(warning: words like pubic and tampons used below)
The first time I went more than three days before I needed to shave my pits? As far as I’m concerned never, until Sunday nov 6. When I went to the oncologist 1.5 weeks after my first treatment of chemo, I had yet to start losing the hair on my head, but I did notice that I hadn’t need to shave my pits. And then it wasn’t until three days after that until my pubic hairs started falling out. The main reason I noticed was because I had just started my period, which meant I hadn’t gone pre-menopausal just yet. But since I had to wear pads, the hairs stuck to it and were coming out in droves. Yes, a downside was that I had to revert back to the seventh grade and wear maxis. See, my body with low white blood cell count would not be able to fiend off TSS at any level from the mere use of tampons. So even though there was the perk of of the carpet eventually matching the drapes and some sense of my sexuality intact, I had to walk around as if I were still in junior high. postive = 2, negative 1
Then my hair on my head started falling out before the hair on my legs so life wasn’t going along all that perfectly. I was taking my morning shower, and started to enjoy what I knew would be the last hair wash for a very long time. Each strand of hair was no longer than 3″ but the drain looked as it were down my back. I took a deep breath and held back the tears. I needed my hair to stay on through the night at least for the opening of the festival. So I used the last of the rationed hair gel and stuck my hair to my scalp for as long as possible.
I got through the day, holding myself back from running my fingers through my hair. Instead, I became obsessed with patting it down. And the times I couldn’t help myself, I pulled more and more out. The festival opened, and the hair stayed on all night long. But when I got home, I couldn’t hold back anymore. I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and began running my fingers through my hair. And it came out. Not in clumps but in fingers full. I had to stop. I needed to go one more day before I could shave it. Sunday morning was the only time Graham and the rest of us would be together for the next four days, and I knew it wouldn’t last that long.
I got the girls home on Saturday and started talking to them. We were in the bathroom on the potty, and I said, “Do you wanna pull some of mommy’s hair out?” and they eagerly replied yes. Fortunately I’ve raised girls who aren’t queasy and turns out, a little bit masochistic. We brought in a trash can, and they began the process. I had to stop them before they pulled it all out. My scalp was a little sore. Then for the next 3 hours they couldn’t help but continuously ask, “Can we shave your head now?” “Can I pull more hair out?” Not till tomorrow I replied, but behind closed doors I have to stop myself.
The last night with my hair was pretty gross. As I rolled over in the night I could feel strands sticking to my pillow. At one time during the night, I had to collect it up in a hairball pile and discard, wishing I had kept a lint brush by my side. Sunday morning I woke up anticipating the shave, only to be sidetracked by Penelope getting stuck in the underside of the glider’s ottoman. So stuck, in fact, that after removing 3 screws and 4 hex screws, we had result to the jigsaw. Unfortunately I couldnt locate my flip cam, and we missed the kodak moment in order for to keep her cool which she was soon on the verge of losing. Leave it to a 3 year old to steal my thunder.
After Elizabeth and Scotte arrived, we started. It took a while as it was still thick, but also because I let Penelope and Sophia give it a try for a while. Boy did they get a kick out of it. Scotte cleaned me up, Elizabeth filmed.
And all I can say is it’s damn cold with a bald head. Going to work I knew it’d be ok, even picking my girls from preschool. But when I promised a childhood friend visiting from home that I’d join her at her press junket for the guiness world records (for the world’s largest afro, go AEVIN JUDE DUGAS!) I hesitated all day long, trying to come up with excuses. But Scotte promised to come over & watch the girls so I could go. I internally hemmed & hawwed and finally gave in. I put on a nice top, snazzy jacket, a wrap scarf to keep my neck warm & new hat from Becca to cover my head & ears. I got there & Aevin was in her prime. We chatted and I secretly show her my head and then convinces me to leave my hat off. It was itching like crazy and it started to get warm inside the lounge. I had never thought I would be self-conscious about it, but I have to admit I was. Then I thought: 1, it’s New York. 2, I never cared what others thought before. 3, if there’s any place to look out of place, it’s the guiness world record press junket. (No offense Aevin but have you seen the party you’ve joined? The slide show scrolled through werewolf girl, the guy who can spit milk through his eyeball, a contortionist and more.) If there was any place for me to break in my head, it was there.
Went through several meetings today with no hat, and I’m pretty ok with it. I’ll use my wig on special occasions but for the most part I think I’m ok with being bald. It’s winter. I don’t want to have to worry about wearing snow hats over my wig.
What else? met with the plastic surgeon today. Turns out my left tissue extender is sliding a bit, but will be resolved when we do the exchange.
and tomorrow it starts all over again.
much love to you all.