It’s no secret that I’ve been an utterly miserable cow for a while now. I’m struggling physically and emotionally with what my life is now. As Dr M said to me “You will never return to normal. What you need to do is find the right balance for your life as it is”. True, but I am still battling with people’s expectations versus the reality of my life and I need to hold down a job. In spite of all this, ups and downs are part of life – neither lasts, and I know whilst I am feeling miserable about things at the moment, I will not always feel this way, I will find a way through this and there will be good times ahead.
I’ve been fascinated by my hair – most specifically, the lack of growth. Isn’t it a thing that whatever hair we have, we often don’t like it. This certainly holds true with me, my natural hair is very curly and frizzy. To be fair, I have tried to embrace it but it just wasn’t me. Hair straighteners were a godsend! I wasn’t happy to be told my hair would fall out during chemo, but I tried not to focus on this, given I had bigger hurdles to deal with.
So, there I was with a glorious head of hair (thank you John Frieda and GHD!!) getting stressed by the day as to when and how it would fall out. My biggest fear was that I would be sitting at work and there would be a loud squeak and my hair would fall out onto my desk (no, seriously, I didn’t think it would squeak). I mean, how humiliating. Fortunately it didn’t happen like this, and yes, although I went through that bizarre phase of thinking that I would be that one freak whose hair wouldn’t fall out, mine eventually started coming out in huge clumps.
Once I’d got over the horror of seeing myself in the mirror with a bald head, and T no longer did a double take each time he saw me, I got used to being bald. In fact, it was quite liberating – all that extra spare time which had previously been taken up with washing, drying and styling my hair. No more worrying about weather conditions (humidity, damp, rain all ruin my straightened hair!). All the money saved on hair products, no shaving, waxing and epilating needed. Oh, I could get used to this. Strange but true. I told all the men in my life I had now paved the way for them to go bald, so they had no excuse. Oddly they didn’t see it that way!
On the down-side, in terms of vanity rather than practicality, I have done a cycle of looking rather odd. First like Uncle Fester. Then my eyebrows and eyelashes fell out (much later than all my other hair) and I looked like Squidward.
Eventually though, hair starts returning. First that baby fluff starts growing, in patches, but eventually I have a full head of hair (albeit very short and sparse). It’s really short, it’s still really soft, and I think this is the best hair I’ve ever had: it’s naturally straight, it’s soft, it’s low maintenance.
But, although very slowly, the hair continues to grow and I start to bear an uncanny resemblance to Sid Vicious, and on occasion, Keith Flint of the Prodigy. T finds this all hilarious. Of course none of these are looks I’d choose, but I have to roll with it. I wake up looking like a thug and then during the day, depending on my headwear, my hair gets squashed around and I just look ridiculous.
I started to think I’ll be the one who’s hair doesn’t curl after chemo…………but no, almost overnight (yes, that’s how it feels) I developed the chemo kink. This is not as exciting as it sounds. It is as if my hair has been squashed into ridges. This is where I am at them moment. My hair is still not an inch long all over, and I am pretty fatalistic. What happens will happen. But it’s equally fascinating and horrifying in the process.