Friday, 17 June 2011

(Nearly) Bald, Old Git

I was convinced that my hair would simply fall out; all at the one time. I could sweep it away and move on. My head would be shiny and smooth. That did not happen. Instead my hair has been falling out a little at a time. I don't like that. I have had to clean out the shower drain after each shower and then sweep the bathroom floor because there is hair everywhere! It's gross. I don't want that. I slept with my hat on last night, because the idea of having hair on my pillow is not appealing. I don't need that. So, my plans to shave my head, thursday night, did not go ahead. That's ok. It can be done today, friday. All that means is that I will wear my blue hat for a little longer.

Today was going to be busy. But, since I hadn't had one of those for a while, I was really looking forward to it. I picked up my chemo friend and we shared tea and biscuits. It was so encouraging to speak with someone who also has breast cancer. We shared our stories and drew strength from each other. Although, I reckon it was more me receiving strength. What a strong woman my friend is.

After a picnic out in the sun, shared with my children and a scabbing magpie, I felt satisfied that I had received my dosage of vitamin D. It was then we were greeted by our second visitors for the day. A good friend came to visit with her two children. Again, it was great just to catch up. It was like I was making up for the absence of socialising the week before. Another positive session.

When the children were in the bath, the husband gave me my haircut. He wasn't too keen on having to do this for me (it just felt so wrong), but I couldn't take the sensation my hair was giving me anymore.

You know the feeling you get when you brush your hair against the way it naturally falls. Well, multiply that and that was the feeling I had had enough of.

I didn't shed a tear. I actually don't mind my new look. And, honestly, if it wasn't for the two facts that it is winter and that other people may feel uncomfortable, I wouldn't even bother with the headgear. I am really surprised by that. I had definitely expected to feel a lot more self-conscious. So, another hurdle has been jumped.

My day, though, was not over. I ditched the husband and children for a night out with workmates. It was a good night.

As I approach the end of my three week cycle, I can definitely vouch that chemo does indeed take you on a roller coaster ride. There have been ups and downs. And, for at least this round, it hasn't been too bad. Of course, another lesson has been learnt.

The prevailing message for me here is to acknowledge weakness and seek help. Often, I have thought that doing things on my own was me demonstrating strength. It is in fact weakness to act in that way. True strength acknowledges weakness and accepts when help is given or seeks help out. As I have mentioned, on numerous occasions, I have had great support. This week though, the supported I needed, without even realising it, is that of women who are currently experiencing what I am. I am so thankful for the friendships that have begun to form. And, if I hadn't stepped out and sought help, chemo may still be daunting. It's not now. I am pretty excited to be meeting up with friends on Tuesday (Chemo Session #2)!

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