magazines and anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul books, her blog, “Journey Thoughts” is a Canadian Christian Writing Award winner. Readers may connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and at lynndove.com