Day 16

Sixteen days after your first chemo session is when your hair starts to go.

It’s very specific and turns out it’s bang on.

I was styling my hair this morning and when I went to wash my hands, they were covered in hair. Not a huge wad, but enough strands that when I rubbed my palms together they created a nice little hairball that I threw in the bin.

My palms were sticky from the hair product and the friction of rubbing them through my hair  had turned them into the hair equivalent of a mosquito strip. They stuck and they stuck fast.

When I was a kid and had a loose tooth, I would play with it, poking and wiggling it even though I knew I shouldn’t. It was too much of a temptation not to touch it.

I’m doing the same thing with my hair. I run my hands through it and each time a little bit more comes out.

I’m not too sure why, it’s a macabre fascination.

Maybe I want it to go, at least that way it’s done.

7 thoughts on “Day 16

  1. I am sorry to hear about your cancer and the bitterness that has obviously ensued. I am a cancer patient, a blood cancer, no cure. But at least you had breast cancer. So much attention given to that cancer that those of us with anything else are relegated to a sub-category. I always said “if you don’t have breast cancer you don’t count”. I have seen it in the reactions of people who, assuming I had breast cancer, were told differently. Almost like they were disappointed. My cancer showed up in a routine exam, no history of it, never heard of it, and no symptoms. And I, too, did not see it as a journey, but an adventure. This was the turn my life was taking and I was going to see all the good I could get out of it, the lessons I could learn and pass on. I never asked “why me”…too many people I know fighting their own battles and I thought of little children who fight cancer everyday, they became my heroes. To ask “why me” seemed selfish and narcissistic. I was given six maybe eight years to live. I chose not to live in bitterness, to look only for the good, if we don’t look for it we will miss it. My life has been enriched by people that I have met, kindness of strangers and the realization of my own strength and perseverance. I am alone, well me and the cat. No family near by so I pretty much handle this on my own. I have laid on the cold bathroom floor throwing up, alone, with little Dooley sitting next to me. But I didn’t feel alone or sorry for myself. My hair came out in 5 days, no shedding, or thinning, just gone. Kind of glad it went that way. I surprised myself with my reaction, “no big deal”…it’s hair and I have more important things to deal with. With everything that happened I looked at it as just part of the plan, like an all inclusive vacation. I found that there is no playbook for cancer patients and each one of us have to find our own way. My playbook consists of a lot of humor, I mean you have to laugh at some of this stuff, staying productive by working and volunteering to help others but not necessarily those with cancer. Many people are facing their own struggles and it does tend to keep your mind off the cancer. And I have a tremendous faith in God. I am sorry that you two are not on speaking terms, poor guy gets blamed for everything but little thanks for all the blessings. Life is hard and life is unpredictable. We can make our plans and have visions of how our life will turn out but then life throws us a curve ball. During twelve years of playing softball, I learned how to hit the curve ball. Hope you do.


    1. Hi Janet,
      Your comments made me think and I’ll write a longer blog post on it.
      That post wasn’t written in bitterness, it was just an account of what’s happening to my and my distress and fascination with how my body is responding. It’s the whole purpose of blogging about this.
      Although I’ve had the “why me” moments, I try not to dwell on them but at the same time I’m allowed to feel what I feel and grieve the loss of my hair and my old life.
      You’re right that there’s no playbook for cancer, we’re all muddling our way through it.
      I’m glad that Dooley and God give you comfort, I don’t have faith but like you I’ve been grateful to people’s kindness and I’m getting used to hitting the curve ball. One day I hope to hit it out of the park.


  2. Hi, yesterday was my day 16 and I shaved my hair off. I was fed up with it falling out all over my desk at work and the scalp pain was terrible. Im glad to see other people have this same fascination as me. I keep reaching under my benaie hat and pulling tufts out to make sure its still coming out!


  3. Hi, I am also day 16 (as of yesterday) and the hair went yesterday too. So much scalp pain but I like you keep tugging at the tufts that are left. Not sure why. Maybe to check that its still falling out and I didnt shave it off for no reason!
    Next session scheduled for Thursday next week and although I had very few side effects after the first I have no doubt I wont be so lucky next week!
    Keep smiling 🙂


    1. Hi Clare,
      I didn’t expect the scalp pain, but was warned about it. It gets really hot and there’s a constant, irritating itch.
      I agree with you, I tugged at it to make sure it was really happening. Moulting like a dog now, between me and my pup we’re making a mess everywhere.
      I had my second session yesterday and so far, so good. I’m on FEC for the first three sessions, they prescribed Aloxi which is given through an IV before chemo and Dexamethasone, which I take for the first three days of each session. Both help with the nausea.
      Fingers crossed your second session is as good as the first


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