I dyed a big pink streak in my hair this week, a pretty randy gesture for this 60-something Nana. Dying my hair is new for me (just never started) and dying it pink is really quite afar from my style and comfort zone. Younger friends call it "hip" or "punk," neither adjectives generally ascribed to me nor desired by me. But following a fashion or trend is not the reason I did it.
A friend from church, a fellow teacher, a mother to two teenaged girls, and a strong beautiful woman is waging war against a rather virulent form of breast cancer. I know a little bit about that nemesis who once visited me uninvited. I was fortunate in that fight, the treatment was clear, defined, and successful. Her battle may not be as easy, I fear. She began five months of chemotherapy last week. She shaved her head this week to beat cancer to that punch; I admire that.
Her daughters streaked their hair and invited a few of us to do the same. So I did, without hesitation. The pink still jolts me a bit, and choosing what color to wear challenges me, but Mardi comes to mind every time I look in the mirror, and the comments this pink swoosh invite allow me to build awareness for this dreadful disease.
In addition to hair dye, I employed tools much more comfortable to me--my knitting needles. I know the changes in body temperatures and fatigue that cancer treatment can wrought and a light, cotton summer shawl seemed in order for Mardi. I used Cynthia's Make a Million Shawl pattern, the easy garter stitch version, and picked out this yummy yarn at her yarn store in Pine Grove Mills. I delivered it this morning with my love and prayer for strength, comfort, and healing.