Hair Loss

We all have seen the guy with the comb over or comb forward. The one who is denying that naked area of scalp by diverting hair from another area to provide camouflage You can view this two ways; denial or a desire to appreciate the remaining hair in its full glory. I’m not one for naked scalps, at least not on me. I’m really not sure that most scarves or head coverings really look all that attractive but are more comfortable to me than patchy scalps. Several people I talked to said they just shaved their heads to get it over with when faced with chemo therapy.

I’d couldn’t do that. I wanted to appreciate what I had for as long as possible. At the same time I will admit to a bit of curiosity as to how much I would loose and how long it would take. Waist length hair would have made a real mess, so I did go as far as getting it cut just short of my shoulders cut. That particular length hasn’t been seen on me in years, perhaps decades.

It didn’t take long. By the end of ten days I was losing some hair. By two weeks it was coming out in handfuls. Even at the shorter length it made me realize that saying one has thousands of head hairs is not an exaggeration. But it was too wispy, what remained, to have a naked head hence the scarves. It’s now the end of March and I am enjoying those few and precious remaining bits of fluff. They receive careful washing and conditioning. I’ll treat them tenderly for what little remains of their brittle existence.

The threat, I was told, was that three of the five drugs in my chemo cocktail could (shall we say will) cause hair loss. That to me added pretty much up to 100%. Hair loss, I was also informed by provider, handouts, nurse educator, and websites was total. Head, eyelashes, eyebrows, body hair – all of it could (would) be affected by the chemo.

Obviously I have confirmed that head hair likes to quickly and promptly depart for pillows, combs, brushes and what ever clothing it will contrast with to greatest. Something like the dark cat which likes the basket of clean linens while the light shedding beast waits till you have your best dark wool pants on before presenting you with a leg rub and a cloud of decorative hair.

I certainly don’t mind the fact that i still have eyebrows. Cosmetics and I just don’t go along. Glasses make hash of eyelashes. So short, broken or almost non-existent wouldn’t be a worry.  So why is my leg hair clinging gamely to me and refusing to acknowledge any of those dreaded poisons? That part of this really, really just doesn’t seem fair.

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About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
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3 Responses to Hair Loss

  1. Cat says:

    There is a woman I often see in the local shopping centre with, I assume, alopecia areata. She has, sensibly, not tried to hide the fact and has a rather stunning array of scalp scarves – mostly silk I suspect.

    • Holly Doyne says:

      scarves are actually more comfortable than wigs. It is just that the hairline is wonky. I find slippery a problem, don’t want to spend my whole time holding on to my scarf! and warmth is also a factor at the present…

  2. Rebecca says:

    Really? Leg hair, GO AWAY!

    And, of course, I hate that you’re going through this, but that doesn’t stop it or help you.

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