Sunday, 28 September 2014

Hooray, My Hair Fell Out!

When I first got the Cancer diagnosis, almost my first fear was that my hair would fall out.  Why is it that so many of us have a terror of the moment we lose our locks?  Is it a sense of being robbed of our identity?  A fear of having to publically declare our infirmity?  The reality that it might be last time we have lovely, long tresses as it will grow back slowly and possibly grey?

In any case, I never guessed that when the moment actually came, I would cheer with delight.

You see, I decided that it would be simply too distressing to wait until my hair came out in clumps so I opted to have it shaved in advance.  Despite what followed, I'd still say this is the best way to deal with a crappy reality: take control, choose your wig and decide the day you are going to start wearing it.

There was only one hitch: my hair refused to fall out.  My oncologist told me that it would start to fall around 14-15 days after my first chemo.  It would certainly be gone by the time I had the second round, he said.  So I went on day 10 and had the chop.

And it didn't fall.  Worse, it started to grow, so the bristles on my head became needles that stuck painfully into my scalp and caught on my wig and scarves.  What to do?  Should I let it grow, suffer the growing pains, only to have it fall out eventually anyway?  Or should I go and have it shaved again?  Was it possible that I would never lose my hair??

Then, twenty-seven days after my first chemo, I was in the shower and ran my hair over my bristly head...and it came back black with hair.  In one shower, almost the whole lot went down the plughole.  Suddenly my head felt smooth and comfortable again...and I was delighted.  

So now I'm properly bald and I feel vindicated in having had the shave (even if it was a little premature).  I can't imagine how awful that shower would have been if it had been great handfuls of wet hair blocking up the plug hole and sticking to the walls instead of mini-pins of hair.

Given my hair was so resilient, I'm now keeping my fingers crossed for my eyebrows.  A girl can live in hope, can't she?  But I might just get an eyebrow pencil ready anyway...

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