I absentmindedly missed the appointment I had with the plastic surgeon this week. I was really looking forward to it so I could get the ‘go ahead’ to start exercising and continue my physiotherapy. I thought it was on Tuesday but it was actually scheduled for Monday. I hate it when I do that, it doesn’t happen often but when it does I feel guilty for missing it, and subsequently wasting the doctor’s time. Oh well, I can’t be too hard on myself. It’s been rescheduled for June 8th. I was able to confirm through her assistant that I cannot do anything until I see her except walking. Definitely NO running.
I went to the small mini-mall near my house today that has a Quickie, a pizza take out place, a tattoo parlour, a daycare centre, Chinese food take-out, a gym called Tony Greco, and a couple more things but I’m not exactly sure what they are. As I was pulling into my parking spot I thought it was funny that two tattoo artists where standing outside having a cigarette break while watching the gym class participants do an outside workout. They were pushing upside down workout benches around the parking lot (no thanks), each taking a turn while the others watched, including the duo on their smoke break. I found this parking lot situation to be nothing but a hilarious anomaly of sorts. Is that irony?!? whatever it was funny.
Alright let’s talk about hair. At the end of the ‘chemo 101’ course I took before my first treatment in late January 2014, a nurse came in to answer questions you may have. Seeing that I was the only A+ student there I had her full attention. I knew that I didn’t want to ask her to go into great detail about chemotherapy side effects etc… because I’m the type of person who lets things happen ‘organically’. It’s taken me years to get to this point, but basically I think that if you try to anticipate too much or over analyze everything, you’ll drive yourself crazy – literally. I think things just fall into place – Que Sera, Sera Whatever will be, will be, The future’s not ours to see, Que Sera, Sera – so I didn’t want to waste my time with the ‘what if’ questions when I knew I would deal with each treatment as they came. Just like giving birth, I would NEVER write a birthing plan… seriously, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment if things don’t always go the way you ‘planned’ them. And if they do go according to your A-type list of expectations then good for you. I don’t’ work that way.
My one and only question to everyone in the medical field was…. What about my hair? When will it fall out? Where and when do I buy the wigs? Should I get the head covers? What the hell am I’m I going to do without by beloved hair? FUCK. This may surprise some since you’re potentially facing death, but the hair loss thing was devastating for me. Not only in the sense of vanity but also identity played a huge role and facing my children, their friends at school, people in general. It’s so bizarre to lose your hair. It’s as if God hasn’t handed you enough to deal with, but now you have to go bald. everywhere.
The nurse and others said that normally people start losing their hair after the second treatment. I instinctively knew this wouldn’t be the case for me so I went into preparation mode. I found a place that specializes in getting patients hair ready for the impending loss. The salon had a large selection of wigs, head scarves, hats, visors etc. They also had a private room at the back where they cut your hair to be ‘wig ready’. I was so pleased to find this place I immediately made an appointment for the professional/owner to cut my hair. I was as ready as I would ever be. The day came and I brought my sister-in-law with me for moral support. The women was awful to say the least. She came across as condescending almost, like we were disturbing HER schedule. My SIL was so annoyed with her I thought she was going to tell her off. I can get along with anyone. Small talk is probably my most effortless trait (not so much anymore, I blame this on the poison!). If people don’t want to talk I get that, but if you’re in the business of trying to put people at ease you should at least be more personable. It also took her over 2 hours to cut my hair! WTF? How hard can it be to cut someone’s hair to half an inch? They also sell kits for washing the wigs and creams for when your hair starts to grow back. And if you don’t want to wash your wig at home, you can bring them into the salon and SHE will wash them for you. I think that costs, $40-50….?????!!!!! Scam artist! I’m hear to tell you that washing your wig is super simple, and this nonsense of paying to have it done is complete bullshit. My bill was around $1300 for 2 wigs and the kits (all covered by insurance). If you’ve read my blog you know that I’m a positive person, and I do not like to put people down or complain, but this situation was absurd. That being said, she deals with a lot of emotional people and I’m not in her shoes but wow she should know her audience a little better. Right D?
My instincts were correct, I woke up one morning a couple weeks after my first treatment and there was hair all over my pillow. I couldn’t stand it. That same day I went to see MY hairdresser and he shaved my head using the shortest clip. As he was standing behind me getting ready to buzz my hair, he started to cry. This was the day I truly realized that I would be the one comforting people close to me who were sad. ‘omg it’s okay, I’m okay, go ahead, I’m FINE’. My recommendation to cancer patients is to buzz it off. It actually feels really good. The idea of my hair falling out in clumps grosses me out. I would shave my head any day over going to that stupid salon.