Thursday, July 15, 2010
Day 71: GI Jane
So, it's July 15, about 10 weeks into my cancer diagnosis, and...I'm bald. It's late at night so I'm not going to write much. It's been quite a day. I could write about my first acupuncture, my visit to the gp to see if she had any insights into my insomnia, my various attempts to self-diagnose my sleep issue. I could write about the neurologist visit yesterday, or about how every doctor is giving me conflicting advice. I could write about how I've lost 4 pounds in the week since chemo, and they told me that just doesn't happen on this regimen.
I could, but, you know--I'm bald.
So I'm going to write a little about that. I was having some kind of anxiety attack about my hair earlier today. More evidence that the insomnia I'm STILL having is NOT anxiety-related. I know what that feels like now. I thought my heart would leap out of my chest and I couldn't sit still.
I cried in the car on the way to the wig place for ten minutes or so. I was fine the whole time I was waiting, having my hair put into a bunch of ponytails so I could have it turned into this Hat-hair thing, even was ok when she started chopping those off. But at some point I lost it, once most of the ponies were gone. I looked like someone in a labor camp, hair all choppy, like someone did that to me out of spite. Since I was crying, Lisa, the stylist, turned the chair around so I wouldn't have to watch her shave my head. I cried the whole time she was shaving, and I dreaded looking in the mirror when she was done.
It took just a few minutes to shave my head, and when she asked me if I was ready to look, I said no, but go ahead. And my first thought was, I look like a boy. If I was a guy, that's what I'd look like. Gabe disagreed and said he thought I looked beautiful, that I looked like me and he was surprised at how perfectly my head was shaped.
He's required to say that stuff, right?
Anyway, I finished crying pretty quickly. I thought I looked like a boy regardless of Gabe's opinions, but like a boy version of myself, I guess. It's as if I look like a very close sibling of myself. Not me, but me. At least for now I have some stubble--I know I look more normal, odd as that is, than I will in a little while when my head is just smooth. And then there's the eyebrow thing. But I don't need to go there yet--I think this is enough for now.
It's done, right? No more anticipating it, no more feeling my head hurt because my scalp is so sensitive and my heavy, pretty hair was just waiting to fall out. I'm going to be bald for a long time, so I need to start getting used to it. In some ways, I think I look more like myself bald than with these wigs on, but as I'm used to people looking at my head out of appreciation, I don't really look forward to the idea of people looking at me out of curiosity, pity, or revulsion, so I might wear them relatively often. However, in next week's 100 degree temperatures--probably not much. So there are some scarves and bandanas too.
Gabe took pictures the whole time, and there are lots of "in process" pictures that are very hard to look at where I am very upset. Even though this is my cancer blog, I don't have any desire for people to see those. Look, it's me, at one of my weakest cancer moments! Look how much this sucks!
Until today I somehow never figured out how to post more than one picture per blog. We'll see if I do it right. If so, here's what you'll see--all of these are no makeup pictures, so if ever I can tell what I really look like, it's here: There's Katy with all her ponies in, waiting to have them chopped. There's Katy bald. And then there's Katy with her two new wigs. Let's take a vote on which looks best.
Someone had better pick the bald one, even if you're lying. Good night.