From the first mention of cancer back in January, one of my initial, if shallow, thoughts was about losing my hair. I’ve been growing it for a little over ten years, which for my closer friends means that I’ve asked them approximately 10 years x 52 weeks = 520 times the all-important question: “Have you seen how long my hair is now?!”.
However, from the moment that I realised chemotherapy was now on my to-do list, I knew that this Pocahontas phase was over – at least for the time being. To add to an ever-increasing score of things I’ve learned lots about in a very short space of time, one thing I’d never considered was that “chemo” isn’t just “chemo”. There’s many different varieties and doses of chemo drugs, based entirely on the type and stage of your cancer.
My personal cocktail is a mixture of Paclitaxel and Carboplatin (Carbo/Taxol, for those in the know. Or Caro/Taxol, to be more egocentric). In the side-effects boxes, my oncologist marked “hair loss” as a big, fat 100%. That was it for me. Rather than waiting around for huge clumps of long hair to appear in the shower or on the pillow, I decided to take control back, choosing a wig and getting rid of my hair on my own timetable. Well, after all, they do say that the best defence is a good offence.
So, here was my plan of attack:
- Buy at least one really nice wig.
- Cut off my own hair in stages over about a week, up to bob length, to get used to it.
- Shave off the rest of it the day before starting chemo, via various comedy styles I’ve always fancied trying and whilst listening to Old Skool Garage.
Below are some of the highlights of this experience (including, shockingly, my FACE!!!). Full video at the bottom if you are desperate to see four hands massacring a head of hair.
Pre-cutting hair length, for perspective (modelling some pre-trachelectomy stocking fashion).
Cheer up, love, it might never happen!
Cut number 1…
And what came off…
Cut number 2: getting shorter…
Cut number 3: bob length. I also followed a tip and got some clear glasses as they cover up lots of your face, especially the eyelash/eyebrow area, so I have been trying to get used to them while they are just novelty, as opposed to actually necessary.
Last blow-dry – ready for final haircut.
I think this expression probably sums it up.
Style 1: topknot
Style 2: short bob
Style 3: whale tail
Style 4: crop with fringe
All done!! (Hair successfully relocated to shoulders/back/chest/floor.)
Ready for Chemo Round 1
And… introducing the wig + glasses look
Chemo plum tuckered out! #CPTOd
So – any favourites??