As a girlfriend quite succinctly described it, “…when you are going through chemo therapy and you wake up one day with your hair feeling like it has been in an elastic too long, you know that is the sign your hair is about to start falling out.” It is a perfect description of course; if you are female and have long hair that you sometimes put an elastic in, then you can relate to that. Generally speaking, your head just feels sore.
This soreness of one’s scalp is clearly a sign that your hair is all dying, and the same day that process began, I noticed more hair than normal come out upon brushing. The next day, more and more of this straw-like hair would come out even if I just touched it. The past couple of days, hair just comes out in handfuls when I run my hands or comb through it. The interesting part is that, although I now have about 1/3 of the hair I started with, I was truly blessed with an abundance of thick hair so there is a LOT to come out.
A few men I know who are bald, have just said “ah, it’s just hair – it’s overrated”. But for women, your hair is your ‘look’. Women pay hundreds of dollars to have their hair ‘done’ just the way they want it. Hair, for some women, can be their ‘crowning glory’ or to others it may simply be a fashion accessory. At times we choose outfits to match how we are going to wear our hair! Sometimes it can be a ‘statement’, but generally speaking, it is an extension of how we are feeling in our hearts. I really liked my hair. Given it was long and thick, I could have curly days, or straight days. When I was in Panama, I fondly referred to the straight hair style as ‘city hair’ because only in the typically-air-conditioned metropolis of the city could i get that style to last for the day due to the relentless humidity. I could have sporty hair in a ponytail, or conservative hair in a bun. I will miss those all of those days. I know it is ‘just’ hair, it will come back, and that those days will return, but it does take a long time to grow long hair!
Needless to say, I have found myself mourning over the loss of my hair. The tingles started on Thursday, June 26th – the day after my youngest daughter’s graduation from high school. The angels heard my prayers and allowed me to keep it for that special day – thank goodness. It is now July 1st and I worry that in a day or two the shaver will be plugged in and used to level the remaining strands of hair down to my skull. Why does C have to be SO dehumanizing? Next I’ll be asking myself whether I need to put on my boobs AND my hair today?”
Chemo on June 27th managed to distract me marginally from losing my hair, as the nausea once again hit hard. As of today, Im just starting to get my strength back by eating soup and generally bland things, drinking lots of water, and taking lots of anti-nausea meds. Each day is another day behind me in this C journey. While this post is a bit of a vent, I’m still trying to keep my brain focused on kicking C to the curb and crossing the ‘finish line’, where hopefully I will find rainbows and sunshine forevermore – or at least hair and breasts again ;-)!