So chemo 2 was a funny old cycle. I had no side effects at all bar a bit of sickness on the first day.
But it was also the lowest I felt so far. Not only did my hair start to fall out in huge amounts but it was also the cycle for my Hickman line.
It seemed to matter where I sat, when I moved the chair would be full of hair. I felt like a moulting dog! I half expected Carl to hoover me at one point.
This hurt.. lots.. I knew I was expecting my hair to come out, it’s pretty much a given – but nothing prepares you for the time when you are leant with your hand in your hair as usual, and when you lift your head.. your hair stays in your hand!
Not only did it emotionally hurt but physically too. You know the feeling when you have had your hair in a pony tail for too long and it actually hurts but you take it out.. imagine that but all over, constantly. I had to sleep with my hand between my head and my pillow because just resting on it hurt.
Enough was enough I decided to brave the shave… so Monday evening I asked Carl to shave my head. I cried.. lots.bur have to admit it did feel better after. I couldn’t say how it looked as I couldn’t bear to look at my bonce in the mirror for a few days.
That first week I didn’t leave the house, I felt like I looked like a cancer patient. With the coming hickman line and the lack of hair my cancer had suddenly become very visible. I struggled with losing me and becoming it.
On the Saturday I was due to meet one of my bestest friends and her family for lunch and ice cream. I woke up feeling sick. I soon figured out it was anxiety. I had managed to avoid people all week but today I would have to face someone. I put on my little mermaid wig but it felt wrong, I looked wrong. I wasn’t sure I could cope.
All the drive there I alternated between throwing up and crying. Even minutes from our meeting place I contemplated texting to say I couldn’t make it. But if I couldn’t face a friend who could I face? I couldn’t hide away for the next year or so until it grew back.
So I manned up and met for lunch. As expected she didn’t care if I had hair or not and I relaxed a little more. However the thing that will always stick with me that day comes from her 6 year old daughter. As we took shelter from the rain in my car Enya was looking at my hair.. I said it was a wig and did she want to try it. She did and it looked lovely and she asked why I didn’t have hair – i explained I was poorly and it had come out – she would later tell her mum that I sneezed so much that it fell out! She thought for a while and then gave me a hug and said “well I think you are still beautiful” I had the sudden urge to go to the loo and had something in my eye .. that will explain the tears. In that single moment, that gorgeous little one got rid of all of my fears about my baldness and made it all OK. Maybe when she is older I will tell her how
much she helped?
I decided that day that yes my line would be visible, yes I am bald, and yes the cancer has made me look rougher than a bag of spanners but that’s a small price to pay to come out of it the other side alive.