My hairs have been departing from me for about 5 days now. I have been bracing and preparing for this since I first got diagnosed. My scalp got really tender and tingly, like I had a pony tail in for a long time and I figured this was an impending sign. It started falling out really really slow. A few small clusters of like 5-10 hair strands here and there through out the day. Misplaced stragglers that would just come out instead of needing repositioning. Then the next day it progressed to like 20-30 hairs at a time that I had been having to help out, meaning, they wouldn’t fall out of my head but if I ran my fingers ever so gently through my hair or moved my bangs out of my eyes, the hair would just simply detach. No pain, no sensation, just come out. Today, totally different than even yesterday. I feel like this dandy lion that I am looking at. As the wind blows and its dried petals drop off and float away, my hair is doing the same, releasing itself from my head and floating away all over the yard. Nate will be raking up leaves and hair this fall. I was having lunch with friends yesterday and my hair kept falling in my salad, its all over the house. Totally gross! Good thing is, I have so much hair, you really can’t tell how much I have lost…yet!!!
My mom asked my if it was bothering me that my hair is falling out, and at that exact moment I found it kind of amusing. It’s not every day I can grab a tuft of hair, and just pull it out of my head with no sort of objection from my scalp. I call it my new party trick. Last night we (Nate, Bekah and myself) were sitting around the table with our very good friends Marc and Amanda. I figured I would try my new trick and kick this party up a notch, actually my hair was tickling the back of my neck from being loose and it needed to be removed but they didn’t need to know that . So I started to de-shed myself, pulling clumps of hair out of my head into a a pile, Marc asks most appropriately “should we be videoing this?”. But then everyone got kind of wierded out, told me stop and my party trick wasn’t that funny anymore. I think it just reminded everyone of how sick I am.
And while I still find it amusing now because I do still have a lot of hair left, I could also instantly start crying when I think of myself completely bald. Just as tempting as it is pulling it out, like a scab you can’t resist picking – I also find myself trying to save every strand possible. In attempting to wash my hair over the past few days, which I have been avoiding in fear I would loose waaay more hair by shampooing my hair, rather than pulling it out. How’s that for rational reasoning- I blame that on prego brain and the chemo brain. But I would describe my washing as more of a patting of my hair with shampoo. I was ever so gentle, trying to save every strand possible. Yesterday, I totally got freaked out by the hair wad gathering at the drain and growing into a gigantic furby. So I just stopped washing, gingerly rinsed out the few bubbles and finished as quickly as I could in there.
As long as I can remember I have had long, thick, thick hair. I can recall way way back everyone would comment on my hair and how long it was and how pretty it was.
Over the years I realized how lucky I am to have great hair. Honestly, I like my hair. Some people are known by their beautiful eyes, others by their smile, me, I felt like I was known by being short (ugh) and having great hair.
I knew that loosing my hair was going to be one of the hardest things in this whole cancer calamity. I’m not really sure why, I know it will grow back and this is just a temporary time. And its not like me to be vein. But it’s a loss for me. It’s like a piece of me has gone missing and I am longing for it to come back. I see myself in the mirror and it’s just not me who I see, and that’s with my short hair, I can’t even imagine me bald. When I was trying on wigs… oh and side note: if anyone ever needs a wig go to Patricia & Co in Weymouth, she was awesome!!! …When Patricia put on a longer haired wig on me, I instantly felt like myself again, it was like magic. I didn’t want to take it off. I welled up inside and said to myself, “Oh, there I am, I have missed you”. It was short lived though, I had to take it off since a $2,000 wig is not in my price range and insurance only covers for a small fraction. I did find a great wig and named her Celia. Its not a long flowing wig but she will do just nicely when I am requiring fake hair.
Who knows, maybe I will be pleasantly surprised when my hair is gone. Maybe I am just thinking it’s going to be awful and it might not be that bad at all. I know even just after writing this blog I feel a little better about letting my hair go and embracing whats next..the buzz cut!
So Cancer, F-U! You want my hair? Take it. Because my bald head means I am 1 step closer to my cure. And your 1 step closer to your end!