The day my face fell off!

“Stacey, you are lucky!  You have such beautiful eyebrows.”

“But Mom, they are so thick – I hate them.  Could I please pluck them!”

“But why?  They are lovely.  One day, you will be thankful!”

This was how the conversation endured between my mother and I as I was growing up.  My eyebrows were thick and the fashion was a thin line.

Little did I know at that time, that my eyebrows were what made my personality.  People know what and how I was thinking depending on how I moved my brows.  I have one of those “expressive” faces.  It is animated even when I am thinking.  This used to get me into trouble when I was in school as I’d react to what the teacher was teaching – using my brows.  “Stacey, is everything okay?”, the teachers would ask.  This was horrific because I was so shy I did NOT want to be the centre of attention.  My darned eyebrows betrayed me.

One summer I was visiting my cousin Marilyn, in Toronto.  She was more city-like and cultured than I was as a younger, country – bumpkin of a cousin.  Her brows were plucked and manicured.  “I can pluck them for you, Stacey” she offered.  Graciously (and with zeal) I accepted.

She lay me down on the floor of the bathroom so that she could see better.  She began.  Over an hour later (my brows were thick) and much pain, she was finished.  I looked at myself in the mirror and couldn’t believe the difference!  I was sophisticated!  The only problem was that my skin was stark white where the brows used to be – they had hidden the skin beneath quite successfully from the sun. Other than that – I was thrilled!

When I got home, the first thing my Mom said to me was, “What did you do to your eyebrows?”.  I couldn’t believe that was the first thing she noticed.  She then cried.  Seriously.  I felt awful – but not enough to regret having “in” brows.

Eventually, the brows grew in.  I did not like plucking them and maintaining them.

It wouldn’t be until I was in my late 40s until I plucked them again.  I don’t know if it was because I didn’t want to disappoint my Mom again – or if it was just too much hassle to pluck them.

Nonetheless, I have always kept my brows on the thicker side.

It was when I went to the “Look Good, Feel Better” program, when I realized that brows are an important part of expression.  Many of the women in the program who were receiving chemo like me, had lost their eyebrows and were trying to learn how to “pencil” them in.  “You talk with your eyebrows” explained one of the make-up consultants.  “You are lucky”, she said to me.  “You still have your eyebrows”.  Ha.  I guess Mom was right.

Over the past week, however, I have noticed my eyebrows getting thinner and thinner.

Today.. I am missing half of the brow.

What will tomorrow bring, I wonder?

My eyebrows are me.  How will I express myself without them?  Will I be using a pencil to create an artificial brow?

It seems almost as bad as when I lost the hair on my head.

I am now 5 chemo treatments in and I thought for sure I would keep my brows.  I was so very thankful to have them… finally.

I guess Mom was right after-all.

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About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
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8 Responses to The day my face fell off!

  1. Isn’t it the oddest thing about life? No matter what we think we want, we seldom have control over it? I wonder if they will grow back the same color? I have read many stories where hair grows back different colors and/or textures??? I am pretty sure your brows will come back perfectly…..Stacey. 🙂

    • inmycorner says:

      Yeah – if my Mom has anything to do with it~! grin. And, I agree – there is no control — I used to think they were PERMANENT – guess nothing really is — causes me to appreciate rather than take for granted. Thanks, Colleen.

  2. Tom Graves says:

    God is amazing! No doubt He had you in mind when he inspired Psalm43:5 “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” I bless you with healing and health in the Mighty Name of Jesus! Tom

  3. hopebringsstrength says:

    I had the opposite experience with my eyebrows. I plucked them religiously all my life, contouring them carefully with the trends. But now they are growing in white and they are too hard to see…that and my poor eyesight…and so I no longer pluck them, or for that matter, even notice them at all. Something that used to matter so much to me, matters so little to me now. Time and circumstance have a way of shifting our priorities. I just have to try to remember to flex and bend. Much Love

    • inmycorner says:

      Ha – I was wondering when mine would go grey – I have a friend who dyes her brows to make them more apparent. I didn’t think my missing brows would be an issue – but now, it is worse than losing my hair. I just need them to speak! grin.

  4. pepesapam says:

    Mom are always right..!! When i do something wrong, my mom will tell me ” I told you so, you should have listened to me”, so i guess they know us very well…and I am sure your eyebrow will grow back soon…

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