OK, admit it...you knew I was going to use this one!
This weekend, though not as bad as the first chemo crash, was still not a pleasant one. Saturday another sister-in-law was going to be in town, and a third sister-in-law (and brother-in-law) decided to drive down from upstate to all say "hi" and go out to dinner. I was hoping to go; but really knew in my heart that it was not looking good. A fourth sister-by-the-law also joined them and since most of us live far away from each other, it was like a mini-family reunion. They came to the house to give hugs and encouragement, and then left for dinner. And I cried not to be able to share that time with them. But I just needed my bed and to pull the covers over my head, which I did.
Saturday was the beginning of the "hair shower". I couldn't even brush my hair without large clumps sticking to the brush. I just left it alone and didn't touch it. However, it was shedding everywhere. I finally gave in and put on one of the scarves I had purchased. I just couldn't stand looking at myself anymore--or--seeing the hair scatter in the air behind me.
Sunday morning, I woke up to a lot of hair on my pillow and even bigger clumps coming out. It was truly scary. My hand was shaking as I would touch a section and come away with big bunches of my soft hair. I decided I couldn't go to church, I needed time to reconcile to this; and honestly, wasn't feeling all that great anyway. My sister-in-law said maybe if I showered, and the loose hair came out, I would feel better. I agreed. My mistake was in doing this once she and my husband left the house.
I turned the shower on and the hot water poured over me. I did put shampoo to my head, but just came away with more and more hair. I stood watching as my hair ran in rivulets down my shoulders. I had to keep pulling it out of the drain and it was piling up on the side of the bathtub. I was shaking, but stayed in there watching this happen. Finally, I got out and started to dry myself. Suddenly, I felt so dizzy and lightheaded and saw spots in front of my eyes. I was more scared of passing out than I ever was in my life. I practically crawled to the bedroom phone to call my husband to "please come home, I'm not well". Fortunately, he is an EMT, so he had an idea what might be happening. He came in, opened the windows and made me breathe in the air while he took my pulse and blood pressure. After a while, I began to feel better. Not great, but better. He made me something to eat. I really had not been eating well. He said that I probably stayed in the hot shower too long and since my counts are at their lowest point, I was compromising the oxygen in my blood even more. That's the last time I will do that without anyone in the house!
That afternoon, my sister-in-law and I wanted to watch some movies to get our minds off of everything. My DVD went crazy and I needed to disconnect it. Of course, then I am crawling around trying to get just the TV working and not being able to figure it out (forget my husband who is technology impaired). But, I am realizing that I have the energy to do this now thankfully. Although I did finally have to call my much loved nephew to come and save the day, which he did and for which I an extremely thankful.
I was still bothered by my hair, though. It was just hanging sporadically in places and I looked like a horror movie. I put the scarf on and slept with it all night so no one had to look at me.
This morning, I was feeling a little better and more resigned to this bald thing. The wind was blowing wild outside, so I took my scarf and let the wind take away some more hair (I didn't even think I had this much hair!) And then I just put my whole head out the window and shook some more into the wind. It was some how exhilarating to do that! I called a neighbor who has three boys thinking she might have one of those hair cutting things and she did! She came over and trimmed my hair down to a very low crew cut and I am feeling so much better! It doesn't look quite so horrifying and actually, not bad at all ( if you like that kind of thing). And I loved that she didn't even bat an eye when she saw me (said she had seen this before, and not to worry) and even told me how cute I looked afterward. Gotta love her!
So, Hair that was...is now no more. And that's that.