Barbershop Quartet

I caught my silhouette in the mirror as I walked through the house in the wee hours this morning. I almost had to laugh at how pathetic my head looked; no better than a feral dog with mange. So like any smart girl who thought a double latte at 7pm was a good idea, I threw out my plans to master a comb over for Halloween and went looking for the hair clippers.

At 2am, the house filled with the sound of buzzers and I bravely went past the point of no return. It gave me an unexpected feeling of relief as I went to town on what was left of my naturally blond hair. I dare say I smiled as I ran my hand across newly sheared head; like I'd been carrying anxiety around in the tips of my stringy mullet and I just let the weight of it fall off my shoulders as the hair fell off my head.

Clearly I've been fooling the world with the naturalness of my blond hair!
For the next few weeks, Kyle can walk around with his shinny head held high, knowing for once he has more hair than me. Then the side-effects will start to wear off and I can quickly remind him of what it actually looks like to grow hair on the top of your head. Enjoy your brief domination, honey, for soon I will actually need things like deep conditioner and hair dryers again!


The Whig and Tory Party

National Wig Day finally arrived.

I had to deny myself the opportunity to wear a dress and some patent leather peep toes earlier in the week because the required hat was a total fashion buzz kill. I opted for wedges and a fedora to go with my newly self-cut mullet and looked a little more trendy than I'd hoped.

Another week of evening social outings could not pass by. Happy hour in a hat was getting old. I longed for lush long locks again, even if they previously were on someone else's head or some horse's behind.

Ironically, most people prefer the fake stuff and I have to say I was shocked at how real it looks. A lot more real than it appeared online.

As much as a longed for chunky bangs or changing up my hair color without actually having to change up my hair, I felt most comfortable in my current (or rather former) hair color and a long, slightly stacked bob. Now, to sit back and enjoy some hair that never gets roots, hours I'll never have to spend at the salon and being able to get ready faster than Kyle.

Here are my wigging fails:
Just a little too plain, blah and layered for me.
Though I like the "cut," I found the color a little too one dimensional. Like I got my blond from a box. Oh wait, this did come from a box! I'm so use to having longer hair, so I felt a little naked...says the girl whose head is practically naked.
And the Oscar goes to...
Ahhhhh, back to its original condition.
Bad highlight job and all, this baby is made from fake hair and is woven into a lace cap for a more "real" effect. Fake hair with a fake scalp.  


Beauty School Reject

I wasn't putting off the inevitable, but the sad state of my stringy hair had merely become too much to bear. A bulk of it was the wiry, kinky regrowth from last year, so long and silky it was not.

Sure, it was fine under a hat with a thin little pony tail sticking out most of the time. I've been easily surviving that way for the last few months. But even that little pony tail had become overly sad.

Rather than take the buzzers to it, I opted to just take a tiny pair of beard trimming scissors and do my best. Let the hair stylist of the world cringe, but what's left of my hair is not worthy of a real cut.

My initial mission was to take it down a notch to make shaving easier. But until I can secure a wig and some type of hair cover to absorb sweat during Spin class and keep the sun off while wearing a hat on a day to day basis, the hair stays.

The sexiness I've been hiding under my hat. Good thing I'm married to a bald man, so he has no room to complain.

I'm being very brave here in my first post-cut photo. 1. I'm showing you what life without a flat iron looks like. 2. I'm showing you why hair cutting should be left to the professionals. 3. I'm showing you what me without eyelashes looks like.

Not bad from this angle. Just don't ask for a bird's eye view. In the end, this will be easier to get under my new swim cap, as I prepare to train for the 2016 Olympics.


I'm a Winner

This last week, I found myself especially defeated in this lovely battle I'm waging.

Though I know I'm winning the most important part, I feel like my body is succombing to all the insignificant parts.

Aside from my weight, the nausea, the peeling phalanges and the occasions where Kyle sees me sprinting to the bathroom, knocking small children down along the way, there are other side effects which are really starting to stack up like 9am traffic on the 405 freeway. But this last week, both my upstairs and my downstairs fueled my defeatist feelings with a passion all their own.

Between hardly being able to walk or sit because of one end, and having a hard time drinking, eating and swallowing because of mouth sores on the other end, I was just mildly irratable to be around. Cranky or bitchy at times might even be a better description if you asked Kyle. When one cannot participate in both ends of the digestive process without misery, it is easy to become discouraged.

I'll have to give Kyle complete praise, as he called me from the store while on a beer run a couple of weeks ago, and I begged him to bring me every product Preparation H made. What kind of man can walk up to the cashier with his craft IPAs in one hand and various other obvious packages in the other with his head held high? My man can.

But how was I a winner this week? Oh, that would be Wednesday, when I went in for my off-week labs. My nurse came up to me and exclaimed that I was the winner. And what did I win? I took 1st place for the lowest blood counts of the day. Yeah! For the first time, I was considered "critically low" with my white blood cells (WBCs), and those neutrophils (ANCs) were practically non-exsistant. Like .01, non-existant. Like perfectly legal to drive in most states, non-existant.

I was secretly hoping I might get admitted for a little overnight "vacation" at the hospital, but it was a round of shots instead. She said I needed to stay away from snotty kids and go home and put a mask on. I was at the point where I was so sick I need to wear a mask, yet I felt perfectly fine. Or at least 99.5% of me did. I was sitting in a cozy recliner, still only able to lean on one cheek, so I think she knew despite feeling great, I wasn't headed to Spin class any time soon.

I ended up getting 3 "big boy" (480mg vs. the regular 300mg) shots over 3 days, and sat there even more defeated as she tried to find enough fat on my thigh to inject me. They caught up with me by Friday night, and I crashed fast and hard with the aches and flu-like symptons they bring on. I laid in bed with a heating pad on my achy neck (caused by the bone marrow going into WBC-producing overdrive), and hoping it would make me warm enough to stop shivering from the fever.

And in all of this, if you ran into me at Target, the most obvious thing that separates me from everyone else is my fedora-covered excuse for a ponytail. But that ends up being the most minor of concerns for me. The hair loss doesn't even bother me at this point, as it's the one side-effect that currently isn't causing me any pain. Everything else, the mouth sores, the raw finger tips, the peeling feet--those are all painful reminders of what I'm putting into my body.

My infusion nurse even told me to pay careful attention, as the peeling can quickly turn into skin completely schluffing off. Amazing that I'm intentionally doing this to myself; obviously for the best and most important of reasons. It has still worn me down emotionally this week. More so than the defeat I feel trying to apply mascara to my 5 remaining bottom eyelashes.

As of now, I should have 3 more rounds before I get a break and some "maintenance" chemo. I think a few strands of hair will make it to the end, and hopefully the rest of my body can hang on.

I'm on for tomorrow, as those 3 shots amazingly paid off. My counts were still low today, but high enough in the world of chemo.

I'd show you what was on the other side of that bump, but it's very ugly. And painful. And it invited 2 other friends to the party. One on the tip of my tongue and one on the left side of my throat. That right there was all it took to turn me into Debbie Downer for the weekend.