photo: las vegas, april 22, 2018 (hbd!)
If you know anything about chemotherapy, it’s probably that people undergoing treatment loose their hair. You probably also know that being tired and feeling nauseated go along with it. But really, it’s the hair that is the most quickly comes to mind.
Nancy, the oncology nurse said that on my particular chemo cocktail (oh, to have an actual cocktail again!) that I would start to notice hair loss at around 2-weeks and that between the 2nd and 3rd treatment that I would experience total hair loss.
She wasn’t wrong. It’s happening for me now.
Audrey had found some article a while back that said to expect hair loss starting exactly 2-weeks from the day of your first treatment. Wham bam, thank you, ma’am. That statement was completely correct.
On Monday, January 3rd – 2-weeks to the day – I had clumps of strands of hair coming off my head during my shampoo. Good morning. This is your life now.
I knew it was coming. I mean, how could I not. It was the first thing that leapt to the front of my mind when I was told chemo was the recommended option for me. I blame all the TV movies in my youth that showed pale, bald cancer patients, especially the women dealing with breast cancer. But, I never thought I would be one of them.
And then the reality of it hit home as I stood naked in the shower. Water from the shower head sprinkling down like a warm spring rain. A sad rain. A proxy for tears. I stood there holding a handful of hair that had been attached to my head only moments before.
I balled up the hair into a felted clump and kept adding to the clump with each movement of my hand through the shampoo and conditioner stages. I still don’t know if it was the practical side of me not wanting the hair to clog the drain, or if it was some sort of lizard brain drive to not leave a trace behind. Probably both.
This morning the handfuls were larger and the clump of felted hair was more than double the size of the day before. I am keeping those clumps…. for now. Weird, huh? I have them on a table in my bedroom that I can look over at. I have plans to put them into a baggie. To keep for a while. Until I’m ready to let it all go.
I’m also getting close to the time where I will need to buzz the rest of my hair off. Bill, my saint of a hair stylist, has offered to loan me his clippers when it’s time to do the deed. At the moment, my hair looks fairly normal. You likely wouldn’t notice anything different. Perhaps it’s a bit thinner. It resembles my Grandma Lutz’s hair. Like me, she had a headful of very fine hair and as she aged, it thinned out more and more. I always expected as I aged I would have Granny’s hair. I wasn’t wrong.