Friday, 15 July 2016

Shaving our heads




Around this time last year I posted this journal page about awareness. I mentioned my dear friend J who has an incurable blood cancer called essential thrombocythaemia (ET). Since then, J and a few others have set up an awareness and support group called the MPNAA (Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Alliance Australia) under the umbrella of the Leukaemia Foundation. To help them get started with both awareness of this group of diseases and funds for research, my 17 year old daughter and I (I’m 47 just for the record) are shaving our heads on 22nd July. 

If you’d like to sponsor us in this, you can donate on a secure link here: www.leukaemia.org.au/mpn
Before and after photos will be posted here next Friday.

MPNs are diseases that cause the over-production of certain types of blood cells. In ET the bone marrow produces too many platelets and they aren’t properly formed. This causes the blood to be thick and sticky, increasing the risk of clots and strokes along with other side-effects such as headaches and fatigue. There is also a chance of progression of an MPN to leukaemia. For most people, the diagnosis comes in their 60s or later. For J it came in her 30s. The medical community have no idea how taking the appropriate medications will affect someone if they take them for decades. And now there is someone in the group whose 2yr old has been diagnosed. Awareness and research are desperately needed so please share this info.

But why shave our heads?

Well, one of the possible side effects of the medications is hair loss. The thing is, because the treatment for MPNs is ongoing, unlike with other cancers where the chemo lasts for a certain length of time and then stops and the hair grows back, if hair loss happens, it doesn’t grow back. 

For more info on MPNs: http://www.leukaemia.org.au/blood-cancers/myeloproliferative-neoplasms-mpn/myeloproliferative-neoplasms-mpn


12 comments:

  1. Your idea is wonderful. All the best for your friend and your campaign, Happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

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  2. Amazing face with enchanting eyes.
    Have a happy project and PPF xx

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  3. What a noble project! I wish you success. I have never shaved my head but I have had some really bad, really short haircuts, but I always would say: it will grow back. However, as you indicated, some disease results in hair not growing back. I applaud you for your empathy and drive to make people aware. Also, I think your painting is great.

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  4. this is a gorgeous painting and i do feel bad though for your friend!! what a wonderful gesture, though

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  5. This painting and your words strike home as my mother died of what was then called polycythemia. I do not know if it is the same disease or not but it sounds like it. That was many years ago. Hers did turn into leukemia and she soon passed away. I have been terrified of it all my adult life as it tends to be hereditary.
    Wonderful thoughts for your friend...so young too.

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  6. What an informative heartfelt post! A wonderful tribute to your friends plight! Sad that the hair never recovers! You're a dear person to bring this to our attention! Lovely artwork...so much passion with compassion!

    Hugs Giggles

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  7. Yes, a wonderful tribute, lovely art piece too. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Good for you to support in such a meaningful way. All the best! Happy PPF too!

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  8. A tender way of supporting your friend and I wish you the best in your campaign. My thoughts are with you. Lovely art, btw.

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  9. What a beautiful gesture ... Love your painting, she looks like a strong woman!

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  10. Blessings to you, your daughter and your friend. What a wonderful way to stand with a friend. May your fundraising do well.

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  11. A very brave action for a great cause!

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Thanks for dropping by. I read and appreciate all your comments.