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Friday, 20 May 2011

The Hair Thing

my hair before..

So when people mention the word 'cancer' the most common connotations are probably death and bald people. And that's fair enough, hair is a massive part of your life and you don't really realise that until you find yourself bald. Especially being a teenage girl, hair seems to be the end of the world in some cases, it's endless hours of amusement and makes a person's appearance what it is. When I was first diagnosed, it was one of the first things I thought about 'how long do I have left with my hair' and being told "a couple of weeks" is terrifying. I was beyond upset and just couldn't imagine being bald, always dreaded it and got terrified before I'd brush my hair or shower incase it fell out. I'd scrape my hair back and see how hideous I was going to be, I have quite a round face so thought I'd look like a football.

my Riff Raff days
So i lived in fear for a few weeks, until the 9th April. My hair had been tied up in a messy bun for two days and when I took it down to brush it (what I thought was) a huge clump fell out. I sat and cried but sucked it up and brushed my hair out. I sat and stared at this hairball on my desk and dreaded the next week or so. The following day, a clump about three times the size came out in the shower and each day more and more fell out. It got to the stage where i could pull 10 or so strands out and wouldn't feel a thing. After just three days more than half my hair had fallen out. And, just my luck, one of my best friends was having her sixteenth right in the middle of the week. At the rate it was falling out, I knew that I'd either have less than a handful of hair or (hopefully) none so I could wear my wig. To my horror, I had hair, but really not much of it. So i scraped it back and up in a bun, which is unlike me as I never wear my hair up when I go out, I looked terrible. My hair was so thin and just looked stupid down so I always kept it tied up in the teeny tiny bun. Less began to fall out but my parting was now about 5cm wide. I looked like Riff Raff from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I was getting seriously annoyed with it so got my wonderful play nurse Helen to shave it off. So I found myself sitting on the tiny bed with Helen using hospital scissors to cut my remaining locks into a bob before running the clippers through it. It was hilarious. I thought I'd get upset but I was more relieved to be rid of my thin hair.

I held the mirror up and stared at this reflection. I looked weird. Couldn't quite grasp the fact that, actually it was me looking back at myself. Then I got annoyed because I looked like a duck. But the nurses convinced me I looked good. One nurse, Steph said "you could go on Britain's Next Top Model" which lifted my spirits. But I won't fall for it, I'm not exactly stunning with hair never mind without. The one thing I was worried about, though, was the reaction of people and, in particular, my younger brother. My older brother had seen me every day since it started falling out so he was kinda used to it and he had time to accept the fact he'd have a sister with less hair than him. But my little brother had been on holiday in the Caribbean for the week and hadn't seen me at all since it started falling out. I wasn't even sure if he knew it was falling out. So waving him off with a full head of thick brown hair and him returning to a slap-heed could be upsetting for him, but to my relief he seemed to take it okay.
aaaand after

I'm quite open about it though. My wig is my current life saver. With many many thanks for Charlie Miller. Whenever we go out, the wig is on. Unless its a trip to hospital. Then I go commando (in the hair department) and around the house I'm bald. My family are pretty used to it now but I'm still quite self-concious about what other people think. I answered the door the other day to some guy offering brass cleaning services and when i answered he just stared at my head for about ten seconds with his mouth wide open before he began with "um..hi. err..I was wondering umm..." still staring. Very awkward, rude man. But I found it quite hilarious.

So I finally grew the balls to do this post. I still have my fluff surprisingly, I was told it would fall out within a few weeks. It changes colour too, can be blonde one day and dark brown the next. It's great fun. And the upside to all of this is when you loose your hair, you loose ALL your hair. So not only are we saving money on shampoo and conditioner and drain unblocker, I don't have to shave my legs for a year. WOOPAAH. The one thing keeping me going is knowing it's not permanent, and it will grow back soon after treatment..I hope.

1 comment:

  1. Laura, you've just made me laugh and cry in the few minutes it's taken me to read this (now that's an artform in itself!). Keep up the good blogging and hope to see you soon.

    Adeola (Paterson) xxx