Sunday, June 19, 2011
Who loves ya baby
Well washing behind my ears has never been so easy. And you don't realize how much your hair keeps the water from the shower from flooding into your ears until you have none.
So I've been waiting FOREVER to lose my hair. The Sloan chemo nurses said it would most likely just thin from the Cispatin (the 1 hour, kidney drowning, ovary frying chemo drip) but I had read all over the internet about people who lost their hair from it, so I chopped it off in Jan just waiting and waiting and waiting. And it never fell out (not that I'm complaining), so I psyched myself up months earlier than I needed to.
When I went for my first radiation consultation they said, it's not a matter of if, just when, they felt by the end of the 2nd or 3rd week it would start to fall out. They were dead on, by the middle of the 3rd week my hair started really thinning and if I wore a white shirt, I also wore my hair follicles for the world to see. And then Wed. June 8th, I was having my morning bowl of Kashi Go Lean Crunch before heading to the Sloan cafeteria for second breakfast. And I got a spoon full of hair, yum! And in the car on the way to Sloan every time I ran my fingers thru my hair huge chunks came out.
So on the way home from radiation that day, we stopped to pick up Sophia at my in-laws and we were talking and laughing. Then we head home, and while I'm sitting on my love seat sitting in front of my facebook page, I run my hand thru my hair and an ENORMOUS chunk pops out. And I say, I guess this is it.
So my dad says, well that's what I did, I just pulled it out. I said really? For some reason that sounded like fun. Apparently I was the only one who felt that way, Dad went home, Mom took Sophia into the Den to watch Madagascar and John was like, you are not going into the bathroom to rip out your hair. At first I was like "oh ok" and then I said "WTF, it's my fucking head, if I wanna rip the hair out I will dammit!" So I went into the bathroom, took the trash bin and put it in the sink and I went to town.
First of all you have to understand, the hair literally popped out. No pain, no tugging, I just grabbed a chunk, tugged and it came out. Now the bulk of it fell out on the very top of my head. Kinda like a Monk's do. But the hair along my forehead line and along my ears and neck would not budge. So I had a bald middle which was SO attractive. But it was oddly liberating. Especially since it was crazy hot that day, my head was literally cooling off as I tugged. Then after about 20 mins, all the hair that was coming out was out and I was left with a spikey ring around my head. If you can imagine those hats they sell with fake hair around the rim, imagine that without the hat and that's what my head looked like.
So I grabbed John's buzzer and took the rest off. So it looked very crew cuttish. And then I had to show Sophia. I didn't know what to expect, but they nurse told us to tell her that I got a hair cut. So I said, "Sophia you want to see mommy's new haircut? I have no hair now." And she was totally cool with it. She asked me if it came out in the shower and I told her no, that mommy cut it (I didn't want her to fear the shower and worry her hair would "fall out") and that was it. She rubbed my head and went back to watching her movie.
Then I took pics and posted them on Facebook. My poor mother-in-law was so confused, she called and said "you were just here, what happened?!".
But I still looked more of Marine than a cancer patient, honestly, I looked like I could start some serious shit. The only thing I'm missing are visible tattoos. And I think I might have freaked out my backyard neighbors (everyone on my block knows about me and they have all been wonderful, I have some pretty cool neighbors yo!). But the week before I had run into my neighbor in the back and we were talking about our kids and stuff. Then a week later I go out to put out the trash, at maybe 4pm, and she is in her backyard and says "I hope we're not making too much noise back here?" I was like "Huh?" and she said "The kids are making water balloons." and I said "Sounds like a great time to me!" So I wonder if she was like, I hope that skinhead doesn't attack my children! HA!
I got tired of the roughness of the fuzz, and I took out my venus razor a few days later and shaved it. My scalp reminded me of when we pet those stingrays on our honeymoon. Smooth and Velvety. Seriously, I could not stop rubbing it. I am obsessed with my head. It's so freeing. Between scarves, wigs and plain ass bald, I like being bald the best. I feel cooler (temp wise, not attitude wise) and my head has an interesting shape. I do wear scarves when I'm out though. I feel like being bald is very jarring for people and it is now the same as wearing a sign that says "I have cancer". So I mostly wear it for other people. But I do love scarves too, it's just that after a while they get hot and I usually pull em off.
I've worn two of my wigs so far. We went out to dinner for John's birthday and I wore my good one that the American Cancer Society very generously gave me. BTW that was awesome. I met my dad's ACS peeps (he's an ACS navigator) and his friend Fran took us downstairs at their HQ, took out a mirror and a huge bin of wigs. And we tried a dozen on, it was SO cool. We figured out which color I looked best in and which style. Plus Fran was ACE at styling them so I learned so much about how to care for them and how to make them look perfect!
Today I took my pink one out for a whirl. I got quite a few looks on the drive to my Brother-in-Law's. It was cute, but got itchy after a while and I just yanked it off. But I lasted pretty long in it. Plus I ordered one of those cotton caps that they recommend for patients to wear underneath, but I haven't received them yet. So I think I'll get more into the wig thing soon.
What I love about scarves though is they have kind of a pirate vibe to then, which I totally love!
The best way to describe not having hair is, most of the time you don't feel any different, but then you turn on the AC or you feel a nice breeze and it feels like your hair is sopping wet and it's Feb. Sometimes I'll have what I call, "hair phantom pains", where I find myself trying to tuck non-existent hair locks behind my ears.
The other crazy thing is that the steroid (which I'm still on, I was supposed to stop it cold turkey the last day of radiation but I got a massive headache so the doc decided we should step down even slower, they had thought I had stepped down enough since I was down to 2mg, but apparently that wasn't enough for me). Anyway, the steroid causes you to grow hair where women don't usually enjoy growing hair, like your chin or neck. But the steroid did me one better, it also grew on my nose and from the corner of my eye down my cheek. Like how is that even normal, men do not have hairlines from their fricken eyes!!! And then there was the cisplatin, it did nothing to my head, BUT it kept the hair on my legs from growing. So I didn't have to shave the entire time I was on chemo. Which was crazy cool, but the rest of me looked like Robin Williams ala The Fisher King.
So that's the deal with the hair. I'm surprisingly cool with it. I will photograph all the wigs and post them on facebook eventually. Plus I have a whole new scarf collection thanks to my cousin Cindy who dropped off all of her headwraps, that she washed in the most divine smelling detergent! I literally just inhale the pile of them whenever I pass them in my bedroom.
On a side note I went to Essentials in the Mall the other day to pick up hair gel for John and a new brush for my wigs. And I swear the teenager at the counter, who was lovely, was thinking to herself "She knows she has no hair right?"
Also I have this really bizarre habit that when I play Uno on the iPad I have to rub my head before I made my move. I really have no idea why that is...
P.S. John just read this over and insists he did not freak out over me pulling out my hair. He also wants everyone to know that he thinks it was very nice of him to help me shave the back of my neck. To which I responded, yes, you are a true humanitarian. Now he hates me. Hehe!