Not to complain, but my hair is falling out in a way that I never imagined. (Not that I ever spent any time imagining this travesty.) It is coming out in fistfuls.
At the advice of my support group (I attended my second session last night at Scripps Polster Breast Care Center), I put on a beanie hat before bed so I would not wake up to hair all over my sheets. I tried to put most of my hair into the hat so straggling hair would not rub my neck. I should have never looked in the mirror. In dim bathroom light, the mirror revealed dark circles under my eyes. The emotions of the day had been many, but mostly I knew was just over tired. Even still, with the beanie and the dark circles, the mirror revealed a cancer patient. It brought tears to my eyes and I felt the same emotions that I anticipate having when my hair is gone for the first time. Steve reassured me (as he is all too good at) and made me chuckle by reminding me of my brother's love of wearing beanies and how now Darin and I will look more alike, both wearing beanie caps. About five minutes later, Darin texted to tell me how awesome I am as a sister. What timing.
To continue on with my story, too warm in the wee hours of the morning, I took the hat off. Much to my surprise, when I awoke this morning, there was very little hair on my sheets and in the hat. However, as soon as my hands touched my hair, they just as easily could have been scissors cutting the under layers of my locks and I soon had a pile of hair that could have been mistaken for a small furry creature. I thought it was awfully ironic how soft and shiny my hair appeared lying in the pile on the bed. It had been so dry for the last 10 days or so - now it was shiny and baby fine. Whose hair is this anyway?
During the support group, Bev had asked me how I felt about cutting my hair. Despite the residual emotions from last night, I still feel the same as I described to the group. When Steve and the kids (along with the help of my friend Ally) cut my hair on Friday night, it will be an event, a celebration of my chemotherapy working. It is a necessary milestone in my journey - in my family's journey.
I know that my emotions will continue to run high this week, as I to manage best I can the dwindling amount of hair available for styling each morning and the "let's see how much hair is going to fall out when I take my clip out now" moments. However, thinking of it as a milestone, I know I am lucky to have this chance to beat this disease. As I felt my tumor this morning (sorry if this is TMI), it actually feels a little smaller. And that is definitely nothing to complain about.