Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Hair Loss and Progress

They said my hair might fall out.

They said it might thin a little all over, that it could thin a lot all over, that clumps might fall out on the sides, but that they wouldn't be able to predict how it could happen. They said I should absolutely expect some form of hair loss.

And it all. Fell. Out.

If you have a substantial amount or length of hair on your head, you know to expect a certain amount of hair to come out in the shower each day (or each time you shower, depending on how gross you are). On Monday, about twice my normal amount of hair came out of my head, and I noticed parts of it kind of whisping away rather than the tangle fight I usually have up there. So I wound it up and put it by my sink like a sicko so I could see how much of my hair fell out when it was all said and done.

Monday morning I dried by hair and put it in a bun on the top of my head and then left it there until Wednesday. The itches told me that it was falling out, but I didn't want to have to deal with it multiple days in a row, I would rather the bandaid approach. So Wednesday night i took down the pony and started brushing through the dreadlocks that had formed inside the bun. 95% of my hair came out on its own, leaving some scary looking stragglers that my babe shaved off for me. He has this amazing shave kit with oil and lotion and things I didn't know men needed for a proper shave, making it a more pleasant experience than if we had just slapped some Gillette up there.

When applying whole brain radiation, the X-rays pass through the hair and scalp to get to their target, so hair is affected as well as the brain.When patients are treated with radiation on other cancerous body parts, their hair won't fall out because it isn't being applied to their head. Some, but not all, chemotherapies can cause hair loss because they affect rapidly dividing cells like cancer, but also normal cells that rapidly divide, like hair and gut lining. There's your science lesson for the day.

God has been preparing me for hair loss. The Sutent was affecting my melanin production, making my skin lighter and my hair platinum blonde around my hairline. It got to be fairly noticeable, so my friend and I dyed it at home and it turned out the wrong color and a strange texture. Pre-cancer treatment I LOVED my hair. So much of who I physically saw myself to be was tied to my hair. After the blonde and then the black and then the weird texture and my curls not working as well- I was over it. Not my hair. I was ready for a chance for my hair to start over and all grow back at once as MY HAIR. That's the Holy Spirit working, ya'll.

I kind of like it. Not forever, but for now it's not so bad. Summer is a great time to not have any hair, especially in Miami where we will find ourselves once a week. And I like accessorizing, so I plan to have fun with it while it lasts.

In other news, we are going to Miami tomorrow, Thursday May 5, to re-sign consent forms to enter the clinical trial for my sarcoma. Flying out at 9am, flying back in at 5pm.
Our next Miami trip will be May 17-20 for screening tests (PET scan, biopsy, CTs, labs) and to get the first dose of the targeted treatment pill (the immunotherapy infusion will be the following week). We will be taking our sweet little 3-year-old with us on this trip! We want her to see the places we will be so she has a context for what "going to Miami" means when we have to go without her. She does very well when we thoroughly explain to her what is going to happen and when and how and what happens next and next and next... sometimes she starts in the morning by asking who will be picking her up from school and will keep asking what's next until I get all the way through the weekend and back to who is taking her to school in the morning. That could be on a Friday or a Monday- people, that's 7 days of explaining what is going to happen. Needless to say, this will be a VERY positive trip for her schema of Miami!

The next trip being the 17th-20th means that I get to teach my dual enrollment Anatomy & Physiology class through the end of the semester and give my final exam on Monday the 16th; then we will be back for EHCS graduation on the 21st. How's that for God's good timing?!?

We had a wonderful weekend of rest and recoup with friends and family- here's some proof!

When in Fairview, you wear a scarf with chickens on it to match the neighboring farm life.

Breakfast date with my Babe.

It was graduation Sunday at church this week! Last year I made 10 poster-sized calligraphy blessings to display as blessings to the seniors! It will be fun seeing these out each year to bless a new group of graduates!

Grownups only double date at Cabana with sweet friends. It's so different spending time with your friends with the kids aren't around, amiright?!

Thank you again and again and again for joining our journey! We are so blessed by the little touch your presence is on our lives. All our love.

1 comment:

  1. Following your story. Mother of s friend of a friend. God give you strength. Blessings from Florida. Please let people know if there is s financial need.