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Monday, December 14, 2009

Chemo Hair

Chemo hair is different from regular hair; it's softer, weaker, and makes me sad when I see it in my hand instead of on my head. When I started this journey, keeping my hair was the 2nd priority, right there after beating this disease. I figured I didn't care if I had to throw up all day as long as I could still have my hair and thus not have the "look" of cancer. I'll admit it, it was very important to me. I was lucky enough to not throw up all day (I've actually only thrown up 3 times so far...knock on wood!) and I have kept most of my hair.

However, about a month ago I really started to notice a difference in the thickness of it. It's starting to look pretty thin to me, my ponytail feels like a joke when I put it up to go to the gym because it's so thin. The length is the same as before, in fact I think it's grown a little bit which is odd, but it's much thinner. Yet every time I feel sorry for myself, I have to thank God that I still have some hair and haven't had to wear my wig....yes it's beautiful...but I reallyyyyy don't want to wear it. I think of all the other people fighting cancer and having to face baldness and I really have to recognize my blessings. It's a constant struggle though because one second I realize how lucky I am and the next second I'm complaining about how thin it is. My friends and coworkers swear they can't tell the difference, but I have a feeling they're lying to's ok, I probably would as well...but I'm dying to know what they really think. You can't really tell in pictures but in person I think it's obvious, especially when you see my lovely little bald spot on the left side of my head. I'm actually more ok with the bald spot than the thinness, because I think the bald spot will go away pretty quickly after I stop treatment but I'm a little unsure about how my hair will look as new hair grows in. I guess volume-boosting products will be my new best friend--thank goodness I work for a women's magazine!

Luckily I had already decided (a few years ago in fact before I was that I would wear my hair in a sleek chignon for my wedding with a few pieces of extensions for fullness, so I'm not too worried about my hair for the big day, plus hopefully my hair should be back to normal by then. Chemo hair is weird though because it attaches itself everywhere! It usually doesn't fall out unless I brush my hair or run my fingers through it, so I try and limit that. But when I do brush my hair, it clings to my clothes and my skin. Even when I think I've gotten every last piece off, there's always one hair hanging on to my finger or my's like it knows it's not supposed to leave my head and is trying to hang on to me :(

My hair and my eyebrows are where I've noticed the biggest change; I still have to shave my legs and there's still plenty of hair on my arms (yuck!). Actually, my eyebrows are the sliver lining to this dark cloud. I used to pluck my eyebrows every other day and get them professionally done every 2 weeks. Since I started chemo, I've only gotten them professionally done twice in 4 months...the hair underneath the eyebrow just doesn't seem to grow back which means I have a permanent "done" eyebrow...yea me!

I'm counting down the days until I'm done with chemo (Jan 18th!) so I can focus on growing back some hair instead of losing it, but it will be a while till the drugs are out of my system, so for now I do my daily routine to hold on to as much of it as possible.

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