Oh, My Goodness!

Today was spent doing routine chores. EJ brought in firewood, fixed the floor near the washer/dryer, and other tasks. I did dishes, cleaned the house, and reconciled the checkbook–a task I do not enjoy. We walked to the bank together, and then to the post office. The bank tellers and Postmaster all asked about JJ. They are all such sweet people.

JJ’s head is now completely bald, except for a tuft or two of hair. I take pictures to document his cancer journey, but I wasn’t planning to share the pictures of his transformation from hair to bald because I didn’t want to embarrass him. Then he volunteered, “I don’t care if you share pictures, Mom.” Really? I wanted to make sure, “I won’t share if it will embarrass you…are you sure?” And he said “I don’t know. I don’t know that I care one way or another…” That may be, but I will share only a very few pictures, and none that would embarrass him too much:

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When JJ first began to lose his hair, I confess that I laughed. “Oh, JJ,” I laughed, “You look like your head has been attacked by moths.”

Then I read the article about how cancer patients tend to feel when they lose they hair–the article that I shared yesterday. I felt I had been terribly insensitive. “I’m so sorry, JJ,” I said repentantly. “I shouldn’t have laughed.” “It’s ok, Mom,” he said. “It’s really ok.”

You’d think that I would be lovingly sensitive from that point on, wouldn’t you? But I wasn’t. I keep laughing. I partially blame JJ for setting up opportunities that make me laugh.

For example, this morning I asked EJ if there is such a product a bald person could buy to polish his head. I wasn’t being funny. I really wanted to know. I thought I had heard that some bald people polish their heads. EJ said there was such a product. Interesting.

Then JJ said, “Why on earth would I want to polish my head???” I said, “Well, if we polished your head so it shone like a mirror, we could signal for help…or maybe, with a few adjustments, we could get more Cable TV channels.”

Mr. Clean
Mr. Clean

Oh, my goodness, did I actually say that out loud???

A little later, EJ told JJ that he when he was totally bald, he could look like Mr. Clean. Mr. Clean is a brand name and mascot owned by Procter & Gamble used for a cleaning solution and related products. Mr. Clean was actually based on a real guy who was a body builder, EJ said.

“Mmmoooooommm!” JJ exclaimed, “Dad said I could look like Mr. Clean.”

Scruffy looking nerf-herder.
Princess Leia: Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder.

 

“Well, looking like Mr. Clean is better than looking like a scruffy nerf-herder,” I replied, referring to Princess Leia insulting Hans Solo in Star Wars.

Oh, my goodness, did I actually say that out loud?

Fuzzy Wuzzy
Fuzzy Wuzzy

 

 

And then JJ said, “Mom, I have no hair!” and into my mind popped a poem my siblings and I used to say as children:

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear,
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t really fuzzy, was he?

“Mom! You are AWFUL,” JJ laughed.

Oh, my goodness, did I actually say that out loud?

“Oh, I’m so sorry. I really don’t know what’s come over me.”

And we laughed.

In case you think I’m awfully mean and insensitive, I have to tell you that when something really bothers JJ, I do not laugh. I hug. And I never would say such things to anyone else who was going through this.

But we joke about things. For example, when I had sinus surgery years ago, I had a bandage on the end of my nose. EJ and JJ kept laughing that it made my nose look like a pig nose, so EJ took a marker and drew little pig nostrils on the bandage and then they laughed at me whenever they looked at me. I laughed too.

And when EJ had his wisdom teeth out, the anesthesia made him goofy. JJ had great fun asking his Dad questions on the way home, and laughing at his goofy answers. And we laugh every time we go to the Cancer Center and EJ talks like a yooper at the gate.

That’s what we do. We laugh. Because in difficult situations the choice is either to laugh or cry, and we have decided it’s better to laugh.

A happy heart is good medicine, but low spirits sap one’s  strength. (Prov. 17:22)
A happy heart is good medicine,
but low spirits sap one’s strength.
(Prov. 17:22)
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5 Comments on “Oh, My Goodness!

  1. You write really like I’m there Teri and tell JJ he is really handsome like he is now !!!!! Happy that laughter is part of your daily life just like hugs. That is what it’s all about to hug and cry and laugh. And just keep on going one step at the time. You are my heroes….Love you all…..<3 ❤

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    • You are right, Simone, it is all about “to hug and cry and laugh. And just keep on going one step at the time.” We try to keep it real. About his hair, we choose to laugh because, as Cris said, if we do not laugh about this, we will cry.

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      • I already did when I saw the pictures , you are all so brave. And you’ll have to because if you let your guard down it is only miserable and nothing more. So keep on and I’m walking with you all as far as I can…<3

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