Monday, August 31, 2015

I got no hair, Cher.

The timing couldn't have been any better. We're hitting a late summer heat wave, and I took the plunge to cut off all my hair before it departs on its own.  Here's what it looks like up top:

It's not the best photo because there's a shadow over my forehead that looks like a port wine stain, but there you go. Oddly, you can still see my part, maybe because that seemed to be somewhat of a stress area for hair loss when I was still styling my hair. It was starting to look wider than usual, which helped prompt me to start wearing scarves.

And it really was the perfect time to make the move, if not a little late. Over the weekend I was wearing a colorful do-rag night and day just to avoid having to remove the shed hair that was being held in by the still-rooted strands around it. Finally, I went into the backyard and combed out a small tumbleweed, which is still sitting on my SO's back lawn.

My infusion nurse today suggested that I leave some hair long in the back and in the sideburn area so that something's still hanging beyond the scarves and hats, but hey, if I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it. I actually thought it would be hypocritical to leave the fringe when I think that balding guys should just cut their hair short. And besides, the cut reminds me of a kick-ass Marine I know, who keeps her hair intimidatingly short.

I can't say enough about my hairdresser and friend Mare, who offered to come to my house and do the honors. She reminded me that this is just the first step, and that as my hair grows back, we can have a lot of fun with shorter cuts. I've never been a big fan of short hair for myself, but who knows? We had some laughs thinking about the possibilities.

Oh, and I'm saving the big bag of hair. Still haven't figured out what to do with it but I'll undoubtedly come up with something.

BTW, the second treatment went just fine - no negative reactions at all, which is the experience I had last time. Now I'm playing beat the clock, eating flavorful stuff before my taste buds go to crap for two weeks. Prepare for whining ahead as I'm relegated to eating eggs, toast, and unadorned chicken. (God, it was SOOOOO good to eat parmed things over the weekend!)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A bag of hair

Okay, it's happening. The inevitable hair loss is occurring, to the point where it's frustrating when I wash it. Even after combing out a good amount of the hair loss before I get into the shower, even more hair ends up coming out with the shampoo. And I can't just not wash my hair. That would be completely gross.

And, of course, there's the random strands coming out on their own as I'm walking around, living my life. The other day, when I was at my client's office, I could feel it flying out when I walked past a fan. What do you say to people? "Excuse my hair?"

My hairdresser is coming by on Monday to help me come up with a solution (which may end up being a Sinead O'Connor do), but for now, I have to manage. It gets kind of inconvenient to run to the trash can every time I find a couple of strands sitting on my shoulder or something, so I've taken to carrying around a plastic bag to deposit it in.

Yes, I'm carrying a bag of hair. Just saying that is funny. A bag of hair.

I've been thinking about what to do with it. Maybe I'll save it until spring and leave it out for the birds to make nests from.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thank God the Mets are doing well

Since I learned that my breast cancer treatment would include chemo, I've been thinking of ways to incorporate a sense of humor into some of the inevitable side effects. As many of you know, I:
  • am not really big on drama, 
  • don't want the "pink ribbon" treatment, 
  • shy away from the characterization of 'being brave' or what have you when it comes to the treatment. (Like, what the hell am I going to do, NOT have the treatment and constantly worry I'm gonna get cancer of the hoo-hah?)
  • yada yada yada...
So, off and on I've been considering how I'll address the inevitable hair loss that comes with having a bunch of toxic chemicals pumped into your system. 

Honestly, when it was a 'far off' (i.e. a month away) probability, I was able to be a bit more cavalier about it. I joked that for Halloween, my wonderful SO and I could go as Gomez Addams and Uncle Fester. I bragged to some of you that I'd have a couple of joyous months where I don't have to shave my legs or underarms.

Now it's becoming a reality, and while I'm not thrilled about lotsa hair coming out of my locks when I drag a comb through, I realize I have to do something about it. I feel like a freaking dog that sheds a lot. (I mean, do you realize HOW MUCH hair I have? While it's really fine, there's a lot of it!) I have a call in to my hairdresser, who offered to come to my house and help me out (I'm hoping she meant she'll do the honors at this point, not just that she'll help as the hair comes back in and looks like crap.), but in the meantime, I'm kinda dreading that point where it really starts to show on my scalp. 

I bought a few "turbans" to cover my bases -- they're really more like nice caps that fit low on the head, covering half the ear and a good part of the forehead as well as the space in back. That said, I'm also looking through a bunch of hats, caps, etc. that I've collected over the years, determining whether they'll provide enough coverage for my already oversized cranium.

Then I realized: I have a couple of Mets caps that might do the trick. Not the beat-up, grungy, one-size-fits-all cap I insisted on wearing in the early 80s when the team was truly awful, but ones that are appropriately sized. (Do you know how hard it can be to buy a 7-3/4 cap off the shelf?) 

Luckily the Mets are on a good tear right now - hitting like crazy and obliterating the opposition. And after a series of good personnel moves, it appears that they'll continue to perform well during the final stretch of the season. That means that I may be able to use the cap at least to October, provided the team doesn't have another of its epic collapses. 

The big problem is that my cap looks practically brand new. I may have worn it two or three times before putting it on the shelf, which means that I'll end up looking like a bandwagon-jumper. Oh, well. So be it. And hey, if the Mets do have one of their epic collapses, at least I'll know the pitying looks I'm getting are because of the cap and not my bare scalp.