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Have you ever wondered if your part tans?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

On the 14th day (a Monday) of my first chemo cycle, my hair got it’s evacuation notice. It like most in evacuation areas started with small numbers leaving - 5 or 6 hairs at a time. At this rate I figured it would take a long time for it to all be gone.

Day 15 was somewhat different. More of my hair started taking the evacuation notice more seriously. Those 5 or 6 hairs turned into a whole lot more. Not handfuls yet. And I wasn’t rolling over at night into a small hamster on my pillow, but it was definitely making a more concerted effort at leaving.

Day 16, I brush my hair before heading out for my walk, and it is coming out in handfuls. After my walk I figure I need to prepare a little differently for my shower. I don’t want to block the drain with a drowned hamster worth of hair, so I grab some paper towels to dry my hair after I wash it. While I scrub it with gently with the shampoo, I do not touch it during the rinse and just let the water wash over it. So far so good, the drain is still working.

After my shower I use the paper towels to soak up the water. I grab my wide tooth comb as suggested in my “how not to lose your hair so quickly” information and gently comb working from the bottom up. Well, I don’t know that the wide tooth comb saved any of my hair that was under full evacuation, but it did collect a whole lot of it.

Those with longer hair know that after combing it we usually gently run our hands down and remove any lose hairs left that the comb didn’t remove. So I do this and end up with another handful.

In one shower I have gone from having a full head of hair to being very thin, especially on top.

So with this I decide that it’s time to call in for my “time to shave it off” appointment with my stylist. We schedule the appointment for the next day. I spend the rest of the day cutting scarves from some of my fabric that I have lying around the house.

I head to bed wearing a scarf, but it’s too hot so I take it off. Thankfully, I still avoid the hamster on the pillow issue. At least what hair I have is holding on at night.

It’s now Thursday, 3 p.m. I wait for my stylist to arrive as she is coming from school. She arrives with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me. Her first question after finding out how I am is, “Are you ready for this?” My response is, “That I’d rather shave it off than look like a 90 year old, half bald person. Let’s do this!”

My husband has come with me and I have him take pictures.

We start with taking a couple of clippings so I can compare my old hair with my new hair when it come back in.

Out comes the razor. She starts on the top. Now if this doesn’t feel weird.

First we try the comb over. It may work, but only for a short while.

Keep going.

At one point we try out the “monk” look. No, this one’s not for me.

Keep going.

When the shaving was all done, we headed over to the sink for a quick rinse. As we passed by, several ladies having their nails done were staring and so my husband quipped, “She lost the bet.” This left them rather embarrassed but with smiles.

It was great to have this done with my husband supporting me and a stylist who made it fun.

That night, it felt like I was sleeping on velcro as what hair fuzz I had left got “stuck” in the pillow case. So the next day I took my shaver to my head to remove as much of my velcro as possible.

I have the answer to my question, “Does your part tan?” I now have a racing stripe down my head from that tan part.

I’m finally getting used to the stranger who looks back at me from the mirror. As are my family and friends.

Many have asked me if I’m upset with losing my hair. I have to respond that losing hair is a small price to pay to reach a new healthy life. My hair will return, but I have no intention of letting the cancer do the same.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You go, girl! What a hoot seeing the pictures as you played with hairstyle possibilities, too. I never thought of doing that -- will try to remember this if I ever need to have chemo.

    Hugs and keep up the good work (fighting back at the blasted C).
    3523 days ago
  • 6LHAAS
    Janet, again you are an inspiration! You will Kick Cancers Butt!! Just like all those half-marathons!
    3526 days ago
    Hi Janet: Your smile says it all " I am going to destroy this cancer!!
    You are amazing and a joy. You have the inner and outer strength of a warrior.
    With your family beside you - you will win. God bless you for thinking of others - and responding to me. You are a fantastic friend to me and I wish we lived in the same area - would love to be there for you. All of us on sparkpeople are here for you - anything you need - just ask. emoticon emoticon
    3526 days ago
    Janet- You're beautiful and I love you. I'm so glad you're in my life.
    3526 days ago
    You have an amazing attitude!! You remind me of my cousin when she went through the "time to shave it off" part of chemo - only after she shaved her head her hair started to grow back right away and she had stubble all over - she just laughed and said "It figures" and shaved it all back off again! You look great and Good Luck with everything!!!
    3526 days ago
    Your blog brought me down memory lane! You have more months of ease to look forward to now. I remember worrying terribly that losing my hair would be awful. As a matter of fact it was really freeing.

    I love your smile and that won't fall off knowing your indomitable spirit!
    3526 days ago
  • NMMAMA2011
    I think you look lovely. I personally have never had to ask this question because my part burns every chance it gets, leaving me with peeling scalp skin and painful brushing and washing every time. Your racing stripe is not noticeable from the front and it is actually kind of cool! I am so glad I happened upon your blog. My mom will start chemo next week. I will encourage her to read this. You have such a positive attitude!
    3527 days ago
    You look BEAUTIFUL!!! My SIL did this same thing when she went through her chemo and my DB went with and took photos. How fortunate you both are to have such supportive & loving spouses. God bless you and I'm praying you beat this nasty disease! emoticon
    3527 days ago
  • LAURIE5658
    Dahling, you look mah-velous!! What a smile! Love you, my friend!!!

    3527 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2801676
    Like others I love the attitude - and don't forget the baseball cap or bandana - you don't want to get sunburned.
    3527 days ago
    You have a great attitude and you look fabulous! emoticon
    3527 days ago
    You are SOO amazing!!! I am so proud of you!! Cannot wait to meet you in 2 weeks. I agree with Carlannie, you look fantastic bald! :o)
    3527 days ago
    You have a great attitude and an amazing spouse! You also have a great shaped head and look fantastic bald. Hang in there and yes your hair will grow back and I think that you are also a very brave and strong willed woman.

    3527 days ago
    What a terrific smile and attitude to go along with this new 'adventure' in your life. Shaving sounds much better than finding small hamsters residing on your pillow, lol! I think you actually look quite fantastic bald. Great, tan, btw.
    3527 days ago
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