Gray hairs and stripped skin

I remembered what I wanted to complain about on Friday!

My hair is growing in. It’s thick and fluffy and will be back to aggravating me in no time. Well, it’s already aggravating me because my stupid gray hairs are growing back in. Give me a freaking break!? Ugh. Anyway, that’s one of the things I wanted to mention but forgot about.

The second thing is that I am literally pulling my skin off with this stupid tape every day. I stuff my wound with gauze, then tape a gauze pad (or seven, since I’m draining there, too) on top. I try to put the tape in a different place each time so I’m not ripping it off the same skin ever time I change it. I’m running out of skin! Sometimes it even bleeds. This crap hurts. And it’s weird because I don’t have feeling on my skin above the incision line, so I can’t feel it. I can only see that my skin is super red and sometimes bleeding. Below the incision line, I feel, and I don’t like it at all!

Ohhh! And since I hate shaving my legs, I’ll add that it’s quite annoying to have my leg hair growing again.

In other news, it looks like gaping hole is getting smaller. It’s getting harder to stuff the gauze in there. It’s still totally there, though.

Hair Update

It’s growing in, and I’m pleased to say it seems to be just as thick as it was before. At least I think I’m pleased, I’m sure my hair will be back to annoying me in no time! I’ll try not to take it for granted though, since I know what it’s like to lose it and all that.

Some people who have taxotere as part of their chemotherapy do not have their hair grow back, or it grows back different. So I guess I’m one of the lucky ones.

I’m not quite sure what to do with it these days, so I just wash and dry and go. Which is nice! I don’t miss having to style my hair, not one bit. I never did, actually. I’ve always been pretty low maintenance in the primping department. Even when I used to straighten my hair, I’d wash it and braid it the night before, then straighten it when it was dry in the morning because I didn’t want to have to blow dry it. I don’t do makeup either. Occasionally if we have a special event I might do foundation and a tinted gloss, but that’s about it. I don’t like mascara, my lashes have always been dark and long enough. Plus, anytime I wear eye makeup, my eyes itch and itch and itch.

So au naturel it is.

Except my toe nails. They’re always painted. 😉

Hair

My head looks like a fuzz ball. My hair has grown to about half an inch, and it’s gotten to the point where it’s slightly uncomfortable to wear a cap/scarf over it. It feels baby soft though, which is kind of cool. It seems to be my natural color, but I’ll be able to tell a little better when it grows some more.

I’ve actually had to shave my underarms and my legs! I haven’t had to do that since September. My eyebrows and eyelashes are growing back, too. They didn’t completely fall out, but they thinned A LOT. I’m going to wait until my eyebrows really fill in before I pluck them or have them waxed.

Excuse Me, Sir

I got my first “sir” at the grocery store the yesterday with Brad. I figured it would happen eventually, and it absolutely didn’t bother me. I almost laughed when the guy quickly corrected himself, but figured that would be rude. Not everyone gets my humor and he was probably more embarrassed than I was. To his credit, I was wearing a band t-shirt. I’m not sure what gave him the first clue that I was a “she.” Maybe it was the yoga pants or the pink baseball hat. *Shrugs.* The whole interaction lasted all of 15 seconds, so it’s a tiny blip on my radar and will probably happen again and again.

I know I’ve made the sir/ma’am mistake before. Everyone probably has. I guess it’s just evidence of how we expect certain people/groups to look certain ways. See someone with short hair, they have to be male! See someone with long hair, they have to be female! And so on, and so on. To each their own.

With all that being said, my hair is growing back. I’ve got about half an inch of growth on my head and it’s making it warmer! Just in time for the warmer weather…yay. And the hot flashes……….🙄 I actually had to shave my underarms! I haven’t had to do that since September. I’m not even lying. Leg hair is still dormant, which is A-OK with me. I loathe shaving my legs. There’s still that little bit of stubble from when I last shaved, the hair that didn’t fall out, but it’s not visible.

Anyway, things are certainly returning to normal over here, and I’m pleased with that! I’ve got some doctor’s appointments today, so I’ll have more information to share later on or maybe tomorrow since I have class tonight. Hopefully things will remain normal!!

Tonight, We Waxed

If you remember my first hairless photo and corresponding blog post, you’ll remember that I was left with a bit of a buzz (or click here for a recap).

So I’ve been living with the buzz for a while now, slowly losing some of the little spikes, occasionally using tape to rip some of them out…but nothing was really doing it and it has been getting more and more frustrating. Mostly because the same problem is present now that was present when I finally lost all patience and decided to shave my head in the first place. They hurt! The follicles are getting irritated because they want the hair out and that results in soreness, particularly when I lay down to go to sleep and my head hits the pillow and rubs against it, thus irritating the follicles.

I’ve officially had enough.

Today, Brad and I hit Ulta searching for the perfect wax. And seriously, visiting Ulta in a busy shopping center one week before Christmas was not the smartest idea, but fortunately it wasn’t too horrendous.

There was a sale, so we bought three kinds to try. One is a sugar something, one is strips, and one is a gel.

I got the strips to try on my legs. I can’t remember if I mentioned this or not, but I shaved my legs around the time of my first chemo. The hair grew back a tiny bit and has been that way ever since. I’ve read some cancer blogs and websites and all of them say not to shave after the hair loss starts because it will be harder for the hair to fall out and that will cause irritation. Well, I’m currently getting occasional bumps on my legs where the shorter hairs are, sort of like razor burn, so I was looking for an alternative. I know waxing is a long shot because the hair is so short, it would be hard for anything to grasp it and pull, aside from a tweezer (I am not going to tweeze my legs – no way!). Anyway, the strips didn’t work at all. I even tried them on Brad to see if it was just me, and they didn’t work on his fur either. So wax strips – waste of money.

Next I tried the natural hair removal gel on a small patch on my head. Victory! Of course, I have some stubborn hair (it has always been stubborn, might as well be stubborn in the end, too). Not all of it came out in the first round, so we’ll have to do another, but it has worked beautifully. I’m impressed.

I did some spots in the front, Brad did some spots in the back, and it’s progress.

I may try it on my legs when I’m done with my head, just to see, but I’m pretty sure I’m SOL with my legs since the hair is so short. I just don’t think it’s going to catch. I wish I had read ahead, or someone had told me, don’t shave!! That’s such a huge piece of advice!!

Anyway, chemo is tomorrow! Only one more after this. 😁

The Pros of Losing My Hair Follow Up

I’ve been without my hair for a couple weeks now, so I wanted to follow up to see if I was right or wrong about some of these pros I listed while looking at the bright side of hair loss. 

– Hair Clogs In Drain: Truth! I actually stopped to listen to the sound of water going straight down the shower drain this morning, versus the soundlessness when it has to bypass hair clumps.

– No More Shedding: Not quite there yet. I still have a buzz, and those hairs are taking their sweet time coming out. They will come out when I wash my head and when I run my hand over it, but they’re not shedding profusely. Also, they’re tiny! So aside from one hair splinter on my ear (ouch!), I can’t see them lying around the way I would have seen my long hair.

– Shorter Showers: Yes and no. I am finished in the shower pretty quickly, honestly I always have been that way, but I like to stand under the hot spray for no reason other than it feels nice. So I’m not exactly quick, but whatever. 

– Saving Money on Hair Expenses: Yes! Canceled my hair cut for this Friday, actually, so that saved me a few dollars! I imagine this mega bottle of Johnson’s baby wash will last me a while, too. 

– Less Laundry: True! I do have a little hair turban thing that I put on my head after the shower because my head gets cold, but I’m not using a full size towel on my hair anymore, so that’s nice!

– Wigs: Yep, glamorous. Also hot. I have 2, haven’t worn them yet because it’s honestly so warm! I can’t even wear some of the thicker hats and scarves I have because I get too hot. But I can’t really go bald either because then I get too cold!

– Other Hair: Yes! Leg hair and underarm hair are also falling out, also taking their time. What stinks is that I shaved a while back, so the hair is kind of trapped in limbo because it isn’t really long enough to fall out, but it’s just long enough for me to feel it. Ugh.

– Head Rest/Hair Knot in the Way: This has been great! I can lay down anywhere and lean against anything. 

– No Hair Tie Headache: Truth! It has been great, however I still have some follicle discomfort so my scalp does occasionally ache. I imagine that’ll go away once the hair is completely gone.

– Two words: blow dryer: Nothing to add here!

– Two more words: straight iron: Nothing to add here!

– Brad Massage Feet: Haven’t had him do this yet, but he’s been a trooper with everything else, I imagine this will be no different. 

– Cute Hats And Head Wraps: Heck yeah! I love them. I even wear them to bed because my head gets super cold!

– Shower Then Sleep: True story! 

– It’ll grow back: To be proven.

– When it grows back, it may be cooler than before: To be determined. 
So there you have it! 

There are some cons, and right now that’s mainly two things:

1. Temperature. I go from hot to cold and vice versa in 0.18 seconds.

2. People stare and/or pity. I like to blend, and my cute wraps make me stick out like a sore thumb. They sometimes give sad or sympathetic smiles/looks. I get it, I’ve probably done it, but like people with disabilities, I just want to be looked at (or ignored) like everyone else.

No hair, don’t care!

The first indication that my hair was falling out was a tingling sensation in my scalp. I read somewhere that it was the hair follicles dying or whatever. That started happening a few days after chemo.

My hair didn’t start falling out right away, but I explained it in the previous post how it fell out the way hair sort of falls out when you shower or brush, just in a manner that was amplified. So I wasn’t doing any hardcore washing, brushing, or styling of my hair in an effort to make it last.

On Friday, and maybe even a few days before – I can’t quite remember, my scalp hurt. You know that feeling when you’ve had your hair up for a really long time and you let it down and your scalp just sort of hurts from the new position/direction of the hair? It was like that, and it was awful. I read that it was the follicles being irritated, like they want the hair to get lost, but there’s nothing really there to push the hair out. So Friday night, I brushed my hair A LOT!! And I pretty much shed enough hair to make a wig out of, or a small animal. By the time I was through brushing Friday night, I had the tiniest little ponytail left of hair. But my scalp still hurt. 😕

So Saturday was the day. The day I deemed no more hair day, or something like that. Really, it wasn’t a ceremonious occasion at all. I patiently waited for Brad to get home from work, and pretty much made him attack my head with the clippers once he arrived. I had had enough! 


That is NOT including the small animal I accumulated the night before. I seriously had a LOT of hair. It was always super thick, and I’m kind of curious to see how it will grow back.

Anyway, Brad was more emotional about this moment than I was. I was just over it and wanted it gone. It hurt, it was messy, I was done. Buh-bye!

So buzzing my head was neat. It felt funny, and the back of my scalp where it was super sore was very tender when he ran over it with the buzzer. I did not like that, and was leaning away from it with every swipe. But it was over before I knew it and oh, sweet relief. 

I’ve got some serious dry skin on my head, and I’m using Johnson’s baby wash due to the sensitivity. My head gets hot and cold quickly, so I end up going back and forth from wearing something on it to not. The thinner head covers seem to be the best, temperature-wise, at least for now. I’m sure the thicker ones will be nice once winter hits.

I’ve got lots of little scarves, hats, and headwraps, as well as a couple wigs! So I’m all set. I even ventured out Saturday and Sunday with no hair, just my caps, and it was no big deal. I’m adapted. I think I’ll actually prefer the hats and stuff to wigs, but we’ll see. I want a pink wig, and I will have one before this is over. Mark my words!

So my head looks totally crazy right now, and I tried to get a good picture of bald me, while still capturing the craziness that it my head. You can kind of see the light and dark patches, where I have already shed some hair and where my hair was still pretty thick. It’s like that all over. 


And I’m still shedding!!! The image below is a pinch of the fuzz on my head. And no, it doesn’t hurt at all, it just comes right out. I read online where some people got their remaining hair out with duct tape (ouch) or a lint roller (hehe). 

So, ta-da! No hair, don’t care. It was pretty anti-climactic for me – the whole head shaving thing. I guess I properly hyped myself up for it. 

It also helps that my super awesome hubby tells me I’m gorgeous every 90 minutes. 😁

Round two of chemo is on Tuesday! I’ll slip in some more side effect issues I’ve had, too, somewhere…

Ok, let’s talk about hair.

So I touched on it the other day in the pros post, that my hair has begun to fall out, and I suppose I’ll elaborate as much as I can at this point since it’ll all be gone real soon!

A misconception I had was that I’d wake up in the morning or wash my hair in the shower and chunks upon chunks of hair would be on my pillow or in my hands. Not the case. At least not yet. 

If you’re female, and maybe even some males, then you know that when you wash your hair, brush it, or run your hands through it, strands fall out. That’s what it’s like, only there’s more than what’s “normal.”

One of the side effects I had the week of chemo that I think I mentioned in another post was the tingling scalp. This was my hair follicles dying. Honestly, there was tingling everywhere, so maybe that was hair follicles dying every where, but I’m not sure. Tingling was a listed side effect of the chemo. So I knew this was coming. The follicles would die and the hair will eventually break free. 

It was gradual, a little here, a little more there, a clump, etc. But it hasn’t just fallen out to fall out…yet. It’s always when I run my hand through it or wash it. I stopped brushing it. After showers, I dry it with a towel, work out any kinks with my hand, put in some anti-snap, scrunch it, and pull it back. I do as little as I can to avoid agitating it right out of my head. 

Not quite ready for that! 

My chemo nurse told me there would be significant hair loss in about three weeks, in time for my next chemo (Tuesday!). So there’s a deadline, if we want to call it that. 

If I pull on a hair, it’ll painlessly fall out. I learned this when there was a hair in my face and I went to move it out of the way and it popped out. I felt it escape, it just didn’t hurt. If I tug in a little batch of hair, same thing. I learned this by experimenting, I was curious.

So yeah, I could probably pull out every last strand of hair with no pain, but who the heck wants to do that?! I may change my tune, or decide to shave it once it thins out a whole lot, but right now I’m good with the natural progression of things. It’ll happen when it happens, and I’ll be Baldy McBalderson for at least a few months I’m guessing, no need to rush things today.

So that’s all I’ve got to say right now about hair. I’m looking into wigs, scarves, hats, etc. I’ll post about those later on.

The Pros of Losing My Hair

To be real, I know there are cons. I know I’ll get emotional when my hair starts to seriously thin (it’s already falling out-I’m shedding at a much more rapid pace than what’s normal for me), but I’m choosing to take a look at the silver lining(s) in this post so I can remind myself of them later on when I do a “con” post. 

Here we go!

– No hair clogs in the bathtub drain. I just had to remove a chunk the other day and damn, I don’t even know how I have hair left on my head as it is.

– No more shedding. Boo-ya! I hate hair getting stuck in towels, rugs, clothes, sheets, blankets, the wall of the shower (soon to be the drain, see previous item), etc. I swear I leave bits and pieces of my DNA all over the place.

– Shaving off (ha, hair humor) time getting ready in the AM. Shorter showers!!

– Saving money on hair products and hair cuts. More money to spend on chemo snacks and bag accessories.

– Less laundry since I won’t have to wash hair towels!!

– Wigs. I can have any hair I want. Multiple styles, if I want. Yeah, I know they can be a hot mess (like a hot, sweaty mess), but I can totally rock pink hair for a day if I want, and not worry about having to damage my hair. Rock on!

– I could lose other body hair as well. That could, potentially, mean no eyebrow plucking, leg/underarm shaving…just in time for…winter…y.a.y. Dammit. This might hit the con list for the whole “not being summer/shorts weather” aspect.

– When I pull my hair in a bun or a pony tail and lean back against a seat with a headrest, and my head can’t quite sit right because of the knot of hair at the back of my head…yeah, it would be nice to not have THAT problem!

– No hair tie headaches! I don’t think I need to elaborate here, the ladies know (and some men) the consequences of pulling your hair back into a tight updo. Hours later…ugh.

– Two words: blow dryer

– Two more words: straight iron 

– I can make Brad massage my feet since he won’t be able to wash my hair! (Him not being able to wash my hair will be on the con list, though.)

– I get to sport cute hats and head wraps and bandanas for quick, on the go looks. I think I mentioned once that I picked up a couple wraps for 99 cents each at Walgreens! 

– I can shower right before bed, or just shower and lay down, and not have to worry about a wet hair headache or totally horrible bedhed. 

– It’ll grow back. 

– When it grows back, it may be cooler than before.

Can anyone think of any other hair-loss pros?? Enlighten me!!