Part 1: The Strength Beneath the Pink
Part 2: Releasing Vanity
Part 3: Beneath the Beautiful
Part 4: The Red Savior
Part 5: Story of her life
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See Beneath The Beautiful
The doctors told Lyndise to expect her hair to start falling out a few weeks into Chemotherapy. At that time, she decided that she would cut her hair, as to spare herself from feeling strands of hair falling out in the shower, or in her brush, or worse, just while sitting there. She has been living now with short hair for about 2 weeks. It’s now starting to fall out. Lyndsie has now decided it’s time. Before more hair starts to fall out. She decided to buzz it down as far as she could without totally shaving her head. This way she wont notice when the itty bitty hairs start to fall. Just a bit easier on her that way. I will let Lyndsie tell you about her current emotional state and how she’s feeling:
“Sometimes, there really is beauty within the break down. Fear of the unknown. It is a horribly frightening thing. Well to me at least. And I would say to most. Why are we scared of the unknown? For me its like being in the dark. I don’t care for it cause it feels like something can be lurking around the corner waiting to jump out and scare the heck out of me. It’s an comfortableness that just, doesn’t feel good. Have you ever noticed that at night, when all the lights are off in your home, after your eyes start settling in the darkness, that the smallest light starts shining out of no where? And that little bitty light slowly becomes brighter and brighter the more your eyes adjust into the darkness? A power button on a fan, the little light on your phone, or a button glowing from your tv or computer. It becomes so bright when your eyes finally adjust to the darkness that you find yourself being able to get up and find your way without stumbling. All from this liiiitttle light, that shines, so bright, in complete darkness. I was afraid as all get out to lose my hair. After I chopped it off, I was so sad and it took a while for me to adjust. Now every morning when I get up and throw some product in my hair I see more and more strands start to fall into the sink. This happened for the first time about a week ago and it hit me on a day when my day was hard from the start. When it rains it pours right. I rode to work crying that morning knowing the inevitable was among me. My hair is beginning to come out and i can’t stop it. I can’t explain this feeling to you. Its a feeling of helplessness. Something you know is coming and you just can’t stop it. It’s horrible and made me sick to my stomach. Every morning since I have done the same thing, put product in my hair, and see more and more strands fall into the sink. I even now find myself pulling on my hair throughout the day to see if I am going to get a clump out. The fear of the unknown is a scary thing to me but I sat the other night in the dark and found that little light, deep within my soul. This time, it shined bright enough for me to find my way again, with out stumbling. I realized that I was looking at this all wrong again. I have a fear of the unknown because I don’t know what is lurking around the corner. In this instant I thought; what if that something around the corner was bad? I mean, it is right? I have breast cancer. But then I thought wait, I already HAVE looked round the corner and it WAS bad, so what if I flipped it around now? What if that something around the corner now was something amazing waiting to greet me? -Light bulb. I would never know unless I took a leap of faith and just jumped. It was then I decided; its time. No more being scared of the unknown, I’m going to buzz my hair. I’m going to buzz it before I lose it all. I am tired of being scared, and I’m tired of the unknown. So I figured, lets go. Let’s jump. – Lord just please don’t let me hit a seagull on my way down! Am I ready for the world to see me with a buzzed head? (I decided against any wig) Am I ready to be starred at? Am I ready for the pity glances when I am carrying my two children with a buzzed head? Heck if I know. But what I do know, is I am ready to have people look at me and say; wow, that is a strong woman, fighting for her life, for her family. May God bless them and watch over them. What I do know is I am ready as I will ever be. Besides. How many girls actually get a chance to go all Demi Moore on their heads? Only difference is, she got paid a TON of money to buzz HERS. I on the other had will get repaid with my life. Which is far far more rewarding. HOO-AH folks. – That saying is said to have many different spellings, and sayings, but the one meaning I found most fitting to me and my circumstance; “It means we have broken the mold. We are battle focused. Hooah says ÔLook at me. I’m a warrior.”
We decided to do this outside to represent “letting go”. Instead of focusing on all the hair falling to the floor, why not focus on it blowing away in the wind. Watching it go. This step represents Lyndsies readiness to fight this head on. It’s a very emotional and huge step at that. She will now have to walk around “looking” like she has cancer. She will have to wear scarves, or hats, or just feel the breeze on her pretty head. This is not only a time she is loosing part of her, once again, but now she’s facing the public. Sounds so trivial when compared to being able to fight for her life, and it is. But showing the world WHAT she is fighting, takes even more strength. She will have to keep smiling, as she always does, through all the stares, people avoiding her, or being overly nice. She will have to bring up the subject with perfect strangers to relieve the tension that with normal conversations would not be there. There are so many levels to this and unknowns ahead of Lyndsie that she will have to fight through. But, I know, she’s got this :).
When I arrived at Lyndsies house, her mom was there. Beebs and her kiddos and hubby were there. Her little one sick, taking a tub, her big guy running around like a typical boy. Also, Carol was there. Carol has been making Lyndsie and family cancer fighting meals, for 2 meals a week. Im not talking spaghetti here. This friend can COOK! She’s one of those behind the scenes friends who I thought needed a big hug. Cindy you rock. Lyndsie was running late home from work. Overall shes been getting tired. Having to leave work one day due to exhaustion. Chemo will do that to ya. But she was sure excited to get home to do this. Her good friend, “Beebs” was there again to shave her head. Lyndsie wanted to do the first cut, then her little guy Tobin did the next few (supervised of course 🙂 ), then Beebs took over. Lyndsie decided to buzz it down as low as it would go. This way allowing it to fall out totally on it’s own as Chemo goes on. She just wanted it over. Too much waiting. Too anxious seeing hair falling out. I don’t blame her.
What you don’t see in these photos is all the humor and fun we have during our time together. This session we tried to have some fun with her son Tobin. We all try to keep things light. Try to “make fun” in a way without sounding mean. Kinda laughing it off as we know soon enough, times will be getting much harder, and it may be harder to see the good in all of this. Eventually my visits with Lyndise will be much more difficult. She will be tired. She will want this to be over. She will be facing a double mastectomy post even more aggressive chemotherapy. So for now, we laugh. It’s now time to “see beneath her beautiful” of Lyndsie. She is much more than a pretty face. She is much more than amazing hair. She is strong. She is courageous. She is an incredible wife, daughter, sister and mom. She is an amazing person. I pray she can always remember that everyone who loves her, everyone that knows her, only sees beneath the beautiful.
Plus, who wouldn’t stare at her face ANYways.
+Make sure to watch the video below to see her entire session+ Make sure to continue following Lyndsies Journey. If you missed part 1 and 2, the links are both at the top of this post.
Emily is a newborn, child and family photographer in the St. Louis area.