I Need You Back

Bald on April 2

Still Bald on May 10

It has been more than five weeks since my last chemo. My head looks as bald as before with no obvious signs of hair  “come back”–hair that I need so badly. Why? It is almost summer. My wigs, however breathable, feel like heater on the top of my head. My daughter prefers I have some form of hair on my head. I like the looks of myself better with wig or hair…

Paul asks me if I need a microscope as he often catches me an inch away from the mirror, scrutinizing anything black-looking on my bald. Is that new hair? No, just fuzz, fuzz, fuzz like lint from the drier. Maybe if I stop checking, my hair will grow overnight?

My oncologist said that with Taxotere in particular which is hard on the hair, growth may not be expected until after four to seven weeks. I should be patient. Oh well.

The good news from my last oncologist visit is because I had bilateral mastectomy, I don’t need mammogram ever. That is a relief. I hated that feeling of my chests being squeezed as flat as  pancakes. Yikes. No more feeling like my breasts would pop any second…

I passed the physical exam with flying colors. No lumps, no suspicious growth except for a mole on my forearm. She wants me to see a dermatologist for that. It is looking green and swollen with uneven edges. Easily fixable, I think. Chance is, it will be removed. I can easily endure that.

I will have every four-month visits to my oncologist from now on. Any bone pain, chest pain, trunk pain…I will report. Any cough and shortness of breath that linger, I should phone to the oncology department. Why? Because breast cancer, if it spreads, usually goes to the bone, lungs, or liver first. Something to keep in mind. This is my new normal. I have to listen to my body. I cannot take any pain or discomfort for granted.

Oh well, life could be worse, right? Although it is premature, I feel like a 50% survivor. Maybe with hair added, 75%?

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6 thoughts on “I Need You Back

  1. I remember being equally surprised when my hair didn’t instantly return after chemo – for some reason, I thought it would start growing out as if I’d shaved my head rather than had chemo. It takes a while. And the first growth is often pretty fine – and then, just as it starts getting longer, the texture changes….I finished chemo in August, and it wasn’t until early November when I had enough hair to say so. It also came back thinner, and coarser, and curlier, and salt and pepper gray. It still doesn’t feel quite like ‘me’ when I see my reflection – my self image and my reflection don’t match up yet.

    *eye roll*

    Still, it’s the least of the problems… we’re both still here, and doing well, eh? Hair is just hair… it’s not *us*.

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