Mary Foster



As I went through chemotherapy, one side effect was the loss of my hair after the second treatment. This was very traumatic for me at first, but I finally came to accept this condition. Part of this acceptance came with the decision to wear ball caps instead of wigs. I just felt more comfortable in a cap. I had so many caps, my husband had to make me a hat rack to hold them all.

I tried not to let anyone see me without a hat or wig, but I thought it was time for my grandson, who was three years old, to see what his Granny really looked like. One day while he was visiting, I told him I wanted to show him something. I took off my cap and showed him my bald head. He became scared and ran as fast as he could into the other room where his Paw Paw was.

I went after him and told him I needed to explain about my hair to him. I told him that my hair got sick from chemotherapy and that God was going to give me more, but we just had to be patient and wait. He told me he was scared because he thought he might lose his too. I told him, “No, Ryan, you will not lose your hair. Granny’s hair is old and sick and yours is young and healthy.” He got used to seeing me without my hair after that day and told me I was still his Granny no matter what I looked like.

After our talk, my hair started growing again. My hair had been dark brown before I got sick, but now it was coming in white. I asked my grandson to pray for my hair and for me. So one night I heard him praying and he said, “Give my Granny more hair as soon as you can and make it yellow like mine.” I said, “Now Ryan, you know that’s asking a lot from God because I’m an old lady and my hair has never been yellow before.” He said, “Granny, your hair has never been white before, either!”

My hair did start growing after that prayer, but it was not going to be yellow like my grandson’s. It was coming in white with a touch of black. Ryan had to get used to me again with white and black hair. He told me he loved me no matter what color my hair was. My hair did stay like that for about five months and then it went back to its original color. Ryan learned that prayers are not always answered the way you what them to be, but they are answered in God’s time.

It has been two years since I was first diagnosed and things are going good. Ryan is always by my side at Komen Race for the Cure® events to give me support. I have written a small book about my journey with breast cancer through the eyes of my grandson. To read more about my story, please visit my Web site,