"Don't spend time worrying about how you are going to die. Worry about how you are going to live today"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hair is hanging on

I don't know if I even dare to put in writing that the hair is hanging on..perhaps I have jinxed myself.  I certainly hope not.  I had my first chemo treatment on March 2nd and am using the Penguin Cold Caps to save my hair.  I have read that with my chemo regimen that the hair loss usually starts anytime about 14 days after the first chemo treatment.  It is now 19 days after my first chemo and I am watching like a hawk to see if there are any changes in my hair.  So far, not much change.  I hope it stays that way!  I am petrified it won't. 

Around day 13 after chemo I started noticing the hair "down south" shedding.  I noticed continued shedding for several days and now about 75% of it is gone.  Once I noticed that happening I started freaking out about the hair on my head wondering when it was going to start!  I even had nightmares about my hair falling out!  Ugh!  As if getting breast cancer isn't bad enough, now this!  I am so tired of obsessing over my boobs under construction and now I have to worry about my hair too.  It's exhausting quite honestly.

I only wash my hair twice a week now (per the hair treatment protocol - not by choice) and I have to wash in cool water.  Since I won't take a cool shower I wash my hair over my large garden tub using a small hand held sprayer (bought at Walmart for $8).  The thing about my tub is that it is white...I have dark brown hair.  Now my new hobby is counting the hairs that fall out while washing, rinsing, conditioning as they go down the drain.  What a great new hobby.  Talk about being crazy.....

I was really nervous to wash my hair on Saturday as that should be during the prime time for shedding after my first chemo but I was pleasantly surprised.  I lost about 20 hairs during the washing, rinsing and conditioning part and maybe another 10 hairs when I combed my hair out (I only use a wide tooth comb to avoid pulling on hair).  Since a normal person loses about 100 hairs a day, this was not bad at all.  I just wish I could be assured it would stay like this. 

I do know that I have lost some hair though besides "down south".  Normally I have a lot of small, short, what I call "baby hairs" around my hairline on my forehead.  I never had a clean/clear hairline as I always had lots of these baby hairs.  Now they appear to be gone and I have a very clear hairline.  This would not be noticeable to anyone else, but I noticed it.  Since this part of my hair was not protected by the cold caps, it makes sense it would shed.  The fact that nothing else has shed yet is a good sign I hope. 

It's hard to believe it has been almost 3 weeks since my first chemo.  It is already time for my next round in two days.  I have less anxiety about the chemo but am just dreading the body aches and bone pain to follow in the days after.  I keep thinking about how crappy I will feel next weekend.  I guess the only thing I can stay focused on is that I will be half way done with chemo this week.  Only two more to go after that.  I just want it over with!

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