A Head Shaving Party for Darcie


This post is a long time coming. I started on it this spring, but due to many turn of events I never finished it. Well, it’s high time I told you more about my friend Darcie’s story. Because, well, she’s a pretty amazing woman and a picture of God’s faithfulness through trials in our lives. And TODAY is a big day for her.

Country road sunset

As I drove along the winding black top road to Darcie’s house, the warm spring air and smell of purple phlox filled my car. The setting sun’s orange glow clothed every pasture, tree, and wild flower. Palomino ponies dotted a passing hillside. But, everything felt wrong.

There would be good wine, appetizers, and friends gathered at her white two-story country home, like many times over the years. But, the occasion? The occasion made no sense.

What beautiful 38-year-old woman with a head full of thick blonde hair worthy of envy asks her husband to shave her head? And then invites her children, closest friends and even a photographer to be there?

darcie

Darcie after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

As one who normally doesn’t overthink too many situations (or perhaps just avoids emotions), I hadn’t given this whole Head Shaving Celebration much thought until I slowly made my way down the snaky road. But my insecurities began to surface as I drew closer. My shallow me-centered worries came to light.

Darcie and friends

Darcie (far right) with me (center) and our friend, Kelley. Loving that crimped hair!

How will my breast-cancer-battling, chemo-fighting friend look? When stripped of her golden glory, would she appear the small, frail, exposed woman akin to a concentration camp prisoner I imagined? How will I react? Can I cover up my nervousness at such an out-of-place event in our 30-somethings lives?

I suddenly really didn’t want to go to this party.

But, as has often been the case over the years, God quickly reminded me that this story wasn’t about me and my insecurities. I swallowed hard and walked down her driveway toward her white wrap-around porch where I saw a small gathering of people.

As I drew closer, one glance at my bald smiling pal surrounded by her four laughing children exposed in Darcie the courage and grace and beauty that only comes from the hand of God.

darciefamily

Make no mistake, Darcie’s Head Shaving Party wasn’t about any of us. Her cancer story is His story. And she has made that clear all along. Her cancer, chemo, and bald head is about His goodness. His provision. His redemption. In a world that often seems all wrong. That’s been her anthem all along.

Now, back to the party. How did it go? Well, it was real. It was raw. And…

darciejosh

…it was surprisingly fun. Her friends and family rallied around her with laughs and hugs and fun food. A surprise conga line of all of us in bald caps produced a doubled-over-Darcie-laugh. #win

baldcaps

A wig fashion show, where we styled her new hairdos, was akin to playing dress-up with my friends in grade school.

And her son’s idea of topping her shaving-creamed head with a strawberry cracked us all up.

darciestrawberry

Darcie’s courage shined through her sweet smile and contagious laugh all evening long.

Just how does someone laugh at such an event? She wrote me later that night, “It’s sure hard NOT to think that beauty is wrapped up in external stuff.  But I feel good, content even, which is only from the hand of God.  So thankful…”

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 10.00.59 PM

Darcie is a picture of the redeeming work that Jesus does in the lives of those who trust him. My shorn friend is a picture of the truth every woman needs to hear: Charm is deceitful. Beauty is vain. But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

darcie5

Darcie, thank you for being real. And letting so many of us enter into your pain and fear and fight of faith.

darcie4

Darcie, thank you for for reminding us about what really matters in this broken world. And giving us courage to trust our good and sovereign God who holds all things in the palm of his hand…even cancer.

takeheart

Darcie, thank you for being a light to me and the throng of others who love you throughout our community.

friends

Keep fighting the good fight, my friend! We know your story will end well because of what He has done.

Want to hear some good news? TODAY is Darcie’s last radiation treatment and the end of her year-long fight (including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation)! Her cancer is gone and her prognosis is good. Oh, and…her beautiful blonde hair is starting to come back.

ht: Thanks to Scott Patrick Myers Photography for images from the Head Shaving Party. 




Comments

  1. Liz says

    I’ll just be over here bawling. Such a great post!

  2. sarah Gilliam says

    Congrats Darcy– I’m 2.5 years past cancer diagnosis and doing well. Praise GOD from whom all blessings flow

  3. Cassie says

    Wow, so moving and wonderful. What a great spirit.

    • Rachel says

      Thank you for sharing, Julie! I just love Darcie and her story. Thankful for the shares so others can see more of our good God.

  4. Kelly Barnes says

    Such an inspiration to so many! Way to go girl!

  5. Joan says

    So glad she is well! Very encouraging. I am fighting kidney cancer; four years. God is so good!

    • Rachel says

      May God bless you with peace and joy and healing in the midst of your trial, Joan. I’m glad our friend, Darcie, encouraged you today. Yes, God is good. I’m emailing you a little gift, by the way.

  6. Oh how beautiful! Thanks for sharing…we all seem to be surrounded…if not in the midst…of Cancer these days, and it’s so uplifting to see someone fighting with a smile. God bless her richly.

  7. Camie says

    Such a strong and courageous, beautiful woman. What an uplifting story. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Carol says

    Beautiful post! I’m on chemo and my hair is falling very rapidly. I’m thinking about having a head shaving party this week with my closest friends to celebrate life! Losing your hair is traumatic enough, why not turn it into an occasion of joy instead! Thank you for sharing this!

    • Rachel says

      Oh Carol, my heart is with you right now and I’m praying for you! I’m glad you stumbled upon my friend Darcie’s story. Her hair is growing back and it’s just awesome–a curly post-chemo look that people would pay money for. Fight on, Carol! I’m emailing you a little gift, fyi.

  9. Nate says

    Oh, wow! I am lost for words. This is truly inspiring and what a brave woman Darcie is! I pray that she will continue towards her road to recovery!

  10. gigi says

    Hi Rachel, wonderful story and a wonderful friend you are. I had breast cancer 23 years ago and I’m still here today by God’s grace. I lost my hair and my husband (he didn’t want any part of this) but I did have a good support of friends from my church and they kept me going and fighting. When my hair started to come back, it was really curly and reddish (no red hair in my family) in 3 years time, my hair grew to my waist (it grew faster than the norm). Anyway, I made my life over and adopted 2 little sisters who are now married and with babies. I will keep praying for Darcy but it looks like sunshine on the horizon. P.S. Carol, I will pray for you also.

    • Rachel says

      Gigi, I will pass this along to Darcie. Her hair is back but it’s brown and curly. Did yours ever go back to it’s normal color?

      • gigi says

        My hair came back red and curly, then lots of brown in it. I’ve always been light, fair hair so I colored it blond. After a year of growth, I started coloring it again. After 3 years, I had to cut it. I had small babies by then and they were in my hair all the time. Once I started to cut it, I also lost my curls. But I have my life. I will continue to pray for Darcie. The worst is over and now she is mending.

  11. Jennifer says

    It’s when I come across blogs such as this that reminds me that God is Good and he’s got this. I was diagnosed June 7th at the age of 40 with breast cancer. Sometimes I just need to come across reads like this to remember that all will be ok. I have kept a positive attitude myself and always try to laugh. My hair was falling out like crazy and last weekend we buzzed my head. It’s ok….it will grow back. 🙂 Thank you again for your blog. So awesome how much you care for your friend and how beautifully you wrote about her. 🙂

    • Rachel says

      Jennifer, I’m so sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I just prayed that the Lord will give you his strength, mercy, and healing during this time. You wouldn’t believe the ways God has used Darcie’s cancer. One example: her 2nd grader was moved to raise money in his school for cancer research for St. Jude’s. He motived their entire student body to raise money. My kids came home and searched for coins and asked for ways to make money so they could give. Her little boy raised thousands of dollars and moved thousands of hearts in our community to give. That’s just one example. Darcie never stops talking about how thankful she is for where she’s come from and where she’s at today (cancer-free!).

  12. Rebecca says

    I was searching Pinterest today for freezer meals for my Mom. She just started chemo last week for breast cancer. And as Pinterest often does, lead me down a path from one blog to another, until I landed on yours. I read your story about Darci – the pictures of her journey, knowing that is what is ahead for our family too, made me tearful, gave me hope and certainly spoke to my heart. Here is it, a year later from her treatments and recovery, and her story is speaking to more and more people. We know that God has his hand on my momma – just as He did Darci. Thank you, and thanks to Darci, for sharing your story. I will be making my Mom some Anti-Cancer Soup and hoping to bring her some comfort also.

    • Rachel says

      Oh, I know Darcie will be so encouraged by your comment! I will make sure she sees it. God has your mom in the palm of His hand. Praying for her!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Posted in Live Well, Faith, Live Well