I pledge never to complain about a bad hair day again. Even a bad hair day is better than a no hair day. Have you ever not had hair? Not having hair is pretty all consuming, affecting what you do but mostly what you don’t do. Who knew it would be this hard? But even a naked head wouldn’t be so bad if those ears weren’t so darn big. It’s all about the ears and who knew mine were this big? Where did your hair go you might ask?
Chemotherapy will take it right away. The nurse was saying at my first infusion “Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones, whose hair doesn’t fall out. Even so, it won’t come all out until sometime after the second infusion.” As she was talking, I could feel my hair falling out and before the second infusion, it was all gone. Being diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in your life is sobering and this time, it had already spread. I was in trouble. I focused on hair.
I got a wig which looked fine in the shop and then when I went to wear it, of course I hated it. I can’t tie a scarf so went for something I didn’t have to tie. A hat, a cap, I hate most all of them too. I took the wig back and they cut and restyled it and I like it better, but now it’s summer and wigs are hot.
However, there is good news surrounding no hair. It takes me so much less time to get ready in the morning, I don’t have to shave those legs, think of the money I’m saving on haircuts, shampoo, conditioner and highlights. With all those positives, why does it bother me so much? Much more than it should. Why can’t I be like most of the other women at the infusion center who don’t seem to be bothered by their hairless heads? I wear my wig to the infusion center. I’m hoping people don’t realize I’m sick and want to present a normal face to the world outside of that room. So who has the problem, me who cares too much or those women that don’t seem to care at all?
Why don’t you try those cold caps you might ask. I did that the last time and they worked but they were quite the pain. Penguin Cold Caps had to be at a temperature below freezing and a home freezer isn’t cold enough. If your infusion center is not equipped with a cold cap freezer which ours wasn’t, you needed a huge cooler with dry ice which we had to pack each time. The cooler had to be a certain size to fit 8 caps and we needed 80 pounds of dry ice each time. The caps had to be changed every 20 minutes, so I needed a team.
My husband Tom of course was one of the team and a very good friend, Kinyon, volunteered to be his helper. Mostly Kinyon was used for comic relief and the nurses at the center hated comic relief. They were hostile. My team seemed to be having too much fun and that is apparently not good at the infusion center. I was having these huge caps, -20 degrees C on my head, changed every 20 minutes to keep them that temperature which was quite the distraction for me. Four hours at the center, and four more hours at home which meant I went home with a cap on my head. Then you couldn’t wash your hair for 2 days before the treatment and 2 days after, no standing under the shower, you had to use a cup to pour water over your hair, special shampoo and all in all it was a pain. So that wasn’t an option this time.
You haven’t lived until your husband shaves your head!