I have needed a haircut for over one month. Yesterday, after the doctor's appointment, Nurse Sis drove me over to see Shawna, a sweet, perky, young hair stylist. She had cut my hair before and I'd been thrilled with the results. But since she was a long way from our house I used someone close by for "quickie" trims. My hair just got straighter and straighter.
Think I have to back up here for a minute. Up to age 5 I had naturally curly strawberry blonde locks. We moved to a higher, dryer climate and my hair lost it's curl and started turning brown. From then on it was a reddish brown (even when it had to say so on the box!) and eventually reddish blonde(different box).
We didn't know what was going to happen when I got to the "impressive university". The local docs said that I had an inoperable brain tumor. The Chief of Neurosurgery said bring her in. I figured I had an 85% chance of getting my head partially shaved. The thought of having half a head of full length hair and the other half bald made me nauseous - so, I took control (see Control Freak mentioned elsewhere).
I got a punk cut - we left it about an inch long and jelled it into little spikes. If I was going down, I'd go down looking like Susan Sarandon. All the techs, nurses, etc. and there was a bunch of etceteras loved my hair - and left it alone. I had my cyberknife procedure (see Son's Chapter 6) and when home with my inch of hair, feeling just a little silly.
At my first Chemo appointment I was warned that I could "experience hair loss" in about ten days. On day nine I woke up with what felt like feathers in my mouth - it was hair. Once again I wasn't liking the thought of what was coming next - so, guess what? I got a buzz cut - you can't lose what you don't have! Well, I think the buzz cut worked - it scared the rest of my hair so badly it stayed put. In fact, it started to grow out again.
Eventually it did all fall out and stayed out for months. When it started growing back in it was grey (Why of All Things!) but CURLY. Kid Sis and I tried to dye it my usual reddish blonde and it turned BRIGHT orange-red. Other things they don't warn you about.
NOTE: CHEMO DOESN'T LIKE MOST HAIR DYES!!!
There, hopefully I've just saved someone some money and lots of embarrassment. What worked for me was a color with ASH in it (check with pros about this, please).
So, finally you're up to speed (bottom of paragraph one)... I begged Shawna to give me a cut to bring out the natural curl she'd found before. She pulled, she tugged, she lifted, she snipped away and gave me her final report:
- Straight hair 17 - Curls -0-
The rest of her analysis was much more promising: the change in texture was a good indicator that the Chemo was out of my body. My God, this young 'un is so smart!! (Turns out her Mom has cancer and Shawna has done a lot of research on hair.)
Last night I realized that my finger nails had stopped splitting and peeling off like mica - even my toe nails were starting to look better! Seventeen months after Chemo STOPPED my body was continuing to reclaim itself. The healing process is not over...the possibilities are endless...the Cavalry is on the way!!!!!
THIS IS HUGE, FOLKS... THIS IS THE BEST NEWS I'VE HAD IN A LONG, LONG TIME.... AND ALL FROM A TWENTY-SOMETHING HAIR STYLIST.
I may fill a book on the crap that can happen that no one tells us about - in fact, how about a few lectures in medical schools about what REALLY happens to the PEOPLE they see? The fear, the wondering if a tingle is a good or bad thing, the not knowing our bodies, the holding of our breathes until after the next MRI's or CAT scans, the touching a sore spot and wondering if...