On the 14th day (a Monday) of my first chemo cycle, my hair got it’s evacuation notice. It like most in evacuation areas started with small numbers leaving - 5 or 6 hairs at a time. At this rate I figured it would take a long time for it to all be gone.
Day 15 was somewhat different. More of my hair started taking the evacuation notice more seriously. Those 5 or 6 hairs turned into a whole lot more. Not handfuls yet. And I wasn’t rolling over at night into a small hamster on my pillow, but it was definitely making a more concerted effort at leaving.
Day 16, I brush my hair before heading out for my walk, and it is coming out in handfuls. After my walk I figure I need to prepare a little differently for my shower. I don’t want to block the drain with a drowned hamster worth of hair, so I grab some paper towels to dry my hair after I wash it. While I scrub it with gently with the shampoo, I do not touch it during the rinse and just let the water wash over it. So far so good, the drain is still working.
After my shower I use the paper towels to soak up the water. I grab my wide tooth comb as suggested in my “how not to lose your hair so quickly” information and gently comb working from the bottom up. Well, I don’t know that the wide tooth comb saved any of my hair that was under full evacuation, but it did collect a whole lot of it.
Those with longer hair know that after combing it we usually gently run our hands down and remove any lose hairs left that the comb didn’t remove. So I do this and end up with another handful.
In one shower I have gone from having a full head of hair to being very thin, especially on top.
So with this I decide that it’s time to call in for my “time to shave it off” appointment with my stylist. We schedule the appointment for the next day. I spend the rest of the day cutting scarves from some of my fabric that I have lying around the house.
I head to bed wearing a scarf, but it’s too hot so I take it off. Thankfully, I still avoid the hamster on the pillow issue. At least what hair I have is holding on at night.
It’s now Thursday, 3 p.m. I wait for my stylist to arrive as she is coming from school. She arrives with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me. Her first question after finding out how I am is, “Are you ready for this?” My response is, “That I’d rather shave it off than look like a 90 year old, half bald person. Let’s do this!”
My husband has come with me and I have him take pictures.
We start with taking a couple of clippings so I can compare my old hair with my new hair when it come back in.
Out comes the razor. She starts on the top. Now if this doesn’t feel weird.
First we try the comb over. It may work, but only for a short while.
At one point we try out the “monk” look. No, this one’s not for me.
When the shaving was all done, we headed over to the sink for a quick rinse. As we passed by, several ladies having their nails done were staring and so my husband quipped, “She lost the bet.” This left them rather embarrassed but with smiles.
It was great to have this done with my husband supporting me and a stylist who made it fun.
That night, it felt like I was sleeping on velcro as what hair fuzz I had left got “stuck” in the pillow case. So the next day I took my shaver to my head to remove as much of my velcro as possible.
I have the answer to my question, “Does your part tan?” I now have a racing stripe down my head from that tan part.
I’m finally getting used to the stranger who looks back at me from the mirror. As are my family and friends.
Many have asked me if I’m upset with losing my hair. I have to respond that losing hair is a small price to pay to reach a new healthy life. My hair will return, but I have no intention of letting the cancer do the same.