It started yesterday. I noticed a certain unnamed subsection of my body hair was making a mass exodus. Since it wasn’t on my head, it was amusing. Many Brazilian bikini wax jokes ensued.
This morning I ran my hands through my hair and there it was, a clump. I have been waiting for this day both patiently and impatiently. On one hand, I hoped I would be the 2% who doesn’t lose their hair. On the other hand, I knew I was the 98% and I just wanted it overwith.
After going to the boxing gym and feeling like myself for approx 30 minutes, I came home to shower. That is when the party really started.
Shampoo went in and as I lathered, out came the hair. Not giant clumps, but clumps nonetheless. It became obsessive for me. I couldn’t stop pulling through my hair. Anyone who knows me well knows that once I start a project, I want it done now. There is approximately a 0% chance of me enjoying a drawn out process of shedding my own head of hair.
As physically strong as I feel (which I am unspeakably happy about btw), I am feeling that much weaker emotionally. This is rocking the mental boat pretty intensely. I spent a lot of time thinking about the fun pre-chemo hair makeover. I spent a lot of time enjoying my mohawk in all of its color incarnations. Never thought much about it actually fleeing the premises.
I wept as I blow dried my hair knowing that with every pass of the round brush, I was becoming closer and closer to baldness. It was cathartic. It was torturous.
And let me clue you in on another fun cancer fact- as your hair follicles die and release the hair, there are a few days of time where your head itches and eventually hurts. I am currently in the hurt phase. I have spent a big portion of the day itching my head and tapping on it like I had a tight weave.
I want desperately for this part to be over. I could have just gone and had it shaved today, but I wasn’t ready. Will I ever be ready? Probably not, but I am waiting for a ‘sign’ from follicular heaven that it is time. Until then, I will keep collecting my defected hairs in a ziplock bag like some kind of very special episode of Hoarders.
As luck would have it, today was my appointment with a local wig guru who was recommended to me via a sweet, sweet friend who knows her way around a ‘cranial prosthesis.’ It was a last-minute appointment and I was unable to find anyone to go with me. I was super nervous about this. I didn’t want to do it alone, but turns out it was actually a lot of fun! This wig maven knew her shit and got me into my new look within 3 tries.
Allow me to introduce you to Francesca- Frankie for short. Frankie has a high-powered management job that allows her to travel internationally rather often (always Business Class or better). She loves this aspect of her work as she is a born explorer. She loves art history, gelato and giant sunglasses.
Frankie probably won’t be an everyday alias, as Grace is pretty lazy and loves a good Hermes scarf turban, but when she comes out to play- watch out, everybody.
I am in the middle of the process right now. I would guesstimate that I have lost about 30% of my hair. I hope the remaining follicles give up on their futile territorial quest on my head soon, as they are fighting a losing battle.
I feel like I am fighting another losing battle this week. Not cancer. We all know that I am going to beat cancer and make it look like a total asshole for coming for me. I feel like I am losing the battle of composure. Many family and friends called me today to check in. I couldn’t answer a single call. I feel the waterworks pushing at the door of my sanity.
If you encounter me this week, tread lightly. Give me a hug, tell me I am pretty, keep your expectations low.
4 Comments Add yours
Nioxin makes a product for scalp itching, but I think Scalpicin (at the local Walgreen’s) is just as effective.
Grace…I saw you kicking ass at the gym today and I was blown away. You ARE beautiful and you are strong. I wasn’t kidding…your hair looked awesome. I know this sounds crazy, but you will look awesome without it too. If there’s anyone who can look strong and beautiful with no hair, it’s you. Stay strong! You can have your moments of weakness…you are entitled to those. However, your strength and power will carry you through this. Keep on staying strong. You are amazing!
Frankie is beautiful. Frankie is you. You are beautiful. Ain’t nothin’ gonna change that. I can so relate to torturous catharsis. Wishing you everything good in the universe, Grace.
I love your attitude. Hair will come and go, but nobody can take away your strength. You WILL beat cancer, and you WILL emerge even stronger than before. We are all cheering for you. PS- Props to Frankie and thank god you put that wig in a seat belt!