I met a wonderfully open and lovely woman named Marianne on the whale watching cruise. She and her husband were in Maui for their 15th wedding anniversary. She was wearing a scarf and I presumed she’d had breast cancer like me and after awhile I just had to strike up a conversation as I was sweating under my wig and a hat and wishing I’d just gone the scarf route. It turns out she has alopecia and refuses to wear a wig, instead wearing scarves or going “topless” as she calls it 😉
She is a nurse from Ohio and has gotten very comfortable with her condition. She has lovely tattooed eyebrows and even though her head remains bald, her eyelashes apparently come and go, growing in for a couple of years, then falling out again. We had a great time talking about cultural differences and women’s feelings about their appearances. Hi, Marianne! Thanks for spending time with me…
Hubby: Sorry, Hon, I saw your hair on the table and meant to bring it upstairs. Want me to go get it?
Me: (Snickering) Bet you never thought you’d say that, hmm? Nah, it’s not like I’ll need it till morning!
Which means I’m one step closer to being finished. After today, I’ll be halfway through the chemo treatments! Shaved my head on Tuesday and got fitted for my wig. Can you guess which is the wig and which is my real hair?
I was hoping to make it to Thanksgiving dinner on Thusday feeling and looking great, because my next chemo treatment is scheduled for Friday, November 25. The side effects from the first treatment had gone away, I’ve been back to exercising and my hair and nails still looked fine.
But over this weekend my hair started falling out big time. Since I naturally have really thick hair, there’s still a lot of it left. But I’m shedding worse than Inga, my Norwegian Elkhound and clogging the shower drain and vacuum cleaner. I will be bald soon. Possibly everywhere. Let me just say, some of us are happier about that than others 😉
I have read that chemo could make your scalp “tingle” and this was a sign of impending hair loss. Well, let me just say, “sore” and “painful” are better words. It’s the oddest sensation. I just brushed my hair Saturday morning and my scalp hurt everywhere. And if I run my hand through my hair and tug a tiny bit, I can pull out clumps at a time.
So, I’m setting up an appointment to get my head shaved and fitted for my wig this week rather than waiting. I’ve read that getting rid of the hair actually makes you feel better physically and psychologically. And it will lessen the chances of finding surprises in Thanksgiving dinner!
I’m afraid scarves and hats are not really my thing, but I guess I could try a Cubs’ World Series hat on and see how that looked. And if it’s not too much to ask, I’d really like to keep my eyelashes. But I guess time will tell…and then I’ll tell you 🙂
Photo from Pixabay (I could only hope to look that good in a scarf!)