Right on cue, two weeks after my first cycle of Carbo-Taxol, my hair started to fall out. At first it was just a couple of strands at a time, but the day after it was more than a few strands if I put my hand through my hair, and then, I washed it. And clumps began to fall out. It wasn’t so much distressing as bemusing – which surprised me. I thought I’d cry, but I haven’t, yet. Well, my bottom lip has wobbled a couple of times, with me moaning that I wasn’t quite ready yet. But I haven’t really been as upset as I expected to be.
My head is not the shape I thought it was. I had it figured for round, but it’s actually completely oval. And I think I may have been dropped on it as a baby. But I’m getting used to it now. I’m not comfortable to the point where I’m wandering around with no hair and no hat. Only when I’m in the house on my own, I suppose – though it still is early days. Apart from feeling the cold on it, I do just think I look better with something on it, at least until it all drops out. Because at the moment it’s kind of patchy like leopard skin, kind of red and blotchy, and not very pretty.
I have five different coloured chemo caps. And two wigs. One short, and one long one that’s almost what my old hair looked like. Minus the spit ends. I’ve been wearing the short one. It reminds me of the 60’s, it kind of curls up at the bottom, and looks all choppy at the back. I think it looks pretty realistic.
The first thing I did after getting it all cut off, is test run the wig outside. It’s been a bit windy here recently, and I figured I’d rather see how it sat in the wind sooner rather than later. I didn’t want to stay indoors frightened of being outside with it, of being in public. Because what kind of life would that be? Exactly. So I took the dog for a walk in the park and it was absolutely fine. No one pointed and laughed. No one even gave me a second glance. I felt brave, and happy and I’m so glad I ventured out. It is strange feeling the wind blowing through it onto my bare head though.
In the end, I let my son start the final cut. C had shaved it to a grade 2 the day before but it was falling out so fast I figured I just wanted as much of it away as I could. So we set up in the living room and I let our boy loose with the clippers without any guard on. He enjoyed it, said it was the best job ever, and I guess that made it easier for me – knowing he wasn’t going to be freaked out about it, about seeing me with no hair – because he was involved in it.
So yeah. I’m facing the next few months, years maybe looking not very much like myself. But I just keep telling myself – its better to be bald and alive than be dead with beautiful hair.