CANCER: In Your Face – My Hair

Previously, I had mentioned my nervous discomfort sitting among 15 other people with cancer at MD Anderson Cancer Center (mostly terminal) while waiting for my CT scan. But I left out a few important details that have been continually invading my thoughts–a cue that I need to put these thoughts and feelings on paper in order to get them out of my head!

I love my hair. I’m all about my hair. (Most women have a hair obsession of some kind. ) I have made many friends and enjoyed hundreds of cups of coffee chatting about my hair with other hair salon sluts such as myself and occupied countless hours of countless days in the hair salon caring for every strand of hair on my head. I was always the girl with “the great hair.” This past month I have been terrified by the prospect of losing my hair, among other things like being around to see grand kids.

Now the f#$%* what?!

That being said, I felt terribly guilty walking past everyone in the cancer ward at MDA. Couldn’t someone have warned me! No one had hair–not his or her own hair anyway! God, the least I could have done was wear a ponytail.

This might just be the ONLY thing about having cancer that my husband would be happy about. He’d loved to not see multiple mega charges on the visa every month because of my hair habit! “God damn it, Al! What the f#$%* are you doing with your hair every week. Can’t you at least pay cash so I don’t have to be aggravated by these god damn True Bliss Salon charges every month?” Oh, how I would miss his ranting about my hair-care habit!

As it turns out, chemo for CLL B type (aggressive gene), my type of cancer…

Tangent: Of course I have the aggressive gene! I told Joy this morning, while having an epiphany in a cab headed to the airport, that everything I do in life–the way I talk, walk, think, sleep, communicate, behave, exercise, teach, shop, dress–is done with gusto, fast and furious, high energy, intensity. Hence, “aggressive.” Why the hell would the guy up there ever consider, even for a minute, blessing me with the “slow” kind of cancer? Though I got a reprieve, as my mom commented. It doesn’t seem likely that I’m going to die so soon.

Back to my hair. The type of chemo generally used to treat CLL, if needed, so I’ve been told, preserves the hair. I forgot to discuss this with Dr. Keating as there were many far more important things to discuss.  I would cut off my hair in a minute for some one else if they really needed it. After all it’s just hair and I would give-up this “hair thing” any day faced with the alternative. But I would still go to the salon. Even hairless.

To read more on Allison’s Cancer journey, check out Cancer In Your Face.

© 2011 Copyright   Allison Stuart Kaplan LLC

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