The Cisplatin-Gemzar routine had thinned my hair out quite a bit. I don’t think it caused it too fall out too badly, but it certainly slowed how quickly it grew. I had thought before that I was losing my hair as it seemed to fall out during washing or combing and generally at a more alarming rate than previously. Despite that thought, my hair remained and my cute short cut was satisfying.
Since starting the Irenotecan, I have a new appreciation of hair loss. Dr. Brooks had made note of the hair on the back of my shirt and left on the exam table during my last appointment. I had noticed that if I touched my hair at all I’d end up with a few stray strands left on my shoulders or back. What I hadn’t noticed is that other people could see it as clearly as I could. Then, I ran my hands through my hair at work a few days ago, only to have a wad of hair left between my fingers. A second run through, just to see if it were some stray locks, produced the same amount of hair. Then I noticed that whenever I washed it, I would have hands full of hair. If I combed it, I would have a pile of hair. It wasn’t just thinning anymore. Slowly, but surely, I am losing my hair.
Today, I stood up from the couch and my pajama top and the couch itself were covered in hair. Piles of my hair.
I’m tempted to shave it all off and do myself the favor.
It breaks my heart to see all the hair I loved, the hair I played with whenever I was sleepy (both as a child and as an adult), will be gone. I can feel the places where it is thinnest and wonder how long it will be before I start to see bald spots. Milo asked if I wanted to go wig shopping, but the one I wore for Halloween was a quality, medical grade one and it itched like crazy. It was also insanely hot. I don’t really want to have to deal with that at work. I’m thinking I might just get some medical scrub caps and some nice scarves…
But the thought makes me really upset. Looking in the mirror and seeing how thin my hair is now makes me cry. It’s amazing how much just a few days ago I wanted to look as sick as I was so people would stop assuming I wasn’t. Now that I am starting to look the part, I’ve changed my mind. Everyone keeps mentioning how pale I am –I’m embracing my inner vampire– and how tired I look. I don’t want to look into the mirror and see sick me; I certainly don’t want people to remember me looking this way. If cancer is going to strip me of my life, I’d rather people have the chance to remember the me I was…and for my dignity to remain intact. It’s hard watching my hair get tossed into the trash or rinsed down the drain. It’s difficult feeling nauseous all the time and tired more often than I’d like.
I’m sorry I asked for it. Totally taking it back!