It happened real fast, exactly two weeks to do the day that I had my first day of ICE chemo - exactly as Dr. Dailey had predicted. It started with a familiar scalp tingling on Sunday - tremendously itchy and throbbing. Then Monday the hair cascade began. Tuesday my scalp ached with that feeling you get when you've had a ponytail in too long or when your hair's been tied up tight in a bun with jabbing bobby pins for a dance competition. It's the feeling when you let your hair unravel and then rub your scalp to let the circulation back in - it hurts to touch it and to move the hair around, but you can't stop doing it. Or at least that's me anyway.
Tuesday morning I woke up in a nest of short, dark hairs that covered my pillow. Disgusting. The shower was worse. The water added weight to my hair that my scalp just couldn't hold on and out it came in thick, black clumps. Enough hair to coat one of those creepy hairless cats. Much Drain-O needed. All day yesterday hair fell out at the slightest touch and the ache in my scalp only increased.
As soon as Craig got home he looked at the fistfuls I was pulling out and we both knew what had to be done. Out came the buzzers again. I can't just sit by and watch hair pile up around me. It was time to take matters into my own hands. So Craig took me up to his workshop and buzzed it to the shortest length - after a little fun with some mohawk sculpting. My scalp was immediately relieved and I felt freed. I really don't mind the G.I. Jane look and Craig actually prefers it (or so he says.) I didn't have time to get attached to the crazy curled, dark brown hair that had grown from November to now so it wasn't nearly traumatic as it was parting with my long, blonde locks last May. It's just strands of fibrous protein anyway.
This morning I woke up to a pillow with a case of five-o-clock shadow. The stark white of the pillow case was contrasted by a healthy amount of little black stubble. It won't be long until I move from G.I. Jane to Mr. Clean.
Chemo goes after all fast growing cells, hair cells being some of the fastest, so it only means that the chemo is on the attack. I can only imagine that the cancer cells are leaving my body just as quickly as the hair is leaving my head.