Monday (day 14 from chemo start) my hair started to come out just like they had said. It was like clockwork. I got up to go to the gym and as I combed thru my hair with my hands, it just came out. I put a hat on and went on to the gym. Later when I took a shower it was obvious that the hair loss was starting for sure. Honestly I cried my eyes out during that shower. I’ve never felt so helpless. It’s not like it was a secret that my hair was going to come out, but thinking about it and experiencing it was totally different. Brushing and blow drying my hair that morning was terrible; it was all over the bathroom. My hair looked so bad I had to wear a hat. Tuesday was worse. It was so bad that I didn’t wash my hair. I was too scared. I could stand at the sink and literally pull out handfuls of hair. The more I touched it the more came out. My scalp has been aching and itching, but to touch it meant hair (and lots of it) was coming out. Wednesday I didn’t bother taking a shower because it was worse than Tuesday. Each day more and more hair would come out as I combed through it with my hands. I was filling up the sink with my hair and crying as I did it. So finally, after 3 days of trying to convince myself to just shave it I did. I didn’t shave it to the scalp; I just buzzed it off with the clippers.

Buzzing my hair is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I did it by myself, because I don’t want Dan to see me like this. I know he loves me unconditionally and would love my scalped head; it’s just too hard for me. I got the nerve to do it because I kept thinking “what am I holding on to?” My hair was looking worse each day and I was to the point that I wouldn’t wash it. My sister asked me to go to the school this Friday to pass out cupcakes for my niece’s birthday. I don’t want to show up looking like the homeless lady with scraggly hair! My mom and I went to the mall Wednesday afternoon and I bought a really girly top with matching earrings and necklace. I felt like having a cute outfit would motivate me to just buzz it so I could wear my ‘hats w/ hair’ and look like myself again. After dinner Dan gave me the rest of the encouragement that I needed. I locked myself in the bathroom, cut my short hair even shorter, cried the entire time and then used the clippers to buzz it off.

So after 3 days of an emotional hell, I’m feeling better today. I haven’t cried. I’ve worn my scarf around the house and went out to lunch with my mother-in-law. I’m sad that my hair is gone, but now I can look forward to it coming back. It’s weird that after shaving it off I feel better; I guess because I can’t just stand there and pull it out. On a lighter note, my tastes are all back to normal this week. I’ve had some chocolate, drank a coke and ate some sour gummies! Monday (10/4) is round 2. I’ll have to wait and see what happens with each one, but hopefully I’ll do just as good as I did on the first one.

— Holly Thompson

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