Me + no hair = (Still) Me

Apr 18

Conversation between Maren and I @ 7:30am today:

Bouncing from one foot to the other in excitement, Maren says, “Mom, when can we go to Phenom’s house?”

Putting lotion on my face, “I have to finish getting ready, then we have to wake up Greta, then I was thinking I would feed Greta so Phenom doesn’t have to, then we can go.”  I finish with the lotion, and realize my “hair” is “done.” Talk about efficient.

Whining, “Nooooo, I want to go nooooow.  I’ve been waiting, and waiting.” (For all 23 minutes since she woke up.)  “I’ve been so patient Mom.”  She’s actually batting her eyes at me.

Quietly, I am delighted she is so eager to go to Phenom’s house, and her enthusiasm makes me feel better about my new job and the girls’ transitions.  “We’ll see Maren.”  Try to change subject, “Hey, do you want to help me pick out a hat or a scarf today?  What do you think I should wear?  Come look.”  We walk into my closet.

Decisively she says, “I don’t think you should wear any-fing (anything) Mom.”

Looking at her in surprise, “Really?  Just go like this?” Indicating my bare, bald head.

“Yes.  I fought (thought) you were going to look like a boy, but you don’t look like a boy.”  She is studying me, and shrugging, “You just look like you with no hair.”

I grin, foolishly.  “Thanks Maren, that was a really nice thing to say to Mommy.”  Cue biiiig hug; me blinking away tears of relief that she is okay, her wiggling to get away because she doesn’t know it’s a moment for me.  Forty-eight hours after the big buzz, she is used to it.  And she knows that really, nothing has changed.  I’m still me, I’m just me with no hair.  It is exactly how I feel about having no hair.  Leave it to my four-year-old to tell me how it is in simple speak.

In a two-minute conversation in my bathroom this morning, Maren showed me just how strong, and resilient, and beautiful she is.  My biggest worries about life with cancer are being laid to rest, repeatedly.  I am doing this.  We are doing this.  We are, I think, I hope, doing it well.  Our faith and strength are growing.  I like to think it is the faith and the love that are strangling the cancer cells and shrinking the tumors.  Be gone cancer, vanish cancer, melt away cancer; in Jesus’ name I pray.


  1. maria Olivia /

    Yes. I fought (thought) you were going to look like a boy, but you don’t look like a boy.” She is studying me, and shrugging, “You just look like you with no hair.”
    So honest and wise … sending all my you and your family…even if we don´t know each other ..but we share this Big and Huge Life.. just cause God is amazing.and I really belive that my love can reach you… XX

  2. I found your blog earlier this afternoon; I started on ‘Day 1’ and read the rest immediately. As (happy) tears roll down my face, I’d just like to take a moment to thank you for sharing your journey. I feel blessed to be a part of it and am so glad that you have love and prayers surrounding you. You have one more crusader on your side!

  3. Bonniebj /

    Think you’re right Jen about faith and love fighting. The Lord promised to fight the battle for us and through us; and that HE is. Hey, for out of the mouth of babes- you look great and if it isn’t blistery hot….why not go hatless?? Think I would enjoy the freedom if my new do. Love you ….. Can’t get the strawberry blonde birdy nests out of my head.

  4. “Yes. I fought (thought) you were going to look like a boy, but you don’t look like a boy.” She is studying me, and shrugging, “You just look like you with no hair.”

    This made me smile. You are indeed a blessed woman. ♥

  5. Children are so wise. It continually amazes me. I’m sending my prayers and love to you and your family every day!

  6. Cyndi /

    You are all doing this amazingly well! And I’m loving that wise little Maren!

  7. ohiofishergirl /

    I smiled imagining Maren having this conversation with you… What a wonderful little girl! Hugs, Lauri

  8. Lenore /

    I print up each of your blogs and they are all in a notebook on my desk at work. My coworkers come in the office and check the notebook for your updates – some days we laugh with you, on other days we keep a box of tissues nearby, and often we stop and pray for you – that God is casting out every cancer cell! Thank you for sharing with us. Our faith is increased as we see God’s work in you. We send many prayers from Maryland.

  9. Your little girl gets her bravery, healthy attitude and positive outlook from seeing it modeled. You are an amazing job. You really are doing cancer well. You are the poster child of a survivor and I don’t just mean cancer.
    Ive never seen you in person yet you are one of the most beautiful people I know.

  10. Sue Nitz /

    Oh Jen. As I read your blog today, I can’t help but think of how a big part of the blessing of a child is how they look at life. We need to be like children. God wants us to crawl up into His lap and find the comfort we need. The honesty of a child, especially our own, is so special because they really mean it and it is so heartfelt and full of love. Oh the blessings are so many! Love you and keeping you close in prayer everyday.

  11. Shelley Carter /

    In Jesus’ name I am praying for you too … keep it up. Prayers from a stranger in Tulsa still coming your way …

  12. Holly /

    Every single day your posts inspire me. Not especially because you are showing yourself, your family, even the world how to take on cancer, but because through your journey we are being reminded of what is really important in life. Thanks so much! Praying for you daily!

  13. chubbyroad2skinny /

    what a sweet story, thank you for sharing. I love that Maren talks the same way my 3-year-old does. It made me smile

  14. Rebecca /

    I believe that young children mirror back the attitude, beliefs and love that their parents show to them and others. Her words made me smile. What a lovely little girl.

  15. Goosebumps!!!

    In Jesus name, AMEN!

    My friend Kirstin put this on her recent blog: “My children teach me about being passionate, enthusiastic, and joyful. Their only way of being in the world is open and honest and ready. They remind me of the power of these qualities and how much I want to mirror them back to my family and to the world.”

    So simple and so true!

  16. Julie /

    Beautiful story, prayers are still being said for you, your girls, and your husband.
    Julie + baby