You can’t have any of those, when you don’t have any hair.
It started coming out gradually around the 10th day after chemo, which was last Tuesday. It was mainly on the pillow. But being me, I had to keep testing. How many hairs would come out if I ran my fingers through it? How much would come out in the shower if I ran the shower head across my head? It sounds a bit like I was trying to torture myself, but I think I just wanted verification that it was really going. Once I figured out that it was, I was ready to speed up the process and have my head shaved. There are two reasons for this…I was going to lose it, so let’s just get it over with, and secondly, it was becoming a huge mess! Hair was everywhere. Changing my pillow cases twice a day was not enough.
There was, however, one teeny little obstacle. Well, not so teeny. It was 6 feet, 2 inches tall. My husband, Howard, who loves me very much, and has done everything for me, was really struggling with this. He had been keeping up the hope that I might be one of the extremely rare patients who does not lose their hair after Melphalan, the chemo drug I was given, prior to the transplant. He asked me not to have my head shaved, to keep my hair as long as possible. I know he’s very sad about it. I was too. But I got over it. Cutting my hair short on August 3rd was hard for me, but it was a good transition. The hardest part was losing my pony tail, so I had already done my grieving,
When Howard and Trevor came to see me Saturday morning, my hair was still pretty thick. One would never know I was losing it at the rate I was. I told him what I wanted to do, and he just wasn’t ready. But I had a plan. While the boys went off to the cafe for lunch, I took a shower. A very long one. I sat there running the shower head through my hair, time after time, and losing gobs of hair each time. I just wanted to feel clean again! I watched the hair pile up, every so often moving it from the drain to let the water drain out. I laughed, thinking about how it was starting to look like a small animal. It was reminiscent of the days when I trimmed my dogs, thinking how I had almost enough hair for another dog! I was getting the feeling that I could certainly create one now! By the time they came back, I had emerged from the shower with a whole new look. The hair on the top of my head was so thin, my scalp was clearly visible. I had him take a look at the small animal encircling the drain. And he got it. He really got it.
Umm, yeh, I may have lost my hair, but I got a new puppy!
I think I sort of got his OK to have the nursing assistant to take care of business Sunday morning. In any case, I had it done and it feels great. No more mess, and I can start wearing my hats.
So, I had a healthy stream of visitors to follow, nine to be exact. Paula wanted to see my head right away and by that time, I was kind of tired of wearing a hat. When she told me my head had a nice shape to it, I happily chatted with her and Mike sans any head covering. I think I can do this!
So, now I just had a debate. Do I post a pic here of me without my hair? Do I put a warning at the top of the page that disturbing images may follow? Will it be offensive? I came to a conclusion. If you spend any time with me, my hat might blow off when we are together. And oh my gosh, you might see my head! Really, I’m the one who has to live with this, so I think you can deal with it! And, you know what, it’ll grow back! Here goes!
Have a great day!