::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


A lose, lose

Thank you every one for your tips and suggestions, I've taken all into consideration.  I cut my hair only to my shoulders.  Although my hair has thinned considerably since my haircut.  One of my best friends bought me some powder for my scalp and is going to go with me to a wig shop, to get a feel for that possibility.  She also is helping bring in some humor such as: a red bandana and a hoody so I can have a 2 Pac look.  Also, a wig with a cute 50's swim cap, so all can envy my 50's-ness at the pool, etc.  This is totally my sense of humor.  I'm just still building up courage and trying to accept feeling this on top of that.

My emotions are running rampid these days.  I'm so happy one minute and crying, and bawling the next.  I suppose this is normal.  I started therapy yesterday.  Poor woman just sat down and I talked the entire time, she could barely fit a word in.  I was trying to paint a picture of my life in an hour.  I was referred to her by some one I love, and the poor lady probably didn't see this "one" coming.  I have problems I don't blog about that I was going to go to therapy before the accident that are resurfacing during my grieving process and I'm pretty much a mess... a mess that's going bald.  

You would think that I would have a lot of time on my hands.  I have one potty trained son (still have occasional constipation/holding in accidents though (sigh)).  I work from home..easing back into it, very little these days.  I'm also easing back into cooking (which I love, I'm a foodie just hate the clean up & grocery store part), no big deal.  But somehow life is incredibly busy, which is good and bad.  Good, because there are days... honestly at least half, that I don't want to get out of bed.  And I'm forced with super-hero strength to get up, brush my teeth, wipe off and stop the tears and go and go and go.  Bad, because my body is still healing and I'm still legally handi-capable.  I literally text Ryan "yo, I did the dishes... go me!!!".  And just so we're clear, I live in a house from 1952 & something w/our plumbing running uphill blah blah... a disposal isn't really gonna happen.  So I sorta hand wash my dishes before they go in the dishwasher.  If I don't they just aren't clean.  It's the #1 thing I hate about my house.  I spend an hour+/day washing dishes.  I actually fantasized about doing dishes while in the hospital though.  So although it's hard on my legs, it's okay.  

Going bald is very hard.  I have miraculously and gratefully never had anyone close to me go through cancer treatment.  I've seen and known of people who have, and felt sorry for them, but not ever had empathy for the 'loss of the hair' part.  Which I know, is the least of their worries.  I know my hair loss is a reflection of what my body has been through.  It's NOT STRESS.  Stress on my body, yes.  I've not named all of my injuries until now.  (Because I'm going to in a moment here).  My broken hand for example, after they took off the bandages had a lot of hair on it.  My hands aren't typically hairy.  The Dr said it was because of all the blood circulating to my injuries causing more hair to grow.  My legs were so hairy, I've never seen anything like it in my life.  I had a hairy hand and my legs were just as hairy as Ryan's in and right out of the hospital (they don't let you shave when you're on blood thinners).  I've expressed how badly I wish to be pregnant.  I've also openly expressed my struggles with infertility.  I guess, for me, losing my hair is a sign that getting pregnant is even further away than I imagined.  After all, I don't think a woman who is going bald is likely to get pregnant, especially if you're infertile.  Again, I am admittedly feeling sorry for myself.  I know, in the long run it will be okay... I know.  But, just bare with me.  I'm bald.  I miss my dove.  and I still haven't had a period... therefore, I'm very unlikely to conceive for a very long time.  I'm a realist.  Sometimes I wish I wasn't though.

Over the weekend I was expressing to a casual friend how bad it sucks to be going bald.  She looked at me and said, "it's okay".  I know she meant well.  She has a full head of extensions 24/7 for the 9+ years that I've known her.  I guess, really I'm feeling sorry for myself.  I, Kelly Pack am feeling sorry for myself because I've been through a lot and now I'm gonna be bald or nearly bald.  Every time I take a shower I cry.  I assume the Rogaine isn't working, but I keep on keepin' on using it.  So much hair comes out.  I look back on clients, or people in passing that I've known or seen that have been going bald from chemo and I didn't give them the sympathy or understanding every man, woman or child deserves.  I always just said a little prayer in my heart that I hope they beat it.  I'm pretty chopped up all over my body and will wear these scars for life.  I walk funny.  But going bald... is far worse and horrifying than these.  Going bald sucks!  Everybody that has gone through this or who is going through this, I feel you!  If you are stronger than me and proud of it, I envy you.  If you've been there, done that, I can't wait to be you.  

We finally chose a picture for Colum's headstone.  We chose one that we are in love with that is a candid shot, and the closest and most appropriate that we have of him until his death.  I cannot describe how hard this has been.  I wish I could capture his entire essence into this headstone.  After we visit him we walk around and look at other headstones.  I'm really interested in the older ones and really find them to be beautiful.  A lot of them are children or babies and I try and imagine how hard it must have been to lose children... possibly multiple children way back when.  We started a new tradition last Sunday.  We are going to have regular picnics and/or dessert with him.  For Father's Day we bought a super awesome camping picnic table that's portable.  I almost cried when I thought of the idea after we bought it.  We can sit our handi-capable bums on the seats (sitting on the ground is nearly impossible) and picnic with Colum all the time!  Plus it doubles as what it's purpose is for camping!  It's a new family tradition.  Family.  It's something that is my everything right now.  My little Family is everything.  

Today as it was my turn to carpool to preschool.  I walk them to the the entrance which is behind a pretty large house and around the back.  I can't run.  Finn and my Niece sorta race and I noticed Finn say "stop, don't run", and then he looked back at me.  It made me smile.  He knows.  He notices.  Momma can't run.  She can't keep up.  He's protecting me in a sense, he's looking out fo me, he cares.  I love him.

last days with long hair.  it was pretty sick and thin, I was was happy to cut it.

day of my haircut.  it looks fine here.  my scalp is showing though now.  I wish it would stop falling out here, but it keeps coming out!
Our new tradition.  The Pack headstone is Ryan's Dad whom we lost 8/31/11...Colum is lying and playing with his Grandpa.


  1. I have followed your blog quietly since I heard of your accident. I have to say the whole thing with your hair loss touches my heart. My Mom went thru intense chemotherapy treatment a couple years back. She kept her hair for a month or so and we were thinking she was going to just be the lucky chemo patient with hair. But I will never. ever. forget the phone call that day she got in the tub and began washing her hair and her hair was coming out by the handfuls! Our hair, as women, is an important part of our image! I would have a very rough time with losing my hair also! I hope that you find something that works well for you! You are such an amazing and strong woman! My brother-in-law and his wife lost their daughter in a horrific car accident a couple months ago and it has been so hard on everyone! I have come to your blog for comfort often. My husband and I have both cried with you. You are a true angel with a beautiful angel watching over you! Stay strong! Much love.....

  2. Two years ago this month, I finished up chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. The hardest part about my cancer was not the surgeries, but the loss of my hair. Everyone kept saying to me, "it's only hair", but it was MY hair; it was a part of who I was. I cried when I lost it and I still cry today just thinking about it. I cried for you when I read what you wrote about losing your hair. I was teaching school as I went through my cancer treatments. I refused to wear a wig but instead found very colorful bandanas to wear that would match my clothes. I allowed my junior high and high school students to wear hats in my classroom. I even wore my bandanas when I went swimming. You are a very strong person...I have followed your story since reading about your family's accident. I have three children and I cannot even imagine what it would be like to lose one; I admire you for being able to share your story; you have given strength to those of us who struggle to share ours...

  3. You has a beautiful blog. I'm very happy when i'm blogwalking and stopping here to leave a comment for your blog.

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  4. Kelly, I have followed your story for a while now and have never commented. I can't tell you how much I admire your strength and spirit. You have made it through unimaginable pain and have somehow, REMARKABLY, found a way to inspire people in the process. I can't tell you how many times I've thought of your Colum while holding my own little boy and remembered cherish every single moment. None of us know how much time we have we those that we love. I wish you didn't have to lose your hair on top of everything else you have been through. I don't know you personally but I do know that you will get through this the same way you have gotten through everything else. You are so much stronger than I know I would be. I hope it helps (in a small way) to know that there are people like me who read your blog and marvel at your strength and beauty.

  5. So the hair on your head is falling out, but it is growing out of control so to speak in other areas. How ironic.

  6. Kelly, I have followed your blog from the beginning. I have been very touched by your story. I can relate with you on the going bald situation. I lost my hair two years ago, at 21 years old. It was a very hard time for me. I bought a few wigs but they were just itchy and hot, especially in the summer, so I finally got up the courage to just go without. The first week was hard, and embarrassing. People were staring and it really hurt me. But I grew to live with it, after two years my hair is finally growing back, and thicker then it was before I lost it. Best of luck to you.

    1. Can I ask what made you lose your hair? How did you get it to grow back? I am struggling with hair lose too. I don't see it ever being thick again. It's so hard.

  7. I am so sorry your hair is still falling out. You have been through so much and it's hard to watch you go through losing your hair too. I wish I could make this all go away for you. I think about you and pray for you every day. I hope each day that it gets easier for you. You are so strong and you inspire me to be a better person... a better mother. You are so right... family is everything. I love your new family tradition too. Colum will always be apart of your family even though he lives in Heaven. Sharing your life with him will bring you peace and comfort. Will you please let me come do your dishes for you? :)

  8. Rooting for you and your beautiful family. The pictures of you saying goodbye to Column have tears streaming down my face. Sending you love and happy wishes and blessings. Every day is a triumph as you heal.

  9. Oh Kelly, You are so much stronger that I could ever be. Reading your blog gives me strength and also a better perspective on whats important. Feel sorry for yourself, it's ok. You have been through SO much, don't feel like you can't have a WTF moment. It's ok :) Jessica

  10. I love your new tradition. I always hated cemetaries...told my husband I wish to be cremated. But seeing what it does for your family, it changes things for me. I am changing my "last request" to whatever my husband or children feel will help them to feel me to "be" with me.

    I am so sorry about your hair. :( Praying for you.

  11. Kelly,
    I love your pictures!!! You are so beautiful! And the picnic table is perfect! Finn looks so happy to be having a picnic with Colum and mom and dad! What a super idea...
    Love from Colorado!

  12. I have been following you since your tragic accident. I am commenting now because your struggle is near and dear to my heart. I have struggled with this issue for over a decade, since about the age of 23. I have tried everything and been diagnosed with this or that only to have doctors change their mind. The best advice I can give you is to try not to hate yourself too much and remind yourself that your husband and son love you no matter how much hair you have. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

  13. I LOVE your new Sunday tradition! What a GREAT idea! My heart breaks every time I read about your struggle, BUT what I also see is a woman who is healing and overcoming obstacles that many didn't think you could. You have a right to feel sorry for yourself and to tell us about it. You will ALWAYS have the right to cry, but did you notice you said you still get up and go, go, go...THAT makes what you do EVERY DAY a miracle! You HAVE NOT let what happened define you, you have embraced it as who you are NOW and what you will become...

    Please don't give up, you are an amazing example to us all. I can only hope to be a mother like you one day! I have no idea how to help the hair loss thing, that sucks for sure. If I hear of anything I will let you know.

    Much love and constant prayers always sent your way!!

  14. I am a good listener if you need to talk, you can call me anytime. I wish I could hug you and make it all better. Xoxo

  15. You're beautiful. You're awesome. You're an inspiration to so so many!! I hope you can feel all the love and prayers that are coming to you!! (hugs)

  16. Hi, sweet Kelly! You are so real and honest to share with us. Thank you for letting us be a part of your life. I do pray that it helps you to know that all these people who have never met you are inspired by you and your courage to keep going in the midst of loss. I am so sorry that on top of everything, you are losing your hair. I bet that was a huge shock you just didn't see coming. I am looking forward to hearing about what beautiful fashion statement you come up with for your sweet head because I know you will totally rock the style!!!

    The picnic table is a very sweet idea. And good for you for easing back into things and getting to see that you CAN and that slow and steady wins the race, as they say! Hey, I totally "get" the hubby texts of, "Yo, I did the dishes... go me!!!" I actually send proud texts like that to my husband, too! LOL

    Hugs, hugs, hugs.

  17. I'm so sorry for what you are going through. Losing your sweet son was bad enough, but on top of it you have your own physical problems to endure. I'm so sorry about your hair loss. I know people try to reassure you that you are loved despite losing your hair, but to a woman our hair is important. I've heard that losing hair after a sever medical trauma is common due to all the meds that are given among other things. Stress also is a contributing factor. Have you spoken with your physician about this matter? Is it permanent or will your hair eventually grow back?
    I'm so sorry for your pain. I'm sorry Colum is not with you. He is a beautiful boy. You are in my prayers.
    Much love sent to you from Idaho.

  18. Beautiful Kelly, with or without hair: Have you looked into the relationship between folic acid and hair loss? It might be worth checking with the doctor to see if you could benefit from supplements.

    May this be but a very small bump in already rough road. I hope it comes back in more gorgeous than ever, and quickly!

  19. I am so very sorry about your hair :-( BUT (and I know hearing this may not help) even if you were totally bald, you have such a stunningly gorgeous face that you would be beautiful no matter what!!

    I looooove your picnic idea. It is going to bring you all such comfort. I can just imagine your precious baby's face looking down on you and smiling the whole time.

    Much love to you and your family (from VA!)

  20. Kelly - just wish I could give you a great big hug. xo

  21. You are beautiful Kelly!! Through and through. I should have told you more how gorgeous your hair is, bald peaking through and all. I know this is so hard for you, can't say I know to what extent, but I physically hurt for you and all the trials you and your amazing boys are going through. You are so strong and a true role model to me. I'm here for you guys, no matter what!! I truly love you and am very lucky to call you my friend. XOXO

  22. I am so sorry Kelly. It would be awful to be a woman and lose your hair. After everything you have gone through you deserve to vent. The picnic idea is too cute! And Finn is adorable.

  23. Kelly no matter what u look awesome the whole family looks great especially with e v e r y t h i n g you have been through praying for you ona daily basis praying 4 the whole family love and hugs

  24. I just love ur whole family and the picnic thing is the best ur hair loss sucks i had a stroke last year talk about All ur hair thats another story

  25. Hi Kelly, I found a little poem on pinterest today and it made me think of you, so I thought I would share.

    In memory
    It broke our hearts to lose you,
    But you did not go alone.
    A part of us went with you,
    The day god took you home.
    If tears could build a stairway
    And heartaches make a lane
    We would walk our way to heaven
    And bring you back again,
    In life we loved you dearly,
    In death we love you still,
    In our hearts you hold a place
    No one could ever fill......

  26. Not too long ago my hair was falling out in clumps. It was really upsetting because over the years my hair has gotten thinner and thinner and one day I will have to wear a wig (thanks genetics!). Anyway, when it was falling out really fast like that I went to my dermatologist and the first thing she asked me was "What happened to you 6 months ago?". It took me a minute and I realized that 6 months before I had been through a really traumatic time. She said to give it a few weeks and sure enough, my hair stopped falling out like that and has been a ton better ever since. I also use Pureology shampoo for fine hair (pink bottle) and it makes my hair healthy and grow faster. I hope that this helps and that it is the case with your hair. So sorry you are having to deal with this.

  27. It is terrible to lose your gorgeous hair! I remember how you talked about feeling good about yourself and wearing your hair down more and getting dressed up. You were in a good place with your self confidence (I know, because i'm experiencing the exact same thing lately) and this is just one thing that's a visible reminder of that being taken away. It's a big deal.

    I love your picnic tradition. We were at the cemetery yesterday, my mother in law left some flowers on her sons grave and asked us to pick them up (she uses ones in pots and plants them in her garden later, I think that's pretty beautiful!) This got us talking about our wishes were one of us to die, my husband wants to be cremated, but I'm not sure that's what I want. I'm sure we will find someway to remember and honor and be with eachother in thought without a grave to visit but it sounds like it might be helpful. Strange conversations but i'm glad were talking about it now. It's a terrible time for you and I'm very sorry that you're in the thick of it right now. I know it's got to be the hardest thing you have been through, or ever will hopefully. I'm sending lots of baby wishes your way.

  28. You are beautiful no matter how you slice it! Still banking on meeting you one day. Still think about you and your family and your sweet Colum just as much as before. Much love to you.

  29. I lost my hair 6 years ago and it has never come back. I still struggle with the reasons why. If you need a listening ear I am here for you. I know you don't know me at all but just know I feel for you and would love to help in any way I can. My email is princessfriss at yahoo dot com.

  30. Hey, I have been following your inspiring blog for a bit now. YOU ARE TRULY AMAZING. Would you be willing to send me your address? I want to send you a book... susankn@ida.net