Author: Andrea P
So this week marks 13 weeks since last chemo. Chemo actually
lasted 15 weeks. I cut my hair into a short pixie crop before chemo started and
shaved it all off just before second chemo, so I have had no hair for approximately
25 weeks! 25 weeks! By now I thought I
would have had an Annie Lennox style full covering of hair, I really did, I
actually thought I would have that by Valentines day, but that day came and
went, I thought I would have it by the time my cousins came for a visit on the
28th feb, but that wasn’t to be, I thought I would have it by the
time of my best friends birthday on the 17th March, we are actually
going out to celebrate on the 13th and no that is not to be either.
Oh don’t get me wrong I am not totally bald I
do have quite a bit of growth and its quite even all over except for the front
section which kind of makes me look like a balding old man, and according to
most people my hair growth is really good, normal etc.....but that doesn’t stop
me from feeling peed off, fed up and down right jealous of everyone else whose
hair seems to be growing or has grown a lot faster than mine! How can this be?
I am hairy, yes I will admit I am a very hairy woman – I am one of those people
that hair grows really fast, people are always so jealous that I can cut my
hair and it can grow long again so quickly, so what’s happened? I don’t get it?
Maybe I got caught up in the excitement of all those ladies posting pics on my
support group network YBCN whose hair had grown so quick after chemo, full
coverings after five, seven, eight weeks! But me, what about me???
I was never
even shiny bald, I always had a degree of stubbly bits, I never had that shiny
egg head look so how comes ladies with the smooth heads are passing me by with
their hair growth? Okay so I have shaved it down 3 times, in December, January
and February but it needed to be done, the fluff needed to be gone and it
needed to be evened out which it has so I don’t mourn the fluff that is gone by
any means but still........why does the front take so long to come in? Why? I
wonder this when I am sitting on my sofa of an evening watching my evening tele
programmes massaging my head with essential oils which claim to promote healthy
hair growth and I am concentrating on that front area – I kid you not I will
sit there massaging for hours willing that front bit to come in and catch up
with the rest. Every morning I run my fingers along the front section wondering
if when I get up and look in the mirror there will be a change, wondering if
what everyone says is true ‘it just seems to come in overnight’ well I am still
waiting for my overnight miracle.
My bathroom is filled with products for hair
growth, Lush new bar, Fast Shampoo and Conditioner, Alpecin Double strength
shampoo, Nioxin shampoo and conditioner, Lush roots, Nioxin serum and scalp
tonic and Lee Stafford hair growth spray. I mean how many products can one
baldy use on ones head? For a while I even resorted to rubbing the holy water
my dad bought back from the Monastery in Cyprus (which was meant for me to rub
on my bad boob, I think) on my head! Can you imagine being so desperate you are
rubbing holy water on your head? I realise I must seem quite mad, and very
desperate, but I am sick and tired of waiting. I’ve had cancer for god sake, I’ve
been through chemo, surgery and about to embark on a three and a half week
course of radiotherapy and have already started Tamoxifen. I just want to be
normal now, I am fed up now, sick of wigs and hats, sick of looking sick!
while I am having a moan why are my eyelashes taking so long to come back too?
I’ve had bottom lashes for a few weeks now, the top? Hmmm well they are almost
all filled in but sooo short. Again, I am somebody who is usually envied for their
long eyelashes, I just want them back and some hair! I’m not fantasising about
long flowing locks, I don’t care how short or how long it is, I just want
something, just to look normal again.
Maybe it’s because I am so desperate to
put this episode behind me and get on with my life, or maybe it’s because I am
a vain cow. I know I should be happy that the cancer is gone....for now...who
knows what may happen in the future...and that there are many people with more
problems to worry about that a bit of hair and I should shut my mouth and be
grateful and also be grateful that my hair is growing back very dark – my
normal colour and not grey.
All I will say is when you read the chemo handbook
and it tells you to expect an even head growth between 3-6 months you should
believe it and not got get caught up with some of the miracle stories and
pictures you may see because quite frankly it will save you the upset and
disappointment when you are not one of the lucky ones and if you are it will be
a wonderful surprise you weren’t expecting. I wish I listened more to the girls
that told me they didn’t have hair until around month 4 or 5 because I wouldn’t
have been so disappointed now! I was convinced I would be one of the lucky ones!
People keep telling me to be patient! Patient! I have run out of patience, I
really really have! But what else is there? What else is left except for me to
try and think about something else to fill my time and energy on and try and be
a little bit more: In the words of Gary Barlow.... patient.......