Do you know a woman who isn’t constantly obsessing over her hair? If so, you are the exception! Okay, try having a head of thick hair and then losing it all. Yes, I was bald after having chemo treatments.
The week after my first treatment, my scalp started to burn – like it does when you leave a relaxer/perm in too long. It was so bad that I couldn’t comb my hair and started wearing caps to work. By my second treatment, my hair was gone. The doctors recommend that you cut your hair before this happens to make you feel in control. Well, I was still in denial and cutting my own hair wasn’t an option.
I was still waiting for the nurse to call and tell me that my diagnosis wasn’t accurate.
When I became bald, it didn’t devastate me…
I actually have a nice head shape and the smoothness of my head felt good. Also, you couldn’t tell I was a cancer patient with my cap on my head. Then I lose my eyebrows. I wasn’t ready for that to happen. It was like one day I had eyebrows and the next day I didn’t. Now, that devastated me. Without my thick eyebrows I thought I looked sick and it became more real to me that I have cancer and it isn’t going away quietly. I wear little makeup and didn’t know how or what to do about my bald face. (I forgot to tell you, I lost my eyelashes as well!)
While all of this happened, I was still working and going to the gym. One day after I worked out and changed clothes, I was looking at myself in the mirror. I started to cry. That’s very rare for me. I never used to feel sorry for myself. But this day, I was feeling sad, aching from the chemo. And the workout. And truly hating life.
One of my co-workers stood beside me and said, “let me show you how to make you some eyebrows.”
I started laughing and crying at the same time. She made me some eyebrows and I felt better immediately.
Chemo Cold Caps is a company that designs kits to minimize hair loss during chemo treatments. The concept is to keep your scalp cold during the chemo process. Apparently, once the scalp is cold, the blood vessels restrict and the chemo medicine doesn’t reach the hair follicles. Although, I didn’t use this process during my treatments, I have heard many great comments about this process. This is a great option for women or men who are living with the prospect of losing their hair.
My hair eventually grew back a couple of months after my last treatment. The texture is completely different. My hair, eyebrows and lashes are now too soft and too thin, but I’m in remission, so that is good news.
And sometimes, when cancer used to be the bad day, this isn’t quite so bad.