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Thursday, 16 June 2011

Battle of the Lashes

So the way chemotherapy works is that it kills all the cells in your body in order to kill the fast dividing cells (cancer cells.) Obviously, drugs don't have brains so they can't tell the difference between the good cells and the bad cells, so kills them all. This is how your hair comes out, the cells in the hair follicles are killed so the hair comes out and doesn't grow. And yes, ALL body hair comes out except the odd one here and there and with an exception of your eyebrows and eyelashes which thin dramatically but don't necessarily disappear completely. Thankfully, this isn't permanent and hair grows back post treatment.

I've already done a blog about my hair, which I miss deeply so I'll tell you about the battle I'm having with my lashes and brows. They started thinning during my second cycle of chemo. Not to be cocky, but I had the most beautiful, thick, long lashes, and they were my favourite, most prized feature. My brother used to get christmas cards addressed to 'Maybeline' when he was in junior school. So of course, it's devastating to see them go, my heart sinks a little more each time I find a lash on my cheek. I've stopped wearing mascara because of the fear of pulling them out whilst removing it. I've been trying various make-up tricks to cause an optical illusion that I have normal lashes and brows, some of which have worked and some of which have failed epically. But it's all about trial and error. When they started to thin, the hospital promised to set me up a 'Look Good Feel Better' session, which is a visit from someone from Maggies who show you how to do your make up to make you look normal. When I say normal, I mean it. I seem to have developed the cancer 'look' and by that I mean, the steroids have caused my face to bloat to the extreme giving me hamster cheeks and a very round face, I've developed bags under my eyes which don't look normal anyway due to my lack of lashes, my eyebrows are almost invisible and the change in hair follicles on my forehead have caused me to develop spot-like things that aren't actually spots. So ladies and gentlemen, that is the cancer 'look.'

So here you can see the difference a bit of eyeliner and clear mascara can do, and I've filled in my eyebrows with a Benefit brown eyeshadow as I'm yet to be taught properly. But still, for the tiny bit of effort and 30 seconds it takes to put that on, it's beyond worth it to look half-normal.

I managed to venture into the hallowed halls of school last week after a surprise visit to surgery. I swear, my ports hate me. I have had literally no luck with them since the beginning, I developed Pseudomonas in my first one which could have caused my death (luckily it didn't) and I get my second one, it settles down, scar is healing, swelling has gone, and BAM it decides to flip over.

But anyway, that was dealt with and I went to school. Entirely for the social benefit rather than academic. Not that we're doing much, I seem to spend too many lessons sitting 'getting on with other work' which I have none of due to the fact I've not been in school so have done no work since March. I got a lovely homely welcome back from the tech department which put me on a high for the rest of the day. Speaking of which I have a picture for Sophie. Sophie has been fascinated by my wig and has been nagging me to take it off and show her the inside of it, which of course I refused to do as we were in a classroom full of 20 girls who would find it very awkward, and I look like a pigeon with no hair on. So I promised her I'd upload a picture of the inside of my wig so she wouldn't take it off me and run away, leaving me bald and upset. Oh..and Mowat and Isla are okay too.

Cycle four of chemo starts on Tuesday, half way to success and still smiling. Except on the odd day where I'm all 'why ME' and hatin' on life. This is generally when i take a good look in the mirror after flicking through photos of pre-cancer life and be hating on my hamster cheeks and severe lack of hair, which, by the way, is kept in a River Island bag in my hair utensils basket (you may think it's disgusting, but I spent fifteen years growing it and it's sentimental.). MISS YOU BUD.

1 comment:

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