Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hair today, gone tomorrow

On Wednesday last week I went and had my hair cut short. SHORT, barely long enough to cover the tops of my years. If you aren't my brother, my Aunt Pat, Uncle John or Cousin Jimmy - you've never seen me with short hair. I was last 4 yrs old when I had short hair, it came time to start Kindergarten I told my mom & grandma NO! I would decide when they cut my hair! And proceeded to grow it down to my waist. I haven't had waist length since I was about 15, but it's always been longer than my shoulders. Very thick, very shiny - pretty low maintenance for long hair - which is good, because I'm a low maintenance kinda gal. So the precious duo of Brit & Bret - hair & massage, life partners, parents of a fabulous daughter my son's age - supported me thru the haircut, he also trimmed up the wig that I didn't like. The haircut was......kinda awful, but it made the wig look good. I had been told the hair starts falling out about 14 days after treatment, Wed. was 12 days - my next chemo was Friday, so technically I wasn't doing it too soon. But that night, Stephen walked in and looked at me and looked......kinda devasted. I said "it's awful", he said "no. no. I guess I didn't think about how your physical appearance was connected to your glorious mane of long hair........" Yes, he said THAT. It made me cry. Maybe I had jumped the gun? Maybe I shoulda waited a little longer?

That night I tried on some of the hats, the scarves, the wig. I modeled them for my son, he said "'it's like you're in disguise!" To his credit, none of it seemed to bother him a whit - not the hair, not the "disguises", he truly doesn't seemed to care. The next night I was getting my stuff together late night for my early morning chemo appt, I scratched my head hand was full of hair. Just like that. For chemo the next morning I put a scarf on - with my hair coming out the front. Honestly, I could wake in the morning with my long hair, run a brush thru it and it was JUST FINE, lying like it was supposed to, hanging off my head. But this short crap? You wake up and look were on an all night bender or something. Short hair is easier? Not for me it's not. Any hoo - I go to the bathroom at UT while waiting to be called, I look in the mirror and start plucking at the bangs hanging on my forehead - and they all fall out into the sink. Too soon for a haircut? Nope, not a bit. Now it's coming out in handfulls. It feels a bit like hay, Hair may be "dead cells", but it's a completely different thing when it's no longer attached to your head - it's really, really dead. And as anyone that knows me knows, I have a TON of hair, even short. Remember our Husky, Taxi? Every spring he'd start to shed. And shed and shed and shed. We'd brush him, reach in and pull out handfuls of fur - we'd fill grocery bag after grocery bag - but we couldn't make a dent. He was a Northern California doggy, once we moved to Dallas his body didn't know what to do with the sudden heat. We'd take him to the Perky Poodle and they'd shave it off. He'd look RIDICULOUS, but he felt better and the mess was ovah - worked every time. So now that's me, endless clumps of hair, and it doesn't seem to have an end. So - I'll have to get a shave as well. Should I call the Perky Poodle?

After my first chemo, as I posted, I felt BAD. For about 5 days it was pretty awful. I even thought I was anemic, but it turned out to be dehydration and weight loss. After the 5 days I started to feel better. Not the same, not normal - but way better than those first 5 dark days. I ate - I HAD to eat, when I'd get hungry it was like - MUST FEED THE BEAST. After I ate it generally was a little dicey for 1/2 hour to an hour, I felt a tad queasy while I digested, but then it passed. I started sleeping again - which was a humoungous relief. And I went back to work. I started on Thursday after my treatment the previous Friday with a 1/2 day - then I worked all day for the next week, until my next treatment. I would get tired, my energy wasn't as high - but it was OK.

A couple of days before my treatment, one of our sweetest of pet sitters, Carol dropped of a cap for me. It looked hand knitted, I left her a vm saying I've always wanted to knit, but only have been able to master crochet. She answered back - it is crochet, I can't knit! It got me to thinking....In my life I've crocheted several baby blankets. It started when I was 15, and wanted to make a blankey for a couple that had been very kind to me. My mom helped me pick out yarn and got me started - and I made a lovely blanket. A year later my brother and his wife were pregnant - and I made another one. I made a big one for my son when I was pregnant. And of course he came 6 weeks early, but I had those 3 1/2 days of labor to crochet like a fiend and finish. My last baby blanket was for my niece Lilly - and she loved it, it was her blankie. The last time I decided to do a blankie I bought some really difficult, furry thread. I ended up giving up - so it's been 10 years since I did needle work. I decided - I'm making a blanket for me. In the past I would call my mom - "I want to do a blanket. What size needle do I need? How many skeins to make it X size?" but I was on my own this time. Thursday night before chemo Stephen and I set out to run errands together - how often have we taken the time to do that together in the last few years? Mostly it's divide and conquer, so it was nice to go together. First stop: Michaels. Tons & tons of yarn - I'd never picked out yarn for an adult blankie, so I wasn't sure what I wanted. Stephen actually found what we got - it's different, it's beautiful, it's soft - but made in a way that it's manageable - meaning I can handle it and I won't quit. We found a multi pack of needles so I could figure that out, and bought the 5 skeins they had of it. I started it at chemo on Friday, I got it going on the 2nd try - and it's really quite lovely and soft. After I finished my first skein - about 24 hours after starting - I measured and decided this would be my biggest blankie - it takes a big blankie to keep you safe from CANCER - I measured it out and got online and ordered 9 more skeins of thread. I figure I an finish it by the time the chemo is over. It's very.......calming, this sewing and creating. THANK YOU CAROL - for making me remember my joy in blankie making.

We went on the stock up on the pet supplies, then off to the Container Store. We both LOVE this place. We found a nifty hanging shoe holder that nicely holds my scarves and hats, as well as this cool hanging plastic jewelry holder - for earrings. We both decided that long dangley earrings are a MUST with the no-hair situation. I hate digging around in jewery boxes for earrings, this dandy $9.99 thingy is very cool indeed. We then went to Bag & Baggage next door and got a tote to take to chemo, or any appts that holds our stuff and my new sewing project. We ended our evening sitting outside at the Cheesecake Factory - a beautiful spring night in Texas. I'm glad we did all that, because I'm back to feeling pretty awful post-chemo #2 - it started Friday night, early evening. It was quite similar to last time - I felt crappy that night, but I slept all night. Saturday I was OK - weak, but OK. Saturday evening it got worse and worse and worse. Last night was a nightmare, 1 1/2 hours of sleep, stomach pain from hell, awfully queasy. And night sweats, thrashing and misery all night long. I'm thinking the chemical induced menopause is starting. Last time it was 4 nights of NO SLEEP, I'm hoping that my forcing down the food & water I'll shorten it this time, but who knows? There's also that nasty thing called cumulative affects...........For now, I'm going to assume I'm riding out the chemo wave, and it will ebb like it did last time, and I'll get back to living again.

1 comment:

  1. This will pass and your hair will grow back. Just hang in there.