I’m going to be completely honest with you up front and tell you that this is an article I really don’t want to write and yet, it needs to be written. It’s one of those true stories that touches me deeply and painfully, and I can’t seem to keep my hands on my keyboard for having to reach for yet another tissue.
It’s not that it was completely unexpected. In fact, when I last wrote about Abilene’s Kinslee Parrish, her parents and I talked about the fact that it would be during this stage of the chemo treatments for leukemia that the hair would fall out…if it was going to fall out. And yet, I’m ashamed to admit that I do find myself asking if this beautiful little family hasn’t already suffered enough. How much more should they have to go through and, of course, I already know the answer. They will go through whatever they have to go through to save their daughter’s life. Period.
And, after all, in the grand scheme of things, losing ones hair for a little while really isn’t all that important, is it? It was with all of these jumbled thoughts bouncing around in my head that I sat down and called Kinslee’s mom, Kayla, and I’m very ashamed to admit that this time, it was Kayla who comforted me as I asked her to tell me about this latest mile in the journey the whole family has walked for a long time now.
Believe it or not, Kayla had a smile in her voice when she said, “It was a lot harder than I had thought it would be but I’m good now. It was falling out so fast that we were almost ready to see it go because it was bothering her so much!”
And then, of course, we spent a minute or so talking about the way Clay and Cason supported Kinslee by shaving their own heads also!
Kayla has been completely open as she has documented every step they have made as they fight their daughter’s cancer, and because I know that her goal has been to share her story with the hope that it might help someone else, I asked her to tell us what it is that others should do to prepare themselves for this new step.
“There’s no way around it, it’s hard. By the time it started coming out, it was REALLY coming out, and there was nothing to do but cut it. I couldn’t do it; I couldn’t even watch so Clay went to work on it, cutting it into a cute short bob before we went to the hospital that morning.
“By the next morning it was such a matted mess, that there was nothing else to do but get rid of it. When Clay and Cason got to the hospital, they made a game of it, and Kinslee smiled and laughed the whole time as Clay cut hers, and then Cason’s, and then his own. He even tried to cut the doctor’s hair!
“I know our situation is easier than if she were a teenager, but I really do think the thing to do is to go ahead and get it cut short way before it starts coming out. We didn’t do that, but if she had been a teen, I believe that would have made it less traumatic. Thank goodness she’s two!
“It’s hard, but you just have to focus on the fact that it’s going to grow back, and it’s probably going to grow back thicker and more beautiful than it was before.”