Tuesday, January 25, 2011



Ellie's new look! A few days after Christmas we went up to DC to get Ellie's new hair matrix. The treatment Ellie endured to cure her of brain cancer was brutal and has many long lasting effects to her body. Radiation was one part of her treatment plan. Radiation to the brain is as horrible and cruel of a treatment you can receive but in her case it made the difference between living and dying. Thankfully Ellie tolerated it very well and we just have a few issues to deal with, none that compromise her quality of life. Every child is different and uniquely responds to radiation. For Ellie, 80% of her hair was permanently damaged, for some kids there is no hair loss at all. It's so random. I am actually happy that her hair did not grow back because I wanted whatever that radiation beam was penetrating to die and never come back again. We thank God that Ellie's brain and her ability to think rationally and cognitively was not really affected...I will take hair loss over that on any day.

For the past 2.5 years after Ellie lost her hair she has been wearing cute designer head wraps. She has several colors to match all her outfits and they looked super stylish on her. Everyone just got so used to her that way and she fit right in at school. Some of the girls in her class even asked where they could get the same wraps for them to wear. { I know, isn't that sweet! } After treatment ended we thought her hair would grow back, perhaps be on the thin side, but it would grow back. After 2 years we realized it was not going to happen. Ellie was really fine with it all. I know she understands that some of her 'before cancer' life was gone but she had so many new rewards and appreciations that she didn't have before. In the big picture, hair wasn't so important. On occasion she would mention how she missed her long braids and of course, that broke my heart.

After accepting her hair loss we decided to check into some other hair alternatives. She didn't qualify for a hair transplant. A wig was uncomfortable and we heard that they often shifted or fell off making active play for a little kid difficult. So when we found the Hair Club for Kids and their 'hair matrix' we were intrigued. It's basically the same concept as a wig but is semi-permanent and adhered to her head with glue. It's real hair so she can wash it, swim in it and style it with a straightener. We were excited about our consultation but kept our excitement to a minimum just incase it wasn't what we wanted when the day came to have the hair put in place. Thankfully, it all worked out and she loved it and it felt fine on her head. We opted to have the hairdresser style this first time on the shorter side. This way we can gradually build up to longer hair. It's a bit boxy and full for us but we now have a better idea of what we want for the next time. In mid-Spring she will have a new hairpiece that we can style from scratch.

It's crazy to see her with hair but it melts my heart to see her growing up and away from cancer. Hair was the missing piece and now if you didn't know better, you would have no clue what she has been through. We are so grateful for all our blessings! Just look at that gorgeous little 8 year old!