Monday, December 26, 2011

Down, down days

Damn. I wish this was a an upbeat post. It is so, so difficult to be "up" when your hair is falling out by the handsful. This is NOT an exaggeration. I have been told that I will be bald by the time chemo # 2 starts (Jan. 4th), and the body is trying hard to make that schedule.

I KNOW that I am not the first woman to go thru this. That does not mean that I have to embrace it. Hair is so important to a woman, as it is the image she presents to the world. It means her femininity. I have always tried to make sure my hair is attractive and clean, but I don't over-fuss with it (no hairspray, for example).

I have a friend in Texas who has been very supportive of me. She herself went through breast cancer over 4 years ago, and was successfully treated with chemo from May through September. She did not experience radiation. She said she lost her hair - head, eyebrows and eyelashes. I forgot to ask her about body hair. I am losing that, too. So now I will get to experience looking like an ageing porn star. Just what every woman in my age bracket wants.

Another side effect, chipping away at my femininity. I don't know if I will ever feel "sexy", attractive or feminine again. This saddens me greatly. So it hasn't been a great day (again).

I recently purchased a wig, knowing that this was going to come. And brought it to a very understanding, empathetic hairdresser. She was so nice, so supportive. She said that when it comes time to trim my few remaining hairs (my words, not hers), she will do it in any setting where I would feel comfortable, including a private room at the salon.

And one of the nurses who does my INR (blood "thinner" tests) at the local clinic was so supportive, also, today. Her husband went thru some very harrowing chemo and bone marrow transplant (his own marrow) years ago. So she has been very close to a loved one who has experienced some of this. Yes, a different gender, but she KNOWS that this is a bitch to experience.

By the way, we had a good Christmas Eve. Spent several hours in the afternoon with my sister, her s.o., and her son, daughter-in-law, two grandkids, her daughter, our mother and of course, L. After this gathering, we drove to L's daughter's place and spent the rest of the evening with his family. We ended the evening at a 10 pm church service. A very long day for me, but the two gatherings were very nice, very loving.

You will all have to bear with me. My emotions are very close to the surface and I am told that my lowered hemoglobin can be responsible for depression as well as me not being able to tolerate the cold.

Thanks to those who continue to struggle thru this with me.

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