Wednesday, February 8, 2012
A whole new bald game.
My hair started to come out in clumps on Monday and I was hoping that it might stick with me long enough to last through the whole head radiation, which would give my scalp some protection from the powerful rays. However, once it started coming out there was no stopping it. I made the decision that I would have my head shaved as I couldn't stand watching the long hair come out in such large amounts. Mum drove me over to my sister's place and she put her clipping skills to work. To ease the pain of losing my hair, she first cut my hair in a very unstylish bowl cut, so then I wasn't so upset about farewelling that hairstyle. I was sporting a very short number two, but since the hair is still coming out - it has gone from number two all over to mangy looking with large bald patches exposing the bright pink scalp. When I rub my hand gently over my scalp, I end up my hand covered in short dark hair. Not too dissimilar to patting a doberman, rottweiler or any dog with short hair that is Garnier Cappuccino colour. All in all it is hideous to look at and painful to touch.
The doctors and nurses advise you that radiation is like bad sunburn. However, it is like bad sunburn in the same spot every day for three weeks. Add to this that my scalp has always been protected from the sun and it is now revolting about the amount of radiation exposure it is getting. It is bloody sore. I have been smothering my scalp in Moo Goo Scalp Cream and this has definitely given me some relief from the pain. I still have three treatments to go and I just hope that my scalp holds together a bit longer and doesn't blister, peel or weep. To add to my frustration, my nails have gone gang-busters and would be perfect to scratch my irritated scalp, but I have thus far resisted the temptation. My scalp will get worse before it gets better, so I am prepared for a few more painful weeks.
My family and friends have been a constant source of strength for me during this time and I love all the messages that I have been receiving. I have found that times like these really do sort out your true friends, the ones who will stick with you through thick and thin. Pretty much all of my friends have been amazing, but there have been some whose absenteeism has surprised me. I know I can't expect people to react to these situations in the same way that I would, but it has reiterated to me that when you don't know what to say to someone - just call and say 'I don't know what to say'. Once again, Barney has been my constant companion and a great source of entertainment for me. My mother cries at least once a day and it breaks my heart to see her in so much pain. I think this is harder on her than it is on me, as she is helpless to protect her child from this.
I finish treatment on Monday and that is when the repairing can begin. I am on quite a few drugs at the moment, most of these are to combat the side effects of the drugs I am taking, and this has really stuffed by up immune system. I am feeling very depleted, exhausted and very run down. I have to be careful about what I can eat, drink and ingest at the moment, but as soon as radiation is finished Mamma Bear's Health Retreat/Jail will be in full swing!