I’m down to 3 more treatments! Today I wore my curly wig that I’ve had for quite a while. I hadn’t worn it because it was supposed to be blonde, but it looks more gray. And it’s pretty big so I questioned whether I could pull it off. But today I decided I really didn’t care. Funny thing is that a couple of the nurses told me it was their favorite so far. Go figure.
Yesterday I wore my blue wig when I went for my bloodwork and doctor visit. My doctor loves the colors. He laughs every time he sees them and even said he suggested to his wife that she try a fun color. (She declined.) His nurse told me that when another nurse commented that a patient had a colorful wig on, she replied, “Oh, that’s Melissa!” I’m guessing not too many other patients are as noticeable. And the lady who checks us in every day always comments on my shoes or outfit. She also wears funky attire, and we’ve bonded over shoes.
I go to the cancer center so often that when I get in the car, my phone gives me a notice telling me how long it will take me to get there. So it makes me happy to have connected to the staff and know that they smile when they see me. I’m thankful that I pushed aside my early doubts about wearing silly wigs and my doubt about today’s choice. It’s fun to step outside my comfort zone in this way. It’s been a good reminder that sometimes we hold ourselves back because we think we’ll look or seem silly, when really we just look like our original selves.
Today was the day. I shaved my head. Or more accurately, Patrick shaved my head. I’ve actually been losing my hair over the last several days, but I refused to shave it prior to my second chemo treatment. I was told it was after the second one that I would most likely lose it, so I was disappointed when I noticed it earlier. I was keeping it through the second treatment out of principle.
First off let me say that losing your hair is difficult to describe. It’s weird. I thought I was prepared but I’m not sure anyone really is. Running my fingers through my hair resulted in a fistful of strands. Eventually, I’d notice hair hanging lower than others and if I tugged on it, it would pull out in clumps.
And brushing?! Holy cow. I could make small animals with what came out. This was from one gentle brushing yesterday.
Today I couldn’t wait any longer. I felt like PigPen and his dust cloud only mine was a cloud of fallen hair everywhere. On my clothes, on my desk, in every plate of food. It was time to get rid of it.
I turned on All American Girl by Melissa Etheridge which felt fitting for the moment as well as the day and Patrick got started. This is another thing I can honestly say I never expected to be doing, but here we are.
I actually thought it would be funny to let it fall out naturally just to send funny progression photos to my family. If you met my family, you’ll understand. We all enjoy a good laugh, especially at each other’s expense. Which may sound mean, but my family is also fiercely protective of each other when necessary, so it’s a good balance. If my scalp didn’t hurt from the hair pulling, the slow fallout may have happened. The photo album would have been epic too because I’m pretty sure one side was losing it faster than the other. I already had one bald spot on the top.
To stand in solidarity, Patrick asked me to shave his head too. It was such a sweet gesture, and I can’t even adequately express how much it means to me. I’m blessed to have him on my side. Losing my hair isn’t easy, but I’m thankful today to have this milestone over. It’s just hair and it will grow back one day. In the meantime, I get to play with wigs and hats and scarves. Fun!