Bad hair day?

July 12, 2010

I knew it was going to happen, but it was still a shock when my hair started to fall out!

The first signs were on Wednesday (chemo 2 day 3). I had washed my hair and was just styling it with some wax, and when I took my hands down from my head, there were a zillion hairs stuck to my fingers. Gross.

That was the start, since then my hair has been falling out constantly. It’s a bit like a cat shedding. There is hair everywhere – on the floor, in the bed, stuck to the chair, down my back. Luckily I had decided to get my hair cut very short last week – ready for this eventuality. That was definitely a good move, it is bad enough with all these short hairs everywhere, long ones would have been even more disgusting! It is SO disgusting that there is a very strong temptation to get it over with and shave the lot off. But I’m trying to resist. Some people don’t lose all their hair and I reckon that hats and scarves do look better and less “I am a cancer patient”-ish if you have even a small tuft of hair sticking out!

The thing that amazes me most is how many hairs I actually have. I mean this shedding is constant! If I wash my hair the hairs just cascade out, so I you think that must be it for a while. But then I rub my head with the towel and the towel looks like a porcupine. And then I comb it, and the comb just gets completely clogged up with hair. And an hour later I put my hand up to my hair and a handful of hair comes away. Luckily the weather is good, so I have taken to going and standing in the garden every hour or so and rubbing all those hairs out. My mother-in-law says the birds will be pleased….we’re going to have luxury natural-hair lined nests in our garden next spring!

Unbelievably, after 5 days of this I still have hair on my head and no bald patches. As my husband diplomatically put it, it is looking a bit thin (and believe me, my hair wasn’t thick or voluminous to start with!) but it is there. I’m not sure what percentage of my hair is gone – 50% maybe?

But here is the thing – yesterday evening and this morning, the shedding has slowed down. I haven’t tried this before, so I don’t know if this is just a brief reprieve before the remainder gives up and falls out, or whether I get a break until my next chemo cycle, or if this is it, and I’m going to get away without losing it all (I’m hoping!). But for today at least I seem to have a reprieve from the scratchy hairs down my back!

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2 Responses to “Bad hair day?”

  1. Kerry Says:

    Really puts our usual BHDs into perspective 😉 A very cruel side effect of chemo…

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