the next day
December 7, 2006 § 8 Comments
The day after my first chemo treatment I was scheduled to meet with my Oncology Social Worker, Hester Hill. Hester earned her stripes in not one, but two battles with breast cancer. When she talked to me about hair loss and counting down the days, I listen, slacked jawed and nauseous.
Somewhere between 14 and 21 days after my first treatment, they tell me I will lose my hair. The betting group puts money on day 17. December 4th + 17 days = December 21st. There is no elegant exit or dramatic moment when my hair falls out at once. Instead it will come out in patches when touched or brushed. I can look forward to a constant shed. I’ve arranged for my cleaning lady to come every two weeks.
Pretending to have some control. I have an appointment to get a haircut. Not the usual cut and color, blow dry and fluff with styling gel and a touch of hold. This haircut will be an inch or two shy of a buzz cut and if Ed will see me I will be his first client on December 16th. The plan here is to minimize the subsequent molting on the new furniture.
For the record, there is so much practical advice out there about losing your hair, sleep with a towel, throw a screen over the drain, do spare the plumber unnecessary trauma.
After Hester’s appointment, I was in for a shot of bone boosting Neulasta, standard treatment when dense dosing chemotherapy. That’s chemo every 2 weeks vs. 3 weeks. No surprise I opted for the express lane as long as they accept my ez-pass and white cell count. If this phase can be over in four months rather than six months, I will do my best to tolerate cannon balls in my belly and debilitating fatigue.
Hair loss, bone-boosting shots I forgot to draw blood for the genetic test yesterday. Yes, I just walked out of the hospital happily by-passing the parking clerks because cancer boys and girls get 3 hours of parking for free. I went home. I must have called someone. I forget whom. I must have cried to someone, I forget whom. I went on line to research wigs. I got into bed and cried, Frannie lent me her softest pillow to hug. That helped.
After learning that my health insurance company will give me a $500 allowance to buy a wig, I’m actually looking forward to the adventure with DD and LB in tow. For sure I will try on the dreadlocks, the blond bombshell and the blue black asian number. Pictures forthcoming.