Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Goodbye Follicles

I thought I had dandruff. As it turned out, it was just the next lot of hair unloosening itself from the follicles. This is that story...(and some others)

While watching our favourite (at the moment) mocumentary, I scratched my head. I couldn't believe it. There was a moment there where I thought I had discovered that I had dandruff. If I hadn't been receiving chemo that would have been the obvious response. Under the spell of chemo though means that I am more likely be be scratching at a side effect. It was simply dry skin. My scalp was crying out for its daily fix of aqueous cream.

Before stepping into the shower, I admired my shiny head (which isn't so fair anymore) and inspected the disappearing scar (thanks Mr High Intensity Vitamin E cream) from the lumpectomy. I gave my head a good scrub with the cream. I brought my hands around to rinse off the excess cream. It was Tuesday. I forgot! Only then, as I stared at my hands, did the puzzle pieces fall into place (how cliche? who hasn't used that phrase?). Well, they did ok? Tuesday, one week after chemo, has been when hair things happen. There was hair all over my hand. I reached around and pinched at bits of hair. I could actually pull them out. It didn't hurt, at all. I could feel nothing. The last ones.

Although only minor, I have experienced pain in my fingernails. I've been knocking my fingers into everything. And, they are actually sensitive. I must have always given my fingernails a good bashing in my day to day movement, but now I am feeling it. That coupled with the discolouration of my nail, closest to my cuticle, in some fingers, is my most discomforting side effect today. I can't complain.

Another good point? The fatigue is still there but certainly not as intense as that which I experienced after my last round of chemo. I'm feeling pretty good!

The red splotch is back though, sort of. After it changed to a dark patch on my cheek bone it never completely disappeared. Now, with the poisons of the latest chemo swimming around my system, there is redness again. It is still limited to one side of my face. But, it is growing. I do have a prescription for it, but that was only if it became pimply. And, that hasn't happened yet. So, I'll be like Mariah Carey and only have photos taken of my good side.

I keep forgetting to include an interesting quote from child number one. The other day, I was asked, "Mum, will you die after your last chemo?" The question was posed without emotion, matter-of-factly. I wasn't even upset that it was posed. But, it did present to me that I needed to have another chat about the whole breast cancer process. Because, quite clearly, what I had said, and what child number one could see was a little confusing. I will look for a casual, no-big-deal opportunity to discuss cancer with the four year old again.

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