Goodbye, hair!

I’ve always loved my hair.  My best feature, I’ve worn it long and loose most of my life.  It’s full and thick and looks pretty decent in a simple cut, brushed straight, swinging about.  Some years I’ve worn it short, in a chin-length bob, but always, always parted on the side.  It’s the only thing I really like about my face, actually.  The only thing that makes me feel … like me.

Three days ago, my scalp started tingling.  I wondered at the time if that meant my hair would begin to fall out, but I didn’t lose so much as a strand for days.  Then, today, in the shower, I smoothed it back with conditioner, and … a clump fell out in my hand.  Shocked, I smoothed the other side back.  Same result.  (Duh.)  So there I stood, with two handfuls of hair, and that much less on my head.

I know I said that I was ready for my hair to fall out, but I don’t think I was quite ready to see it happening.

After I dried off, it was time to take action.  I found the hairclippers and shaved my head.  No, it’s not all gone, but I did give myself a close-cropped boy-cut so that as the hair falls out it doesn’t pile up everywhere and make a mess of things.  The cut is rather cute, actually.  I might wear it like this for a while when my hair grows back in in January.

My oncologist told me that two weeks after I started chemotherapy, my hair would begin to fall out.  My first chemo treatment was two weeks ago yesterday.  Right on schedule.  I hope that all of my responses to chemotherapy are so textbook.  I hope that these chemo drugs are effective at squashing the cancer, and I hope that they shrink the cancer so much that I will be able to have the surgery in January as planned.  I hope.  I hope.

I pray.


26 Responses to Goodbye, hair!

  1. Colleen says:

    A sign the chemo is doing what it should. Good for you for going with the quick crop!

  2. Matt says:

    The cancer doesn’t stand a chance – not against you and Wonderdaddy. Your next opportunity to kick it’s ass a little bit more is coming up. And you will. Kick.Its.Ass. WhyYesICanMommy.

  3. Margaret says:

    Yeah! That means everything is working as it should. Hopefully the rest is text-book so you know what/when to expect.

    I placed your info sheet on my blog.

  4. diatribal says:

    I think that we all pray the same thing.

    I’m sure your “new ‘do” looks great!

  5. This may sound totally weird, but this strikes me as the beginning of a rebirth… a symbol of your body rebooting.

    I don’t mean to invalidate how much of a shock it must be – I’d feel exactly the same way, tempted by despair. But you’re in this incredible test of mettle with this bastard disease, and now you’re a true warrior, with this mark of warriorhood. I almost see it as a badge, a manifestation of your body putting all its energy into healing. You’re living a heightened existance fighting this fight, this episode in your life. There’s something very transformative about that.

    And when your hair grows back from the root, it will be new like that of our wee babies, fresh and unspoiled and full of life. What a moment that will be, when you see it peek up again into the sun and elements, brand-new fluff and a brand-new life.

    That’s something to look forward to. I’m glad you’ll only be a few months as a smooth-top.

  6. Kristin says:

    My aunt, a cancer survivor, looked amazing in scarves and her new, short hair is adorable. I know it’s not your first choice in hair cuts, but it’s probably adorable. And (as I think every time I donate mine) it’s a renewable resource. It will grow back. You just need time.

  7. Kristin says:

    (Oh, and I totally don’t mean to invalidate the situation. Just trying to find the silver lining. It’s always there.)

  8. amanda says:

    Your hope, your fight, it’s being buoyed by the hopes and prayers of so many of us out here. I hope you start loving that face of yours more, it’s the protective seal around your soul and the world to your boys. It’s a fine face, leading an indomitable spirit.

  9. whymommy says:

    You people make me cry. In a good way.


    I will love my bald little head, and I even will wear it uncovered some days, in part thanks to the acceptance that you all have shown me here. It is part of my fight, and, whether I choose it or not, part of my armor for the coming battle.

    Bring it on.

  10. Heather says:

    I hope the journey is as easy as it can be for you.

    Have you read grannyvibe? She’s blogging at now.

    Very much worth reading and lots of links to follow there.

  11. Whymommy, I can’t seem to locate your email address. Would you mind dropping me a line at my gmail address? sheepinthemeadow

  12. Jenster says:

    When I hit day 17 I still had a head full of hair, though thinning a lot, but it was dead. Like you, I had thick, lustrous hair. I mourned the fact I was getting ready to lose my hair for the day. The next day two of my friends came over, brought donuts, I made coffee, the kids played in the family room and we had a little party. My husband lived out of town at the time (for a job – we weren’t separated or anything and it was HORRIBLE) so these friends came and one buzzed my head while the other took pictures. I had a mullet, a skater cut and a mohawk before getting the GI Jane look. And I liked it, too! It made my eyes look bigger. But we took something that truly is traumatic and made it into something fun.

    Anyway, I was so relieved afterwards, like I’d taken control of the situation. And two days after that I lost most of it. I never did go completely bald, but it was pretty close.

    Losing the hair had a moment where it was as bad, if not worse, than losing a breast. It sounds so irrational, but most women I know who have been through this say the same thing.

    So goodonya for taking control of your situation! And for me being nearly bald was a great help when I started having hotflashes from the chemo!

    One more thing. Waiting for my hair to come back was kind of fun. Would it be the same, would the color be different, would it be straighter, curlier, etc. It’s EXACTLY like it was beforehand except not quite a coarse. So it’s actually better. :o)

  13. Stephanie says:

    I want to thank you for sharing your journey!!

  14. Robin says:

    Do you have your tiara ready? 🙂 A good hint for the remaining hair – as the buzzed hair comes out it leaves a fine fuzz everywhere. Be sure to pick up one of those disposable lint rollers to help pick it all up or it may drive you nuts – it did our family. Kids also tend to like this activity. Wishing and praying with you!

  15. The beautiful thing is that hair always grows back — and sometimes healthier than before.

  16. s@m says:

    You’re a beautiful women, hair or no hair. Cancer can’t take that away from you.

    I am baffled by how open and willing to share you are while going through this. I am in awe of you.


  17. tori says:

    You have such an amazing attitude about all of this. I’m sending you healing thoughts.

  18. I will be praying for you. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. You are an inspiration.

  19. kgirl says:

    I bet it looks super cute! Good for you for being practical and still allowing yourself to enjoy the results.

  20. Rani says:

    My hair fell out slowly, mostly in the shower. I had long hair, too, and I won’t lie to you, I miss it. I finished my chemo in Dec. and now my hair is almost 4 inches long. It is soft and healthy and I plan to grow it out inch by inch. I loved my hats and it made going out a lot easier. Good luck and I will be praying for you.

  21. You have such a good attitude (which is half the battle).

    Besides, hair grows back! I added this to my blog as favorite recent read.

  22. amanda says:

    I pray. I pray. I pray this for you

  23. Stacy says:

    You have a great attitude about what you are going through. I put a post up about your cancer. A friend of mine has the lump version of breast cancer right now and losing her hair was pretty hard on her. I know it would be for me, but you know that the chemo is working. It is doing its “job”. I will pray for you and your family.

  24. Binky says:

    We pray too.

  25. I will be praying for you!! My life has not been touched with breast cancer, but with Leukemia. I was 13 when my grandmother passed away from leukemia. I have posted a link to your post on my blog! All women need to know about this!

  26. […] a small voice interrupted me, needing to know, “Mommy, why didn’t he have hair?  Was he […]

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