As the days were bumping along and I was just about to catch my emotional equilibrium, there came the next surprise, courtesy of chemo.
Went to take shower and got my stuff ready and shampooed my hair, when I felt something weird and unsusual in my hand, as I wiped the soap out of my eys and looked, there it was. A whole big fist full of hair.
Now, of course I knew this was going to happen and I had told Cameron, that I would definitely lose my hair ( I remember saying that this would happen in 3 weeks and 20 minutes) but he had said, ‘you don’t know that. Maybe it’s different this time.’ Cancer people cling to every little lie. So. No matter what you tell yourself and how strong one deals with this, when hair loss happens, many say, it’s the toughest part of chemo. It’s tied in with the little girl brushing her dolls hair, her friends hair, the dog’s hair. It’s having good and bad hair days, when just a few strands look out of place. It can ruin the first good moments in the morning, when after gel and curls and spray, the outcome is not what people expect. So very much is tied up in hair, or the lack of it. The feminin thing. Guys always look good bald. Hair is overrated.
And so, I stood there with water running furiously, and sobbed. I felt very vulnerable, exposed and naked. Eye lashes will follow and brows as well. Well meaning people say, oh, it’ll grow back’ and they have so many new things now’. Others, who had cancer previously would say, Just embrace your baldness’. But, we must be allowed to moarn. It’s not business as usual. There’s no strength that lasts 24/7. No matter how old you get, you want your mother at this point. A pain that runs that deep that it goes all the way back to childhood and needing that comfort. (Besides, I already embraced it once, with grace.)
I had asked my Ovarian Cancer Support Group, what it was that they wished people would NOT say to them. Here, some of the comments. When you want pople to hear you and not for them to keep saying how strong you are. When people dismiss their feelings because they don’t like having to comfort. When they say, ohh, you look so good. Which is quite suspect because, how on earth did I look before this? They are also annoyed because they do not want to talk about cancer all the time. Or, that someone elses’ grandmother’s brother’s cousin had this cancer. They don’t want to hear every cancer story in the universe. Meanwhile we do stay strong because there’s not much else to be. Once in a while, you just want someone to take your hand and tell you, ‘it’ll be alright’.
Thank you, Sue for your warmth and wonderful comforting e-mail.
When I had sufficiently gathered myself, I thought I would like to walk to the Post Office. Had to return the wig, that my daughter chose because it was too narrow, too tight and the color did nothing for my face.
I was about a block and half, when the pain in my upper thighs was so severe and felt like they weigh 50 lbs each, that they just went out from under me and here I sat on the street. Forget the hair. THIS was serious. If I can’t walk, then we have a huge problem. Since it was right by my Beauty shop, I was helped and sat on their chair to collect myself but then it was just too much and a torrent of tears came unbidden.
I remember when I had the frog ‘Timothy’ in my throat while walking the camino at certain times. Here he was back. I just could not talk. My Beautician offered to do my mailing for me as well as re-do my wig from last time. I also found a few scarves/turbans. They sure got expensive. Up to $30.00 each. Everyone cashing in on cancer.
My neighbors saw me come back and came to check on me, since they had not seen me. No word was needed, they just enveloped me in a big hug and told me how much they cared.
My good friend Peggie came by to cheer me up and took me to a new wig shop. I didn’t even know we had one right on Main Street. I’d tried a few on and chose a blond one, that they all really liked on me. ( My daughter said, do NOT get blond.’ Sorry, Sweetie. There just isn’t anything else that looks decent.)
My friend Silke came to take me to foot therapy. This is called ‘Sympathetic Therapy’. I like that name and it really helps with neuropathy.
Yesterday, a gray and dismal day but here again, my friends show up. Peggie took me for a walk while we had ten minutes of sun and then, my favorite Mike came with wife Jodi and son. They brought chicken and we spend a few very nice hours. Thank you. This means a LOT.
I am alright now. Got over the hair-thing. Come Monday, I’ll call my Oncologist to find out what this weirdness is in my legs.
Then, I’ll find out how many chemo’s she thinks I should have.