Anyone who has been following my blog for a while will be quite familiar with my on-going hair dilemma! Ironically, when I lost all of my hair just two weeks after starting chemo, I was not the least bit disturbed. I had heard many stories of women whose pre-chemo hair was replaced by a head of luxurious curls when their chemo ended. I never did really like my hair; it was too thin, too fine, and too mousey brown. I would gladly sacrifice that hair for a big mane of sexy curls!
After chemo ended, I would rush off to a mirror every morning and examine my head under a bright light, eagerly anticipating my chemo curls. But alas, they never appeared. Instead of the prize winning locks, I got the consolation prize: even thinner than before, baby fine hair, with what I can only describe as bald patches on the top and sides. Yes folks, I had been ripped off! At that point, I would have given anything to have my old fine, mousey hair back.
Since losing my hair, I have learned to be creative in disguising my near-baldness, with the use of:
And Hairbands (hint: I would rub dark brown eye shadow on the exposed areas of the scalp)
I can handle the loss of my breast. With the prosthesis, it isn’t even noticeable. I can cope with the hot flashes. I just deep breathe my way through them. But the lack of hair is one side effect of chemo that really put a dent in my self-esteem.
Female baldness. Even the words strike horror in the hearts of women. Although my chemo ended 17 months ago, hair loss is also one of the side effects of the drug Tamoxafin, which I have been prescribed for five years. So with no promise of hair in the near future, I desperately went surfing the net.
Between the snake oils and witches brews (all of which I tried of course), I found a medicated product called Women’s Rogaine. I am reluctant to put anything on or in my body which could potentially do harm, so I talked to my oncologist and a pharmacist at the cancer center, and they assured me it is safe. (If you decide to try this, DO talk to your health care provider first!) The effects were very slow and subtle, but it worked! I wish I had a before picture to share, but I was too ashamed to have a photo taken of my near-baldness. But I sort of looked like this:
(well at least in MY mind, that’s how I looked).
Here is my new hair, since I started using Women’s Rogaine:
(Excuse the extreme close up, I am not good at “selfies”) No, I’m no Farrah Fawcett, not even a Halle Berry, but at least people no longer point and laugh when I walk by, and hardly any little kids start to cry and run away when they see me. I am joking of course, but it just goes to show how my lack of hair affected my self-image. I still use wigs when dressing up for formal events, but on a day to day basis, I go with what the good Lord and the people at Rogaine gave me!
(P.S….I have changed my facebook like page, so check above if you still LIKE!)