Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hair Today...Gone Tomorrow!

I started chemotherapy on August 11, 2010.  At that time I had all of my hair and like most females, I spent a lot of money on it. Cuts, coloring, products, curling irons...all of that stuff.  I liked my hair and after some miscues in the 80's with perms [I guess there was a lot of people with bad hair in the 80's], I was comfortable with it.  It was straight and shiny and healthy and I didn't have much grey.  What's not to like?

Actually, my kindergarten picture - except for the crooked bangs - shows that I haven't changed my hair style too much over the years.  A bob is always stylish! 

Yes, my mom cut my bangs, but didn't all mom's back in the 50's and 60's? I remember that at some point she used this pink tape to hold our bangs in place and then she'd cut a supposedly straight line. It wasn't always, but isn't that the charming part of this picture?

Of course, once I got into high school the style was long and straight so I was in luck.  I didn't have to wear the orange juice cans or use an iron on my hair.  It was already straight! 
I lost my hair the first time in September, 2010.  It was pretty traumatic for me.  My hair started falling out slowly and then it started coming out in big chunks, especially when I washed my hair.  I wasn't in a good place then, so it just made it scarier for me.  I finally had my sister-in-law, Jeanne, come over and shave my head just so I didn't have to deal with all of the hair in the shower.  Here's a picture of me without hair back in September, 2010 and then another one with my new wig.  I guess I thought the sunglasses made me look more glamorous! 

The first chemotherapy drug I took was stopped after 2 infusions because it wasn't working and my hair slowly started to grow back in.  I wore the wig a lot because I just wasn't comfortable with my bald head even though everyone told me I had such a nice shaped head.  By February, however, my hair was growing out and after Jeanne trimmed it up, it looked pretty good, so I started going without my wig.  It was fine and I liked it and it was curly!!!  I had curly hair!!  I had heard that this happens to some people who go through chemotherapy, but I just didn't expect it.  When my hair started to get longer, I went to have Jeanne cut it again and she asked me what she should do.  I told her that I never had curly hair...I had no clue!  In Jeanne's hands, however, my hair couldn't have been cuter.  I had hair again and I loved it!

I was getting use to my cute, short, curly hair when I had to change chemo drugs again in August, 2011.  I was told my hair would fall out again, but I didn't want it to go anywhere until after Gretchen's wedding.  I am happy to say that my hair held on - nothing was coming out the day of the wedding - until the next day.  It's like my hair knew the wedding was over and it could fall out...and fall out it did! 

This time it wasn't traumatic.  I had been there, done that.  At least I am still here - hair or no hair - and that is the most important part.    I have a new wig - it's short and curly like my chemo hair that grew back in - but I haven't worn it yet because it's just not cold enough to wear a wig.  I'm sure I will soon, but in the meantime, I wear my hats and would like to get a few more hats just because it's easier not to have to mess with wigs.  If you would have told me a year ago that I would be OK with my hair falling out again, I would not have believed you, but it's true. 

This is me and my bald head.  It's part of my journey and I'm glad I'm embracing it this time.  It's a lot more fun!  In fact, I think I should be Uncle Fester for Halloween...don't you?  Just put some black around my eyes and a lightbulb in my mouth and I'm set!   

Happy Halloween!!