Just a few weeks ago, Target put my favorite shampoo and conditioner on sale, the ones made for color-treated hair. I grabbed, not two, but six of each. Then it struck me, I would be losing my hair soon. Thanks, chemotherapy. No use stocking up. So back, the bottles go to the shelf.
And so the dreaded time came.
Last Wednesday, day thirteen after my first chemo, my scalp pain got progressively worse–first on the hairline along my forehead, then the pain traveled through the top of my head. I felt as though my hair got pulled so tight on a pony tail. I washed my hair, didn’t notice anything, until I hit my hair with warm air from blow dryer. Careful not to hold the dryer too close, I just gently dried my hair half a foot away, and barely touched my scalp with my fingers. Then strands of hair came falling off a few here and there until they were all over the sink, the counter, the floor…and tears started coming from my eyes.
“What’s the matter, honey?”
I pointed to Paul the hair all over as he came close.
“I’m sorry. What do you want me to do?”
“Shave my head, Paul, please. I can’t stand seeing my hair fall like this.”
I have only one clipper in the house–Snowball’s. I’m sure my pooch won’t mind me using it. He hates the thing. I popped one Ativan in my mouth. I knew I needed it. You know the feeling when you’re about to lose it? When you feel you are about to scream your head off? I was very close to that.
I disinfected the clipper with antimicrobial soap. Soon, Paul ran the clipper from my forehead to the nape of my neck, one long stroke at a time, over and over. Like Snowball, I hated the sound of the buzzing shaver too. I could not look.
When he was all done, and the bag was heavy with my shaved hair, I showered again. Afterwards, I looked at the reflection on the mirror. I had to see myself sometime.
Who is that man? That can’t be me?
So I look masculine. Paul says I look beautiful with or without hair. He is too nice.
I survived the experience. It was not as bad as I thought. I will live. So I lost my hair. It will grow back. I still have my eyebrows and eyelashes. For now.
The loss of my hair reminds me of the song that goes like this, “Farewell to you my
friends hair. We’ll see each other again. Don’t worry coz it’s not the end of everything…” Corny, but I can’t get the darn song off my head. It was popular in the 80’s when I had thick, long, black hair puffed with hairspray.