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

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ugh....the hair!

So I finally got up the nerve to wash my hair today.  I have followed the directions and have not washed since last Saturday.  Since some of the shedding started on Wednesday when I had my second chemo, I was petrified to see what would happen when I washed my hair (since it has still been shedding since Wednesday).

I started to gently comb my hair from the bottom and hold the top so I would not pull on it.  I figured that if I combed it a little before it would be less tangled during washing.  The combing went fine and not much hair came out - maybe a little more than normal but not bad.  Then I began to wet my hair with the cool water and started seeing hairs drop.  I continued along slowly and carefully bent over the very large and oh so very white tub (making every hair stand out like a sore thumb) and watched each hair fall....many hairs fall.  I washed and conditioned a little and rinsed...more hair.  It has been horrible all morning.  I just looked in the mirror and tears began to fall. 

I know the "shedding" is normal with doing the cold caps, but I kept having hope maybe it would not happen at all since it has been over 3 weeks since my first chemo and there had been no hair loss.  Ugh.  I just sat there with wet hair....letting it hang and dry.  I was too afraid to touch it.  It doesn't look any different to me (other than not dried and styled like I would).  I did not notice any bald spots or clumps coming out which is good news, but I can't get the image of all that hair coming out today in the tub!  This is the first time I really feel a strong panicked feeling about my hair since starting this process.  I have been positive and have said over and over again that it will work and I will keep my hair.  I am starting to just get a bit nervous now.

Others that have done the cold caps have experienced the same exact shedding and worries and still went through chemo and finished with hair.  I have to try to hold on to that and their words of wisdom and experience that this will be OK.  I guess I have just tried to be so positive and have not let a negative thought enter my mind in the past few weeks since starting chemo it is just hitting me today.  I hate breast cancer. 

I have to find a way to put this into some kind of perspective.  Normally I would wash my hair daily.   I wonder how much hair I would lose on a daily basis doing that?  I have not washed my hair in an entire week (following the protocol for Cold Caps) and had some shedding in the past few days.  I wonder if I shed more because it was all at once (a week's worth of shed without washing)?  Let's face it, I have been really gentle with my hair and have barely even combed it much in the past week.  That plus the chemo shed may make this normal for cold caps.  I sure hope so.   I just hope the shedding period stops soon.  I don't know what will happen if this continues for a few more days.  That will put me over the edge for sure!

For now it looks normal (other than not styled my normal way) and does not look thin.  I will try to remember that today.  I will tell myself that over and over again today. 

As far as post chemo this week, I am doing better than I thought.  I had chemo on Wednesday and felt fine on Thursday and Friday.  I exercised well both days too which felt good.  Yesterday in the afternoon I started feeling a little foggy in the head like last time and started with some body aches.  I have been taking Aleve and Claritin this time around to help with side effects and I do feel like the side effects are a bit less than last time which is good news.  I do have a little soreness in my neck, base of skull, ribs and jaw, but it is minimal and definitely less than last time.  I slept OK last night - not great but better than some nights.  I have been really hungry the past two days.  All I want is carbs.....lots of them too!  I have been trying to focus on drinking a lot of water to flush the chemo out of my body.  I just hope the bone pain does not hit again this time around.  We will see.

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