Washing Away My Hair: 6 days after 2nd round of chemo

Day Six is undoubtedly the bounce back day. Monday my brain was more ambitious than my body. My body reminded me of that after a few errands. Tuesday I was achy again and not quite up to speed. I’ve been up at 3 a.m. the last two nights. As I recall, at least one of the anti-nausea meds is a steroid. I think it’s wiring me at strange hours. Poor Bill is like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs; the minute I get up he jumps up to make sure I’m OK. “Just wide awake!” I chirp as I bounce down the stairs and wonder what I can accomplish quietly at 3 a.m. Random thoughts this a.m. …

My chameleon-esque head may make it difficult to pick me out in a crowd: crew cut, wig or hat. I go to sleep every night reciting a line from Twas the Night Before Christmas: “Mama in her ‘kerchief and I in my cap had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.” I wear a hat to bed to keep my head warm. And to keep my bristly hair from getting stuck in the pillow. I must notice the cold because of the very sudden loss of warmth – do bald men not get cold heads? Is there a sub-culture I don’t know about? Millions of guys wearing hats to bed and reciting the same line as me at bedtime???

The boys and I are comfortable with my crew cut around the house. My hair is slowly washing away. I’m happy with my decision to get it buzzed. Gently washing away short little hairs seems more mentally manageable than losing handfuls of locks. Occasionally I stop in front of a mirror and ask out loud, “Am I really having to do this?” The bald reflection is confirmation. Thankfully, and I’m going to take liberty in saying, I have a nicely shaped head… undeniable proof that I have great parents who didn’t drop me on me on my head when I was a baby. :)

Port update: I’m becoming one with my port. The tenderness around my port is gone. I’m sleeping without paying much attention to it. After a brief conversation with my oncologist, I am convinced that the whole titanium little contraption is stable. One of his patients who had a port asked if she could play hockey; he checked with the manufacturer – no problem, preferably no direct hits. She played two seasons with it and her team won the league in the second season. Perhaps this little bionic gave her super powers a boost that season.

As the nurse accessed my port on Friday, we ended up doing a little game of Simon Says. Saline would go in just fine but blood was slow to return. First, she had me take a deep breath and hold it. Then I raised my right arm over my head. Then I stood up and took a deep breath. Then I turned my head to one side. Then I took another deep breath and let it out, “OK! Don’t move a muscle!” It was working. I told her I drew the line at standing on my head and would definitely be looking for cameras if she made that request. I was assured this was completely normal as often times a little check-valve, as Bill called it, forms somewhere in the line. Yes, we talk engineering during chemo. So while Bill and my nurse discussed the intricate properties of check-valves, I envisioned a simple dog flap that needed to be knocked off its hinges.

Staying strong,