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Monday, October 12, 2015

Adventures in Chemotherapy, Part 2 -- Shining, Gleaming, Streaming, Flaxen, Waxen

My hair is beginning to grow back! The front and sides are a combination of white and light brown.

The back is almost all dark brown but very sparse, as you can see. There's a lot of scalp showing through:

Hair loss and chemotherapy go hand in hand. My oncologist, Dr. Cynthia Martel, told me there's no guarantee it will ever look the same again. But it might.

Will my thick, curly hair be gone forever, only to be replaced by a thin, mottled look?

Time will tell.  

My hair began falling out a week and a half after my very first chemotherapy treatment, which was on June 23. 

It was such a horrifying moment when, just minding my own business, I put a comb to my hair and a gigantic hunk came out. I didn't see that coming.

At the time, I was hospitalized in the oncology unit at Huntington for just over two weeks (long story). More and more hair fell out every day and was all over the pillow, sheets, floor, furniture, you name it.

Over the Fourth of July weekend I contacted my hairdresser, Patti Harmon, who owns Hair Studio in Montrose, and asked her if she could come to the hospital, take a pair of clippers to my hair and just get it over with. I figured losing my hair would be much less messy if it was very, very -- very -- short.

Although the holiday weekend was her family time and her shop was closed, she came right over and got the job done. She said this was a friend-to-friend moment, not a hairdresser-to-client moment. She wouldn't even accept a tip. I heart Patti Harmon!

She even brought me a hat and wore a white one in the same style herself. Solidarity!

There was still hair everywhere as it continued to fall out but now it was in tiny little lengths, not long, messy, stringy clumps. It made it much easier for housekeeping staff, too.

Less than a week later I was completely bald. (I lost my eyebrows a few weeks later.)

There was no choice but to embrace it and keep moving forward.

Which brings me to now.

It may take six to eight months for my hair to get to, say, shoulder length.

I'm patient. I can wait it out. And I have plenty of hats.

But someday...gimme a head with hair!