Updates on Kathy's battle with breast cancer.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Thursday (day 11) and Friday (day 12) were great!  Friday morning I was able to run my pre-chemo route, which was really encouraging (still a whimpy distance needing improvement, but same status as the last several years).  The day definitely goes better if I allow some space to rest in the middle of the day.  If not, at this point, I start feeling really tired around 5:00 p.m. –lesson learned on Friday.  Consequence, Friday night’s date of dinner and a movie was cut to dinner with a movie at home, which was still really nice.   

Friday was wig-shopping day.  This is something I was nervous about and had dreaded.  It ended up as a really good experience and was fun.  Courtney came with me, which made a huge difference in the fun factor.  I’d spoken with a few different wig places, and this sounded like the best option in the area—St. Vincent’s Women’s Boutique.  The description, given from a woman on the phone at their smaller location, was that this location was much larger, with three entire rooms filled with wigs.  I was picturing 3 rooms the size of Walgreens or CVS, with rows and shelves filled with different types of wigs.  If a wig was in stock, you could buy it on site.  If you wanted it in a different color, it could be ordered and arrive in 2 weeks—way too late for me!  They also filed your insurance, so your only out-of-pocket expense was your co-pay with no paper headaches.  Another other place I’d spoken to was in the back of a woman’s home, she didn’t file insurance, wigs had to be ordered, then delivered to the place and picked up from there.  It was 40 minutes away to start with!  Another wig place was out of town until June 16th—again too late.   

So, Friday afternoon, Courtney and I headed off to this amazing wig warehouse I was picturing in my mind.  In reality, upon arrival, it was similar to a small hospital gift shop, with two additional wig-fitting rooms smaller than the size of a doctor’s examination room.  We didn’t count how many wigs were on display, but if we had counted, at least in my memory, there were probably 15 in the main large room, and maybe 18 in the fitting room, and probably 18 more in the other fitting room which was in use by someone else and I never even saw.  But, they had some cute options, and she must have had a lot more in the back (or maybe that other room was the huge warehouse sized room?), because she would leave and come back with additional options as we went a long.  In the end (over an hour later), we left with a wig that I liked and was comfortable with; a khaki colored cotton baseball hat with blonde hair attached to the sides and back that I LOVED (my favorite purchase of the day by far—probably how everyone will see me most days for the next 9 months, except church days, but who knows, you can get away with almost anything when you’re bald from cancer!); a soft knit headband with bangs attached that can be worn up front as bangs, or in the back as hair out of a hat; “Fight Like a Girl” PJ’s that Courtney said I had to have; 2 rubber bracelets and a trading pin (the local teenage girls know what that’s for) with the same phrase.  They only had to hand me tissues one time, and that was at the end when I was describing the party in the paragraph following the disclaimer below.

Losing hair is the next obstacle on this mountain climb that I’m scared of.  I’ve heard from many that emotionally this can be one of the hardest things.  I’m so thankful to be aware of this in advance.  Since this is one part of breast cancer that I don’t have control over, I feel like I can at least take control of how it happens.  I’ve heard that waking up with wads of hair on the pillow is really discouraging.  Turning something scary into something fun is a coping mechanism that helps me.  So, I want everyone to be aware that I know that cancer is a serious thing.  I don’t want to offend anyone in any way by seeming irreverent about some of the aspects.  So, if a hair loss party makes anyone sad or uncomfortable, I understand, and you do not need to feel obligated to participate.  The head shaving will occur beforehand.  A lunch party sounded fun, this was a good excuse to help me over this hurdle.  I have some confirmed attendees and will not be alone, but wanted to include anyone that would like to join us in making memories. 

SHAVE THE DATE!  This Tuesday at noon, we're having a potluck lunch party to celebrate my new bald head and kick off some summer fun.  It's mainly an excuse for a party.  If you'd like to join us, wear a hat or wig, kids included, bald babies will help me feel at home.  Hopefully some will be brave enough to wear hats/wigs that keep us laughing.  If you’d like, bring a salad, PBJs, or a dessert along to share.   We’ll provide homemade rolls, lemonade, and a dessert option.  We’ll have the movie “Tangled” running in the basement.  We’ll cut it short (unlike my vanished hair), so we’ll end by 1:30 or 2:00.  We’ll make sure the highlights (pun intended) are complete by 1:00 for any that need to head back to work.  If the weather is nice, we'll be in the back yard and patio, so kids can run around and play.  Come in the door, or join us out back.        

SHAVE THE DATE Virtually!   If any out-of-towners want to join in on the fun, between now and Tuesday, simply take a photo of yourself in either a wig or hat or bald, and email or text it to me (ktenney@comcast.net, text 801-885-0636).  Feel free to include a fun pun or joke about baldness.  We’ll make an album of all participants and later share a link for any that want to view the party.

I'm so thankful for my family, including extended family and friend family, who provide my life with happiness.  I enjoyed reading Hallmarks of a Happy Home, given by Thomas Monson (the prophet of my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). I also love the quote below:

“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith)


  1. Wish I could be there, but I have class! Hope you have a great day!

  2. We will be sending some photos! Wish we could be there! My cousin also had a head shaving party! :) Hugs to you!