This morning, before heading to the kitchen, I washed my face and ran a comb through my hair, as usual; however, the “outcome” (pun intended) was not as usual. The comb held a huge mass of tangled hair. I ran my other hand down the side of my head and drew back another wad of hair.
Tears sprang to my eyes and my heart hammered in my chest. I lectured the frightened, angry face in the mirror, “This is not supposed to be happening till after my second chemo. That’s nine days away!”
I walked to the other bathroom where John stood shaving. As he turned to me, tears dripped from my cheeks into the masses of hair in my hands. John pulled me into his arms. He stroked my back and said, “I’m sorry, honey. I’m so sorry.” After a few minutes he said, “Looks like we better go get that wig today. No more shopping around.”
“But we can’t afford it,” I countered. I had prayed long and hard that somehow God would help us find a cheaper one.
“Yes we can; we’ll have to. Now go get dressed. We’ll get some breakfast, then we’ll head straight to that wig shop and order the one you liked.”
When we finished eating (in the car because I’m not allowed to go into a restaurant or church or anywhere that groups of people gather and share their germs), we drove to the wig salon only to find it closed on Mondays. We’d have to return tomorrow.
Back home, I found a list of phone numbers for cancer resource centers and decided to call a few to ask if they help with the cost of wigs. First was the American Cancer Society. The man who answered looked up all the centers in central Florida that offer wigs. He gave me their phone numbers, addresses, and even the name of the staff person in charge of wigs at each center.
He advised me to call ahead and make sure they had some available in the color I needed. That turned out to be great advice because one center had only gray wigs and another had only short, curly ones. The center in Lake Wales said they had about a dozen available, including several browns, so we headed up there.
Christy, the wig consultant, showed us four or five in varying shades of brown. Each was in its original box, but all were short and curly and just didn’t look good on me. We thanked her and were about to leave when she reached to the back of the cupboard and pulled out a plastic zipper bag. “I do have one more, but there’s no box.” She opened the bag and handed me a brown wig about chin length and slightly curled under, almost exactly as I have worn my hair for years.” The wig was obviously brand new because the manufacturer’s tag still dangled from a string on the back band. I put it on and John’s eyes lit up. “That’s it,” he said, “that one looks like you.” Christy agreed. “If you want it, it’s yours, free.”
“Free?” I couldn’t believe it. “Are you sure?”
“Absolutely,” she smiled. “They’re donated to us, so they’re free to any cancer patient who needs one. Enjoy, and I hope you’re soon completely well.”
Once again, God had heard my prayer. Even the salon being closed on Mondays was his way of directing us to the free wig he had already set aside just for me.