Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hair: Down to here, down to there, down to where it falls by itself....

After trying out a blog site a week or so ago, I decided to move here, where my friends can post comments.

Since my first post on April 2, I’ve lost almost all my hair. Although I had extensive treatment last year (from January—September), including surgery, chemo, combined chemo/radiation, and MORE chemo, my hair only thinned the first time. It was noticeable when I was out in the sunshine, but overall, I looked healthy through my treatment…most folks NEVER guessed I was in treatment for cancer.

Funny…’tho I’d been told that 95% of folks on this year’s chemo drug (Taxotere) lose their hair, I guess I’d let myself feel rather cocky from skating through the treatment so easily the year before. Last year’s chemo cocktail was supposed to be a butt-kicker, but that wasn’t my overall experience. I’m BIG on botanicals and supplements, and give much credit to them for my ability to tolerate the treatment. I guess I thought I’d unearthed the collective “silver bullet,” but that remains to be seen.

So, I imagine you’d think I wouldn’t feel so blind-sided when I found wads of hair in my hands during my shower on the Friday before Easter. That was NOT the case.

My initial anticipated discomfort with hair loss had to do more with my loss of privacy than with vanity. I’ve been very open about my cancer, but wanted that openness to come on my own terms…I didn’t necessarily want to announce to the world-at-large “I’M IN TREATMENT FOR CANCER!” I’m surprised to find that after only a week, I’m pretty comfortable exposing my fluffy head in public, even around strangers.

However, for those times when I want to look “normal”, I did purchase the beautiful wig I set my sights on last year. It still has to be fitted, so, in the meantime, I’m wearing hats when I don’t want to scare small children. I’m finding I’m having more fun with that than I had expected. Around the house, when it’s warm, I’m going hatless. I’m loving my husband’s response…he seems to think it’s pretty adorable, and kisses or caresses my head quite frequently.

For now, I’ll close, and start my day, which means, in part, downloading a picture or two of my exposed head before helping my hubby garden.


  1. Hi gorgeous! I can't wait to see you in your beautiful wig! You said it had red highlights in it, and you know I have a special place in my heart for redheads! Do you want some company when you go to have it fitted? I love your blog so far. How've you been feeling?

    Love you! Nurse Lori

  2. Hi Linda,
    My teacher, Swami Nirmalananda, says that all change is good. When I look at that from all the possible angles, it's easier to see that it's not always comfortable, and the good isn't exactly my first definition of good (or 2nd, or even a close 3rd), but since it IS, the biggest problem tends to be acceptance. Looks like you are ahead (pun intended???) of the game here. There is a question, "who were you when you were a child?" Thinking of that, remembering, there's just a small corner - not looks, conversation, thoughts, experiences, nor friends, not clothes or favorite foods, or hair - and yet the collective 'we' were still 'me' somehow. So now you get to have a new persona, 'pretty adorable' loved, hatless or wigged. Somehow you are you, will remain you and nothing will ever alter you being you.

    I am so glad to know you, in all forms of the formless! Glen is better now, I am fine. Although I am leaving town next weekend for just 4 days, let us know when you are feeling up to coming on over. We will feed you, if you're hungry.....
    Love and love,

  3. (Actually this is from Barry)

    Hi Linda;

    From what I know, you only have friends, no enemies, so any posts will surely be coming from a caring, loving perspective.

    There is no good reason to announce to everybody that you have cancer. It just begins a long inevitable discussion that you have explained before and don't need to dwell on. I think having one's privacy is important and ligitimate.

    Like most men, I am losing hair too, and only started to appreciate my hair when it started to go. So I found this web site that gives hope for hair....using herbs!

    Depending on my mood, I pour one of my many concoctions on my head first thing in the morning...something with Grape seed extract, Pycnogenol, and maybe Rosemary infusion, or Ginkgo, or Thyme, and then add a little exciting drop or two of Pepperment oil, Wow! The latter was my invention, and is very awakening and tingling. My wife says I am definately growing thousands of new fuzzy little hairs!!! It has only been a week of doing this. Give it a try.

    I have been sending you love and the basic energy of the Universe. (Maybe they are the same thing?)

    Thanks for the Blog.


  4. Hi, Linda...

    Thanks for giving new meaning to the term "Wigged Out!" You are the best with or without tresses. Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. Btw: Do you find weeding to be as satisfying and therapeutic as I do???

    xox, B

  5. Hi Linda,

    Suprised to see your new do and thought the Chicken Little announcement was so Linda. Good to see your smile hasen't do you do that?
    I love you and hoping I could to stop by soon.

  6. Hey! Its Mary Jo.

    Wow, that was fast! Although, I guess not really fast at all if you take into account last year. Regardless, you are adorable.

    I, of course, love wigs for their dramatic statement and would consider wearing one just for the purpose of scaring small children!

    Can't wait to see a picture of you with the wig!

  7. Thank you, all! I'm actually feeling pretty well, which surprises me, since I had chemo 4 days ago. I'm usually dragging around by now. I think that white blood cell booster did the trick!
    Sandy, you gave me a LOT to digest there...let me mull that all over!
    Hey, Barry, are you saying you'd feel better if I grew my hair back asap?!

  8. I have to admit that seeing you without hair is a shock because I realized that your hair was a big part of your "beauty" to me ... however I'm sure that the spiritual lessons your learning through losing it are tremendous... I went through a phase in my early 20's when I was almost bald and I felt so powerful and almost severe in a way so more power to you woman! I love this blog forum and I hope it serves you well... I walk my labyrinth and put a stone offering in the center for you every dang day... you are a dear loved one in my heart... hugs, Lani

  9. Hi Linda-Just wanted to let you know that your photo is "adorable" and you are STILL the same beautiful you! Thanks for sharing your feelings/experience with all of us.....I think it helps us understand just a little bit better what you are going through. Can't wait to see you in your new wig! Take care and just know that you are being surrounded by love and good thoughts! XOXO Cheryl

  10. Hi Linda! I love the BLOG, what a great way to keep us posted! You should seriously considering going blonde~don't laugh~now is your chance to try out any color you want! You are in my heart and on my mind! Happy Healing thoughts to you! Tamera :)

  11. Mom, loved reading this. It's a really great thing. It's so wonderful to read all the comments and to know how much love and support you are surrounded with, especially since I can not be there. I was curious though regarding the comment about scaring children...are there times when you do want to scare them?! See I'm already learning new things about you. Love you miss you and thinking of you. Lauren

  12. Hi Linda,

    It's me, Valerie, your sister-in-arms against cancer! I love your new blog and I'm so glad that we will all have a way to hear what's going on with you and send you our love, even if it's over the skyways and not in person. I think you look adorable and I understand how you feel about not wanting to share your "condition" with perfect strangers. I loved your comment about scaring small children - heck, somehow I do that regardless of how I look! Maybe that's why Mike and I never had kids... our dogs love me regardless of how I look and didn't look at me funny when my hair looked like a plucked chicken. I start my new treatment tomorrow and think my hair will start thinning again. But, I have to tell you that I really think that hair product line called Ovations really works! The company is even headquartered in San Diego, so they have to be good, right? I do hope to see you and Clark again soon - maybe next time we visit Tim and Denise. In the meantime, keep your spunky spirit and keep that positive energy flowing. You are such an inspiration to so many of us. Until later, lots and LOTS of love coming to you from Yucaipa! You go girl! Hugs from Valerie

  13. Tamera, I'm not laughing, and would consider going blonde. However, the blonde wigs I tried on made me look like Tina Turner, but only from the neck up, since I don't have the legs to pull that off!

    Lauren, I HAVE to laugh, because when I re-read the post about small children, I could see where it MIGHT appear that I want to scare them! Actually there ARE a few small children...and maybe a dog or two. I love you so much, and am so proud of you. Thanks for making me a Nana!!

  14. Linda: just a followup on my email to you. I reiterate! You are beautiful! Thank you for sharing and please make me feel good by blasting away at something! Nothing like a little venting (hopefully on inanimate objects) once in a while to relieve some pressure!

    Hope to see you in Julian someday soon.
    Love, Anne


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