Archive for the ‘stupid chemo-haircut’ Category

The whole hair story in 6 pictures

September 10, 2009
So this is what I have been working on lately….actually, photographer Bill Jordan has been doing all the work.   Tell me what you think. 
 
Who's this cute girl and where did she go?  This was taken before my surgery in May, when I still had all my original parts, including all that curly hair!

Who's this cute girl and where did she go? This was taken before my surgery (bilateral mastectomy and partial reconstruction) in May 2009. I still had all my original parts, including eyebrows and all that curly hair! At this moment in time, I honestly can't imagine I'm ever going to look like this again.

 

 

The last hair picture.  Just before I got the shortshort haircut I needed a little fortification.
The last hair picture.

 

 

Shortly after my first chemotherapy treatment in the middle of June '09 I decided to get a shortshort haircut so that when I lot my hair it wouldn't be such a shock.  This was harder for me to take than I thought it would be.  I couldn't get used to this look at all.  Didn't matter much though, the $50. haircut only lasted about a week before it fell apart.  Literally.
Shortly after my first chemotherapy treatment in the middle of June ’09 I decided to get a shortshort haircut so that when I lost my hair it wouldn’t be such a shock. This was harder for me to take than I thought it would be. I couldn’t get used to this look at all. Didn’t matter much though, the $50. haircut only lasted a few days before it fell apart. Literally.

 

 

When even my shortshort hair was falling out just by running my fingerrs through my hair I couldn't stand it anymore and got my head shaved.   coolPaula's daughter Mattie did the job in their backyard, giving me a mohawk first before completing the job.  I felt giddy, funny, crazy, and goofy and had about as much fun as humanly possible as losing your hair to chemotherapy can be.
When my shortshort hair began falling out in bunches I couldn’t stand it anymore and got my head shaved.  coolPaula’s daughter, Mattie “buzzed” my head in their backyard, giving me a mohawk first before completing the job. I felt giddy, funny, crazy, and goofy and had about as much fun as humanly possible as losing your hair to chemotherapy can be.

 

 

This is pretty much how I spent my summer vacation.  That notebook went everywhere with me, it's where every appointment and important imformation is recorded.   Yea, I know, it's not a pretty picture, an even less pretty memory.  On this particular day I received the disappointing news that yes, I should consider radiation.  I wasn't ready for that news.
This is pretty much how I spent most of my summer vacation. That notebook went everywhere with me, it’s where every appointment and important bit of information is recorded. Yea, I know, it’s not a pretty picture, an even less pretty memory. On this particular day I received the disappointing news that yes, I should consider radiation. I wasn’t really ready for that at all.
 
 
This was one of the more fun days in August, when I tried on several "Cranial Prosthetics" at Renee's Survival Shop.  This is the "Karen" wig....isn't it amazing how hair changes your apearance?

This was one of the good days in August, when I tried on several "Cranial Prosthetics" at Renee's Survival Shop. This is the "Karen" wig....isn't it amazing how hair changes your appearance? I had a blast going through a dozen different "looks", but in the end did not buy one. I have a few borrowed wigs, but only wear them when Charlie asks me to. Must be hard to be eight and have a mom with a shaved head who runs around hatless....

 

All photos were taken by William Jordan.  He’s been a busy guy this summer, as he has followed me to nearly every doctors appointment, while also running his business, preparing for a unique Art Gallery Opening and Show, completing other photography jobs, plus running his urban farm (real crops and chickens, too!)   If you would like to see more of his work go to:  http://www.williamjordanphotography.com/

no nerve

July 8, 2009

So, no, I didn’t have the nerve to take the hat off today, day 1 of baldness.  I went to the hardware store, and raspberry-picking at  Rich and Susan’s home and then to the grocery store.  Felt a little exposed and embarrassed by all the grey hair.  I know how stupid that sounds.  I kind of have a Sean Connery look going, except not so handsome or tanned.

Tomorrow maybe I’ll just leave the hat at home.  I’m going to cancer friendly places, The Victory Center for energy work with Veronica and then to Dr. Barones office.  Except at Barone’s,  all the women who work there are really beautiful, then there will be me, the ugly duckling.  I have really taken to admiring women with beautiful hair, nice clothes and attractive figures (OK, I admit it, I am looking at their breasts………. with a little sadness, but mostly admiration.) 

Sound kind of pathetic, don’t I?  Well, don’t feel too sorry for me, it’s really not all that bad.  I had a bit of bad luck in drawing the cancer card, but overall, things could be so much worse.  I am truly grateful for all I have, and that starts with all my friends, like you.  Thank you again for the cards, emails, food, gifts and love.

 

How do you pull out the chemo-stubble on top of your head?

July 7, 2009

Well, now that’s a question I never dreamed I’d spend half a day wondering about!

So.  Last night, I went to cool-Paula’s house to get a shave.  Entire head.  Good thing her teenage daughter was there to drive the clippers while Paula collected the hair.   We even shaved a mohawk in place just for fun, but 50 year old women with salt & pepper hair don’t look that good in mohawks.  So off it all came.  I thought I might be a bit more crabby than I am about it, but for now I’m just avoiding mirrors. 

Talk aboout a transition.  I haven’t yet gone out into the general public with the new look, but I just got a call from Mill’s Hardware telling me my screens are ready.  I think I’ll see if I have the nerve to walk in without the ballcap to pick ’em up.  (Probably not.)

So here I am.  One roly-poly round partly constructed breast, one sad, not-ready-for-construction cancer chest, shaved, five-o’clock-shadow-head, and believe it or not, I really feel pretty much “OK”.

Except for the creepy stubble icky feeling on top of my head. 

So, other than shaving, how DO you get the 1/16th inch stubble out!!  Please respond with any and all ideas!  I’ll try about anything at this point….what do I have to lose?  I’ll report back here the best solution.

Hair by Chemotherapy

July 4, 2009
This is how much hair I still have today (7-4-09)
This is how much hair I still have today (7-4-09)

 

 

 

 

So far, Dr. Schott has been right on target with all her information.  She suggested that my hair would be brittle in two weeks and fall out in three.  So, last week I got a short haircut, whined about it for a day or so, then actually began to kind of like it!  Too bad it is falling out in huge, big clumps now.   Stupid Cancer.   Maybe one of my local friends will take pity on me and offer to shave it all off.  I’ve been practicing tying cool scarves around my head (thanks Yvonne for the gifts!) and getting used to the feeling.  So today I picked some more beautiful rhubarb to make pies for super neighbors, the Jaegers, and the Unitarians (tomorrow is potluck Sunday!) and thought perhaps I better wrap one of my new scarves around my hair lest it fall out while I was cooking.  (I know, that is a terrible thought.)

This last week has been a pretty good one, too.  Friday night we went to a lovely holiday party where there were a bunch of kids and then watched the fireworks over the Maumee River.  The weather was great, and the company was even better.  Also this week I’ve met two of my neighbors, Nikki and Diana, both have had breast cancer.  We all live within two blocks of each other, and of course, made an instant bond.

I feel pretty good, except for the fatigue, which hasn’t been too bad.  I’ve been exercising more, walking between 30 and 45 minutes per day.  Plus, I had a meeting with a fitness trainer to work on abdominal muscles.  Since the top half of me looks so…ah..”unusual” I decided it was time to “tone it up” everywhere else.  I still don’t feel right in the chest area.  It is so weird to flex your pectoralis muscle though some random daily action and then to feel the expander implant move around.  Then I just start flexing the pec’s just to watch the action of the right breast…it is so strange, and strange that I am amused by it all, too.

 Well, I am just grateful to feel as good as I do for this day.  In five more days I will travel up to Ann Arbor again for the second round of chemo.  Hopefully the anxiety demons will leave me alone this week.  Send good thoughts my way on Thursday afternoon.

 

 

From Rhubarb Pie Bliss to Chemotherapy Haircut….what a day….

July 2, 2009
Rhubarb from the back yard, eggs from Bill

Rhubarb from the back yard, eggs from Bill

You know, yesterday I woke up early and knew the first thing I was going to do was make that Rhubarb Pie.  My friend Martha was so generous to send four beautiful homemade crusts to me because she somehow found out that I was bummed out about the fact that I don’t yet have the stamina and strength to make a pie crust and the filling for the pie, too.  Stupid cancer. 

I love making pie.  I could talk and talk about pies, pie-making, and what a good home-made piece of pie can do for the soul.  Life is too short to eat “store-bought” pie, and good pie must be shared.  When I had my first baby (Louie) in 1998, I became a stay-at-home-mom and decided that I needed some kind of little research project that I could work on at home to provide a distraction from the obsession I had of adoring that beautiful little baby boy every second of the day.  I thought that logically, I should become a champion cookie maker, since cookies and kids just go together naturally, but try as I might, I couldn’t find a passion for cookie baking. 

Then, I came up with pie.  At the time, we were living in Scottsdale, not exactly a pie center of the world, but having grown up in Ohio, I had a pretty good idea about what made a great pie.  It was a good match for me.  I found that it can be tough to make a great flaky piecrust in the desert, but eventually I was able to produce a respectable pie.  And here’s one thing I learned, when you have a good pie, you must share it.  Share with neighbors, friends, your secretary, co-workers, or whoever appears in your life on the day the pie is made. 

 

Two Rhubarb Custard Pies with a modified "dutch-apple' topping and a little Wheat-free Rhubarb dessert.

Two Rhubarb Custard Pies with a modified "dutch-apple' topping and a little Wheat-free Rhubarb dessert.

So making and sharing a great pie, is really kind of like a religious experience to me.  It’s what “love thy neighbor” is all about, and at the same time, makes me feel good, too.  Yesterday, I knew I needed a good karma infusion, so Rhubarb Custard Pie was the first thing on my agenda. 

So, Charlie helped pick the rhubarb, Bill gathered the eggs, Martha made the pie-crusts, and I chopped and mixed the filling and baked the pie. One pie went to Martha, Bill & cool-Paula, and we kept the other one, parsing out some nice pieces to neighbors Lucille & Bill and Pat.  I figured that had to be worth at least a heaping cupfull of good vibes…..because I figured I needed it for the chemotherapy haircut planned for later in the evening.

Stupid Chemotherapy Haircut

I knew I wouldn’t do well with letting my hair just fall out in dribs and drabs, so when Dr. Schott, my Oncologist gave me the “estimated time of fall-out” I made an appointment to get a short haircut.  I thought that perhaps it wouldn’t be such a shock to my system if I went from my midlength thick curly hair (that was my hair, at the top of the blog) to short hair, before going to no hair.  Cindi, a great stylist, cut it short-short, like I asked for.  I hate it-hate-it.  I spent last night and some of today being grumpy-grumpy.  Realistically, I guess it isn’t all that bad, I just can’t look at a mirror and admit to liking it very much.  Suddenly without the cover of intensely curly hair, it seems as if all my imperfections have been magnified, and at 50 years old, I have my share.  So I guess I need more make-up and “bling”……yet, at the same time I am ashamed of myself for being so….superficial.  My God, I only need 4 chemo treatments, and here I am whining about my hair….  So that’s it.  No more complaining from me.  I am grateful for all that I have, so many marvelous friends and a good husband and kids.