Wigs-Not an Option For Me
I used to have long thick hair; I mean really thick hair, but today I am bald.
I’m bald because I’m in treatment for leukemia.
Not quite ready for a buzz cut
As I was admitted to the hospital for the induction phase of my treatment plan, I was informed: “your hair will fall out”. And if you haven’t heard, when they tell you this, they mean all your body hair could fall out. I want to say here, for now, I still have my eyebrows and wearing a beanie with some earrings is quite the stunning look.
When I was admitted I was not feeling all that great and my hair was a little below my shoulders. I had to have an IV and my hair was a bit of work to take care of. I quickly learned there was a salon in the hospital I could go to.
Summer was approaching and I’d been thinking about trying out a shorter style anyway. I wasn’t quite ready for the “buzz cut”, that would have been free, so I paid for a cut that was quite short.
The patient whose hair won't fall out
I ended up with a PICC line in my right arm and I am right hand dominant, so this was definitely a good move. The chemo starts and continues and not only does my hair not fall out, but it grew!
As I was released from the hospital I was known as the cancer patient whose hair wouldn’t fall out. We arranged for a friend's daughter, who was in cosmetology school, to come to our house and she gave me a great trim.
Am I going to need a haircut?
Next comes the intensification phase; boy howdy, that one’s a doozy! My hair thinned during this phase, but it never fell all the way out and I managed to find ways to comb it so it didn’t usually look ridiculous (who ya’ gonna see anyway, just your family and care providers).
Next, I have a long break from traditional chemo and receive Blinatumomab. Well, this stuff sure can make you feel different but it doesn’t make your hair fall out. My hair, being how it is, immediately starts growing back. My husband who's been going slowly bald for at least the past 20 years was jealous.
It was actually getting to the point where I thought I would need it trimmed again, and then … I started the consolidation phase. I had many of the same chemo agents in this cycle that I’d had before, so I thought I was prepared. I thought I knew how things were gonna’ go and I was ready.
And then, it happened. Almost all at once!
My hair finally fell out and I'm not sad
On a Monday my scalp felt prickly and tingly on and off, but I didn’t see any hair loss. On Wednesday when I washed my hair I knew a good bit came out. After that, it just seemed thinner to me and like I no longer needed a trim.
Then on Thursday morning I woke up to a mohawk look and had to lint roller the pillowcase big time. By Friday just a few wisps remained.
The thing is I’m not sad. This has been fascinating to me! My skull happens to be very nice looking, very well proportioned and all.
Cancer changes everything
It’s liberating! I don’t have to worry when I get in the shower about accidentally getting my hair wet when I didn’t want to (but, of course, I do still have to fuss with the Press n’ Seal).
A bald head is literally no maintenance required and I will enjoy the freedom while it lasts. You know, when you get a cancer diagnosis everything about your life changes, why not try out new hair along the way.
Did you ask yourself "why me?" when you were first diagnosed with blood cancer?