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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!

10 comments:

  1. We identify with our hair, whether we realize it or not. And others identify us, too. I wore my hair long and straight when I was young, and when I cut it an acquaintance said, "But how am I going to recognize you?"

    "Hair" was such a big deal at the time. I learned all the words to all the songs. Thanks for the video.

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    1. I don't recognize myself sometimes these days, Petrea!

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  2. Love Hair (the movie, the song, the stuff on our heads). Yours will come back, or, worst case scenario, you get to rock a badass scalp tattoo.

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  3. Love Hair (the movie, the song, the stuff on our heads). Yours will come back, or, worst case scenario, you get to rock a badass scalp tattoo.

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  4. Love Hair (the movie, the song, the stuff on our heads). Yours will come back, or, worst case scenario, you get to rock a badass scalp tattoo.

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  5. love you - hate cancer

    Happy Birthday Ann

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  6. Yes, you did have lovely hair. Probably will again. For now, I'll just admire everything else about you.

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    1. Karin, you always have the perfect thing to say.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this. I will be starting my own adventures with chemo in December. I hope your hair will grow back as lovely as it was before. Wish you all the best. Srimal

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