I HATE MY HAIR SO WHY DO I WANT TO HOLD ON?

January 12, 2017

Six days since Chemo #1 and feeling great, the worst of it behind me.  A little queasiness for the first few days, then back to my old self.   Best I can describe it is like mild flu symptoms or feeling a little “off.”  If this is as bad as it gets, I’ll take it!  They say it gets worse as you go along, but then I’ll be done.

Ready for a laugh?  I was filling out a general health questionnaire for an upcoming orthopedist appointment.  First question on the list is “How would you rate your general health…excellent, very good, good, fair or poor?

Seriously?  I have cancer.  Does that count?  I only feel like crap occasionally because of the stuff they’re filling my system with.

I’m in great health, thank you very much, though my right breast might disagree.

Cancelled the appointment and hit the gym.  I feel relatively normal there, like I can beat this, like I can stay strong.

I have to.  My life depends on it.

January 15, 2017

More questions, this time from an insurance company nurse.  She’ll be checking on me from time to time.  Nice, right?

She wants to know what my goals are, as far as cancer is concerned. We break them down into daily, weekly, monthly and six months.  Good Lord, you’re asking me where I want to be in six months?  Well, I would like very much to be alive.  Alive and cancer free.

Is that asking too much?

If so, that will pretty much cancel out my long term goal, sipping Manhattans at my grandkids’ weddings.  (family tradition…don’t judge!)

Now it’s my turn to ask the really burning question…when will I lose my hair?  I know it’s ridiculous but right now it’s at the top of my mind.  Pardon the pun!

She tries to soften the blow but all I hear is “probably shortly after my second treatment, but surely by the third.”  Hair loss is a common side effect of the drugs I’m receiving.

I can face the others, but I’m not so sure about this one.  I’ve been nauseous before.  I’ve been fatigued and achy all over.  But I’ve never been bald.  Common sense would dictate that bald is better than nauseous and fatigued, and I guess that’s right, but still…

Will it happen suddenly?  Will I wake up to find clumps of hair on my pillow?  Will it fall out in the shower?  Already I find myself checking my scalp, brushes and comb for signs of fallout.  Will a trail of lost hairs follow me at the grocery store, at the gym?  How embarrassing will that be?

How will I handle it?  Will I want to hibernate, out of sight?  Will I cry?  Why do I want to hold on to this mop?  It’s not exactly what you’d call a “crowning glory.”  It’s thinner than I’d like and not my natural color, whatever that is.

Trying to strike a bargain with the powers that be, I swear never to complain about a bad hair day.

Girls who have gone before me say to shave it.  I have a weird-shaped head and certainly no stereotypical cute little face that begs for a shiny dome.

Ugh.

So I’ll do it in stages.  A bit shorter than usual tomorrow and see what happens next week.

And repeat my mantra…Bald is sexy.  Bald is sexy.  Bald is sexy.

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