Everyone is fascinated with your hair once you have cancer. Usually after you tell someone that you have, “the cancer” the first question they ask is about your hair. They always ask if you will lose your hair or if it will thin out. That seems to be the question I get on a regular basis. It’s as if everyone is waiting for my hair to fall out because of my new oral chemo medication I take on a daily basis.
I lost all my hair after my first round of inpatient chemo. It was about 10 days after when I noticed a huge chunk had fallen out after I scratched my head. My major concern was where do I put my hair. I obviously placed it in the trash but I wasn’t sure what to do if I was in a public place. That question was quickly answered when later that afternoon I had an appointment with a nutritionist at the cancer center. After entering the exam room my head was really itchy. Not thinking I quickly itched my scalp and clumps started flying everywhere. They were on the ground and in my hand. Well this is awkward. This really wasn’t a barbershop so it would be really weird if the nutritionist walked in and saw hair everywhere. I quickly grabbed the chunks and threw them in the trash.
After my nutrition appointment we went to get my head shaved by the woman who cuts my hair. Luckily I already had a short hair cut so I didn’t have a lot of hair to lose. After shaving my head it felt like I had instant air conditioning. It definitely felt weird but I knew I would get use to it eventually. I no longer would have to worry about what to do with my chunks of hair that fell out. I wasn’t upset about losing my hair because I knew it was just part of the process. Plus everyone kept saying how I had a nicely shaped head. Then again most people had no idea what to say to me so that seemed to be the number one comment I would get. “You’re so lucky that you have a nice shaped head” was the top comment I would get. Then again it wasn’t like they were going to say, “it’s a shame your head is a weird shape and now you’re bald.”
In January my hair started growing back and I immediately knew it was going to be curly. Since I lost it in September everyone asked me what I was going to do if it came in curly. My standard answer was that I was going to get it chemically straightened. Well if you have seen me recently you obviously know that never happened. I knew it was going to be curly because whenever it got wet or sweaty it would immediately turn into tiny curls. I looked like I had just had a perm. I let it grow and am still waiting to see what it will do next.
My most recent discovery with my hair is that it is slowly starting to turn white. One of the side effects of my oral chemo I take on a daily basis is having white or silver colored hair. I didn’t believe it until I was brushing my hair and noticed that at the roots it was starting to change into a white color. My hair is a dark brown so when I took a closer look I knew right away the days of white hair have arrived. Little did I know that I would experience it in my 20’s rather than later in life. When I saw my orthopedic surgeon in July and told him I might have white hair the next time I see him he was very excited. He was one of the few people that thought it was awesome rather than asking me if I will dye it.
It’s not every day that you see someone in there 20’s with white hair. It will probably be awhile until my hair turns completely white. Until then I will probably start to look like a skunk. Who knows I may just cut my hair really short and start fresh again. I guess we all will just have to wait and see what happens.