Monday, November 16, 2009

My hair, or lack thereof

Starting about two weeks after my first chemo treatment, my hair started to thin. Now I have alot of hair (thank you dad!), so at first it wasn't a big deal, just slightly more to toss after combing. I was losing a bit more each day, but nothing to be concerned about. And it felt different. Most of the time when you pull a hair, it hurts, right. But more often, hairs I would yank from my head experimentally wouldn't hurt at all to pull, and there was little resistance.

After the second chemo treatment, it started to thin more, and my hair follicles hurt. Like when you wear your hair in a ponytail all day, and then let it down, or comb it in a different direction than usual. But this was all the time. So I started wearing a hat to catch the stray hairs and to not have to bother with combing my hair or running my fingers through my hair (which is a common habit of mine).

My hair starting thinning even more that week. I would run my fingers through the ends sticking out the bottom of my hat, and come away with what used to be a comb full. And it got so itchy! I don’t know if the skin was dry, or if loose hair ends were making me itchy, but there it was. I wore a hairnet at night so I wouldn’t leave hair all over the pillow. The nurses had recommended not washing my hair as often, so it wouldn’t fall out so quickly. I washed it a week after, because it just felt gross. I lost a ton in the shower, and more to combing. Now, like I said, I had a lot of hair, so now it looked okay still, just like I had thin hair. But, well, even with a hat, hair was landing everywhere. Pretty gross!

On Friday morning I had gone into the American Cancer Society room in my hospital because when I had talked to them earlier, they mentioned that they have free wigs and hats that I could come choose from. A lot of the hats had been donated by the local school district cafeteria workers. I wish I could thank them personally. They had such a lovely variety of flannel and knitted hats that it was hard to resist taking one of each kind! (I did make myself take only three.) And then we walked into the wig room. She had quite a collection of wigs on stands, and then big totes just full of them. I sat down, and as she was asking me what color I wanted, I saw this beautiful wig. The main color was dark brown, like my natural color, with red and gold highlights, like I love to have in my hair. And it was a longer wig, long enough to almost brush my shoulders, cut in long layers. This wig had just been donated the day before, and I could hardly believe my luck!!! She gave me the box it came in, some wig shampoo and conditioner, and a wig brush. She said she’d give me a card for a local wig shop that would help me “fluff” it, but the little kids got a little excited as we were walking out, and we forgot, but I can get it next time I go in, I’m sure.

By Friday afternoon my hair was driving me so crazy I sat down on the edge of the tub, leaned over the garbage can and just started pulling out what would come. Little Boy walked by (I had left the door open) and asked what I was doing. I told him I was pulling my hair out and asked if he wanted to help. So he did. It was pretty cute.

Now I want to interject in here, that I had six weeks to come to terms with the fact that I would lose my hair. I knew it was going to happen, and I was okay with it. I liked my hair, but it wasn’t so utterly lovely that I couldn’t live without it. I mean, I have a good passel of gray hairs, it tends to be frizzy, and before I cut it, it would be in a no-hassle ponytail most days.

Oh, and Big Girl was a cheerleader for me to cut it! When chemo started we told the kids that I would lose my hair, that I would probably shave it before it all fell out. So Big Girl would ask me almost every day when daddy was going to shave my head. I think she asked more about that then how soon Little Girl would get here when I was pregnant!

So Saturday morning I told WonderfulHubby today was the day. While the kids sat in the living room watching Saturday morning cartoons, we set up in the dining area, in plain sight, and he started shaving away. I still had a lot more hair attached then I imagined, so it took quite a while. I few passes with the shortest attachment on electric razor I use to cut the boy’s hair. Then just the bare blade on the electric razor. Then shaving cream and one of WonderfulHubby’s new razors (the kind with 5 or 6 blades), about three times. WonderfulHubby was so good and careful, he was so nervous about knicking my head. Little Girl was in her highchair eating breakfast and watched the whole thing. She just smiled, and thought it was funny.

All the kids had to run over and rub my head when he was done. It feels pretty cool, kinda sandpapery. Of course, that day a big storm blew in and snowed! But that’s what hats are for, right?

I’ve worn my wig a few times. At church on Sunday, people had a hard time believing it was a wig. Hehehehe, I may keep this wig forever. The highlights on the wig will never get gray streaks or grow out.

Well, and that is about that.


  1. Hmmm, I wonder if it will let me post a comment... :)

  2. Now I can post something! I love the pic you posted on Facebook with your new wig, and I like the pic you texted me of the new bald do. I miss being there to help you!! Dean really did want to shave his head, and then decided not, because he thought I would want to, too. Oh, well. Love you lots!!!