I always knew that most people on chemotherapy lose their hair, but I never really thought about the process. So here's what I went through for any of you interested...
My onc. said I'd lose my hair by three weeks from my first treatment. I first noticed it starting to fall out when we were in the emergency room which was about day 6. I remember looking down at my pillow and seeing that it was covered in hair-- probably about 20 strands.
Over the next few days I noticed extra hair in my brush and strands of it on my clothes and pillow. About 2 weeks into treatment I could run my hands through my hair and pull out about a half a dozen strands every time.
My onc. had warned me that many people "poo-poo" the emotional effects of hair loss and that I should be prepared for it to be a bit traumatic. I think, at this point, when I was pulling out handfuls at a time, my first thought was that losing my hair made me feel sick. It seemed like a visible, tangible reminder that I'm not well. And that bugged me more than my impending baldness. By 2 weeks and 1 day I was shedding really badly. Hair was getting in my food, on my toothbrush, on the furniture. I even found a strand wrapped around Caleb's pacifier. At this point, I thought that shaving it off sounded like it would be a relief. Anything would be better than being reminded of my illness everytime I saw more hair fall to the floor. Plus, by this time, the hair I had left on my head was thinning a lot and I couldn't really style it anymore anyway.
I'd hoped my hair would last through today so I could go to church one more time with my own hair. But when I took a bath Friday night and saw how much hair was in the water, I gave up and decided to let Terry cut it off.
We'd been telling Micah that I was going to lose my hair and I thought it would be better for him to see me have it cut, so he was there when Terry pulled out the scissors. He's the one who took most of the pictures. Here's my "Before" pic. My hair looks surprisingly full because I'd just washed and blow dryed it.