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Prayers Anwered, No Waiting

When a cancer patient asks for divine guidance in handling her hair loss, a reassuring response comes promptly.

By Karen Ranen, Amherst, Massachusetts

As appeared in

Hair loss might sound like a small problem when you’ve just been diagnosed with cancer. But as I sat in front of my bedroom mirror, it seemed like the most important thing in the world. The doctor had warned me my hair would fall out during treatment.

Should I cut it all off now? Cut it short? Hold on to it as long as I can? Even though my hair was sparse and baby fine it was important to me. “Dear God,” I said, “please help me know what I should do.”

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No sooner had I finished the prayer than the phone rang.

“Karen Ranen?” said a kind-sounding voice. “I’m your nurse case manager.”

“My what?”

“I’m here to help you go through your treatment. Is there anything I can help you with today?”

I didn’t know what to say. I’d no idea I’d been assigned my very own case manager.

“Can you please help me decide what to do about my hair?”

The nurse listened as I outlined the possibilities. She gave alternatives. We discussed the pros and cons of each one. As we talked through my options the choice became clearer to me. As soon as I hung up I dialed my salon.

An hour later I walked out with a bandana covering my now super-short hair. I knew I had more challenges ahead, but my cut was a first step. If God could answer my “hair prayer” so quickly, I knew he’d be there for all my other prayers as well.


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