Monday, August 24, 2009

Oops, I Did It Again!

Britney Spears terrified fans in 2007 when she walked into Esther’s Hair Salon in Tarzana, CA and told the stylist, “I want my hair shaved off.” The proprietor, Esther Tognozzi, said “Well, I’m not doing it,” suggesting that perhaps the pop star was having a hormonal moment and might feel differently in the morning. Ms. Spears grabbed the buzzer and began shaving it away herself. TMZ ensured that the scene would live on in infamy--playing it relentlessly for months on end. As usual, there’s a story behind the story. Bad hair weaves had damaged Britney’s beautiful blonde locks to the point that she complained the extensions were too tight.

Today, more than ever, I have greater sympathy for the teen idol. Chemo hair hurts. It causes a sensation similar to the one you get after taking your hair out of a ponytail that you’ve worn all day. This morning I couldn’t take it anymore and it became obvious that my badly damaged hair couldn’t be salvaged either. Just like the diva, I reached for the electric razor to do what must be done.

Hope you don’t mind if I indulge in a little red neck humor. You know you need to shave your head when:
…there’s more hair clogging your shower drain than there is on your head.
…you scare yourself when you look in the mirror.
…it takes a lint brush to clean off your pillows in the morning.
…blow-drying your hair creates a cyclone.

What does it feel like to watch your lengthy locks fall from your head into the bathroom sink? At first I wept. But mid-way through (picture me with half a head of hair), I started to giggle. This turned into a laugh-out-loud moment. And then I felt empowered by taking my journey into my own hands. I decided I’m not a victim, I’m a victor! We have a choice in the midst of disease, divorce, debt, or despair; we can press into our faith or flounder in the flesh. I followed the footsteps of Paul.

The apostle met far greater adversaries than cancer. He was thrown into prison, shipwrecked, beaten, ridiculed, abandon, starved, robbed, left for dead, and eventually martyred. I can’t find one Scripture where he felt sorry for himself. He kept his eyes on Jesus rather than his troubles. The apostle wrote to the Corinthians, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies” (2 Cor. 4:8-10).

I don't know the trials you face. But I do know that you, too, can follow Paul as he followed Christ.



  1. God bless you Lenya, thank you for sharing updates with us! and a big hello from the DC area, sure do miss my "home" church

  2. love you are beautiful and glad you got relief
    we will keep praying for you thank you for you encouragement in your midst as well.
    hugs and prayers to you
    love rick and linda

  3. Hi Lenya! I struggle with the self-pity pit. It seems to follow me around inviting me to "fall" in. Once I choose to fall in by embracing "poor me" thoughts, it's anguish to climb back out! I bet you know there is one person in the Bible that said, "...and not one of you is sorry for me...", it was King Saul! (I Samuel 22:8)Better to follow the Apostle Paul, than his namesake!! Remember when we studied Joshua? Each small group was given a beautiful jar in which to drop memorial stones, I think "self-pity" was my stone. In that semester, I think the LORD Jesus whispered to me, "You don't need self-pity, you have ME!" My LORD has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water!! (II Samuel 5:22) Thank you so much for sharing your struggles and the breakthroughs the LORD is giving you along the hard way!! You are such an encouragement to me personally. Still praying for you and especially about tomorrow, so many will be with you "in spirit". (PS Have you ever heard the name of God from Psalm 99:8: God-Who-Forgives? Using Strong's #5375 it looks like "El Nasa/Nacah (naw-saw'-to "lift") possibly?)

  4. Lenya, the journey you are on right now has helped me keep things in perspective. When things pop up that I'm tempted to turn into a big deal in my thought closet, I think of you and your battle, how you completely trust the Lord. And thanks for the laugh about the Britney moment. You are totally rockin' the scarf!


  5. Lenya, You are so beautiful! Beautiful on the inside and on the outside. You have shared beautifully how we must keep our eyes on Jesus. What a gift God has blessed you with, thank you for sharing.
    Love, Diane Seguin

  6. Hey Lenya - my dad spoke with Dianne Saber not too long ago and passed the news of what you've been going through my way. After reading your most recent post my heart was filled with praise for the Lord as it His strength is so evident as you laugh, cry, and ultimately testify to His faithfulness through what must be such a difficult time. We're praying for you and waiting with expectation to see what the Lord has in store for you!


  7. Hello Gorgeous :D
    Thank you for sharing your giggles in the midst of challenges. You are such an amazing lady of God shining with His light and being an instrument of encouragement, strength and inspiration.

    Blessings of joy and peace,

  8. Thank you, dear Lenya, for again sharing the intimacies of your journey with cancer. Your writings are encouraging and comforting to me as well as so many other women who are in the midst of their own struggles. I'm keeping you in prayer daily.

  9. YOU LOOK AMAZING! You are such an inspiration! I am still keeping all my friends and family updated on your progress, and they too, are praying for you and Skip!! Love you!!!

  10. Lenya,
    I'll never forget the day I went to your house and you came out with your scarf wrapped around your head and asked me, "What do you think?" I remember thinking, WOW, she's so beautiful! Then I wondered how you went about wrapping the scarf so elaborately? Knowing you, you'll make bald/scarf/wig, whatever you do a fashion trend! I've told you before, you rocked that scarf! This picture is evidence of that!
    Nichol :)

  11. Precious matter what is happening with your body or your heart, your smile is still just radiant and such an inspiration! As always, you look GORGEOUS!!! As I start my own travels with cancer, you are giving me hope...I pray I can handle mine with the grace & joy you are handling yours...I love you, Rebecca T.

  12. L. May, all I can say is I love and respect you more all the time. God on ya for following Paul. I have been in the deep dark hole of self pity and it ain't pretty. You, on the other hand, remain beautiful in heart and appearance. -I'm stoked on your head wrap.

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  14. Hi Lenya! What a beautiful testimony you shared about the choices God places before us:

    "And then I felt empowered by taking my journey into my own hands. I decided I’m not a victim, I’m a victor! We have a choice in the midst of disease, divorce, debt, or despair; we can press into our faith or flounder in the flesh. I followed the footsteps of Paul."

    I loved your words, "press into our faith or flounder in the flesh," and in the midst of my own journey of recovery, found that I too, was given the same biblical insight associated with the life and times of Paul.

    Upon surrender, I too, concluded that when broken, bruised, and abandoned by almost all of my family, friends and colleagues (but NOT God), I could lay down and die, or, get up, press forward and live. I, like you, chose Life!

    As you reaffirmed God's Word: "We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies” (2 Cor. 4:8-10)."

    To God alone be the glory,
    Sandy Koster (aka in2books, aka SantaFeSandy)

    edited version

  15. HI Lenya~
    I have met you twice at the pastor's wives retreat in So. Cailf. I live in New Zealand~

    Everyday I check on your blog~ I have cried with you and smiled ~ Please know that I am praying for you with my womens group here. Also Lenya I hope the Lord inspires you to write a book on your journey~ I just think it will be SO far reaching~

    Much love in Jesus my sister ~ God is good~

  16. Lenya,
    I know that what you did requires a lot of strength and courage. Some people would be at their breaking point right now but you have decided to trust Abba and take the narrow bumpy road he has given you. The little princess inside wants everything to be normal again but then Skip would never be able to see a different side of your strength and beauty from this, unless you were being chased by a mad scientist w/ hair clippers in their hands. Take care, theresa