Remember the combover guy in the Hamlet ad? For those not in the UK (or not old enough to remember the originals of things like Dynasty, the Italian Job and talking watches) here’s a little gem to bring you up to speed…
Well before you ask, no; I don’t look like that. Well not yet, anyway. But if last time is anything to go by, I may do soon?!
Last time I had chemo, my hair started to fall out two weeks after my first IV injection. As they were two-week cycles, that was also the day of my second IV injection. So I’m not exactly sure if it was the second week or second hit that kicked things off, but it was a pretty weird experience and affected me in a different way to how I expected. The full story is on the Boxy’s Boob Job blog (here), but in short; it wasn’t so much losing my hair, it was seeing it everywhere – in the shower, on the floor, on my clothes, on my pillow, everywhere. And it hurt – my follicles became really weak and sensitive, so every time I touched my head, it hurt (great when you’re wearing hats in winter!) In the end, I decided to take control – I shaved the lot and had a ‘baldie-off’ with my dad!
This time round, I was planning to do the same, but we’ve had a bit of a false start…
I love crazy hair
While it’s been growing back, I’ve had some fun with it; trying different colours, styles, lengths, all sorts. But the current look has to be the most random, because I just don’t know what it’s doing?!
Firstly, I’ve already lost some hair as a result of the radiotherapy. This fell out exactly the same way as last time, in clumps over a few days. But because it’s only fallen out where I was ‘zapped’, I now have two random bald strips making a T-shape on the right of my head.
Secondly; because of how my hair was last cut, I have a parting on the left with longer hair on the right, so this is covering my bald strips (and avoiding the rush to shave the rest off).
Thirdly; my hair is naturally thick, and post-chemo hair tends to grow back even thicker, so the hair on the left of my head (unaffected my surgery or radiation) is pretty much as it was before – super thick. But the ‘combover’ which is hiding the T-strips is literally just that – a combover – so the longer hair on the right of my head is really thin.
The result is like a really bad, single-sided undercut!
But I’m not sure if it’s still growing?
Last time, when it fell out, it fell out everywhere. I don’t just mean all over my place but from all over my body – my head, eyebrows, eyelashes, nostrils, ears, armpits, and yes, everything below (I saved a fortune in waxing and shaving!) But again, because that’s what happened last time, that’s what I was expecting to happen again. But it hasn’t?
I’m flummoxed! The hair on my head is still growing, but not on the T-strips… facial hair is currently intact, and coverage in the lower regions has actually now stopped growing?
So the big question is…
Hang on, before that… my chemo nurse told me that different chemo drugs take different lengths of time to affect hair loss, so it could take longer this time round, or possibly not even happen at all? Ah man, that’s helpful!
So what do I do? My barnet’s a mess and needs tidying up. I don’t want to brave the shave it if it’s not going to fall out again, especially while my swollen face looks like an extra from ‘First Man’. But I don’t want cancer to get there first – I want to own this again!
Today is four weeks since my first IV injection, and I’ve just had my second, so I think if it’s gonna happen, it’ll happen this week.
Watch this space people, I’ll keep you posted!