Posted on October 4, 2015
Right back when I first heard about this second line Folfiri chemo, I didn’t fancy the sound of it. Two week cycles instead of three, two days attached to the cock bottle, the sheer fact that it was “second line” chemo, as effective it may be, it does mean I have exhausted the effectiveness of the “first line”.
The thing, and I know this is stupid, that worried me the most was the potential for hair loss on Folfiri. Fifty percent lose it, and everyone else “thins” so I was told.
A couple of days later I started noticing that a few strands were coming out when I was brushing or styling it. I tried to ignore it, tried to tell myself that it was just going to thin a bit, tried not to have an epic fucking panic. Yesterday, I brushed it after a shower and the brush kinda filled up. OK, this is not good. Determined not to let this beat me, and we had an afternoon of celebrating my friend Huey’s birthday planned. So, I went out with a headscarf on, so I wouldn’t keep touching it. I look pretty happy, I can do this, right?
THESE were the festivities this morning:
The crazy thing is that it’s more than hair for me. Some time in the last couple of years this girl:
Gave way to this girl:
It speaks to me deeply of what the last couple of years have meant. It started to define the new person I was becoming the day I walked into that hairdresser and said I want to stop hiding and start living. That day was a line in the sand, I was never going back to what I was, only forward. It said I was brave enough to live bold, brash and courageous. It said I wasn’t scared to be me.
It’s “only” hair, but it’s kinda more to me. And so, in this time of extreme and constant loss, I have to lose another thing. I have to realise that I am not defined by my hair, my clothes, the fact that my existence has so far certainly not FELT, but LOOKED cancer free. I feel like the minute I wield the clippers, I will become the true face of cancer, it will confront me in a way it never has before. I know I will get through it, it is the person that I am that speaks most loudly to people. But lordy, it’s kicking my arse.
And on a final note, this is chemo for life. FOR LIFE. FOREVER. Once it’s gone, I might never have hair again…for the rest of my life.
I hope like hell you never have to KNOW.