(This picture was taken at the beginning of Dec. 2014. Dr. Paul says that by next fall, my hair will be grown back enough that I’ll need “styling.” That made me chuckle when he said it for some reason.)
This seems like a trivial thing, but it’s something we all think about when we know someone is going through chemotherapy. “Will she lose her hair?” The answer for me is yes. I haven’t yet. Dr. Paul says my scalp will start to tingle and then it will fall out, not all at once, probably around 17 to 21 days after my first treatment. Right now I’m at 11 days. So, I still have my hair.
I’ve decided that I’m not going to use cold caps. They’re a new product available from a few companies that enable people undergoing chemotherapy to keep their hair. I don’t understand the technology entirely, but somehow the frozen temps of the caps preserve the hair follicles. The caps have to be kept frozen and you wear them for hours before, during and after chemotherapy, switching them out to keep them cold. They are so new on the market that they’re not FDA approved (eye roll) therefore, insurance companies won’t cover them. And they’re pricey — around $3,000. To me, it’s not that important. It’d be different if my hair never grew back. But it will.
I’m also not going to get a wig. That is something my insurance would cover, but I don’t want one. I’m not interested in trying to look like I have hair. I will cover my head with scarves, bandanas and hats but mostly because it’s the middle of winter and I already get so cold. My hair is like a head and neck blanket! I will miss it for that reason, and I will cover my head for that reason. But I’m not all that concerned about being bald. I have wondered more than once what I’d look like bald. I’m about to find out.
There’s a chance that I’ll lose my eyebrows and eyelashes. Not everyone does. And I understand that if a person does, it’s usually toward the end of treatment. That freaks me out a little more than the hair on my head. I’m not sure why, but somehow changing the look of my eyes changes the look of “me” more than what’s on top of my head. Again — the brows and lashes will grow back if they do fall out. So not the end of the world.