Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fashion diapers and stories from the baldies

I absolutely love this commercial. I laugh every time I see it!

On TV they say "full of fashion" instead of "full of shit." I think full of fashion is much funnier, but the TV-safe version isn't on youtube.

I'm starting to get a little worried because my hair is taking a really long time to grow back. They say it takes 2-3 months to fully regrow after chemotherapy and that has been my experience in the past, but this time around it's been seven months since my transplant and I'm still waiting for full regrowth! About a third to half of my hair has regrown, so I have hair all over my head, it's just really thin and doesn't fully cover up my scalp. It's actually getting relatively long now, long enough that if I had full regrowth I would no longer be wearing scarves to cover my head. I'm getting nervous that the rest is never going to come back! I have heard from other patients that one of the chemo drugs I got before my transplant makes your hair take a really long time to come back, and I am getting chemo now (although normally the drugs I'm getting shouldn't affect hair growth), but it is also possible to have gvhd that prevents your hair from growing. Obviously that wouldn't be the worst tragedy of my life, things could be a lot worse, but I really just want my hair back already! I have enough other crap to deal with, it would be nice to not have to worry about hair gvhd and being half bald for the rest of my life!

So, when I went to the doctor on Tuesday I brought the hair problem up. My nurse practitioner took a look at my head and said it would probably be worth trying some drug called minoxidil, which is available as a topical liquid that you apply to your head. I'm thinking okay, minoxidil, this sounds like a good thing, hopefully this will help stimulate those little follicles to start working again. The nurse writes me a prescription for the minoxidil and I go to the pharmacy to pick it up. Turns out minoxidil is Rogaine!!! So now I'm using Rogaine, hopefully it will work and within another few months I'll have a full coverage.

I reached my peace a long time ago with the fact that I have to lose my hair to save my life. It's honestly not such a big sacrifice to make in the grand scheme of things. It doesn't bother me that much to be bald, and a lot of that is due to my dad always being totally fine with his baldness and making it a joke. The regrowing phase is annoying because you end up with so many terrible, terrible hair lengths and weird frizzy Jewfros. The change in appearance is hard to deal with because not only are you trying to process everything medical that cancer involves, you have to look in the mirror every day and see a stranger staring back at you. It's dehumanizing and can make you lose your sense of self on top of everything else you have to deal with. But like I said, keeping the big picture in mind, it's worth it, it's not a big deal, it happens and you get over it. It saves time getting ready in the morning, I save money on hair products. If I'm ever on the run from the police I can hide out in the melons at the grocery store.

I really don't like to wallow in self pity or be all "woe is me" even though my situation is admittedly very shitty, but it would be nice to catch a break with the hair situation. Although again, if it's a trade off between life and hair, life wins every time. How fun to have to make that choice and qualify everything that happens as living vs terrible side effect. I should be getting a fun summer hair cut, but no, instead because it's been so hot out I am debating going without a scarf and feeling like even more of a freak than I already do.

But Rogaine is funny! I can get mileage out of that joke for at least a couple of months.


Andromeda said...

"If I'm ever on the run from the police I can hide out in the melons at the grocery store."

LOL. Now give us reasons why you would be running . . .

Monique said...

HAHAHHA WHY HAVEN'T I SEEN THIS COMMERCIAL!?!??! I think they're saying full of chic, at least, that's what it sounded like to me. Pun perhaps?

If it's any consolation, as I told you before, I lost a good chunk of my hair about six years ago (it grew back after like a year) and it was for no reason at all!! Stupid allergies to antibiotics. If mine goes again due to this allergy, you can have someone to commiserate with :) But you're beautiful anwyays, hair or no hair. I feel like if that happens again, I'd play with wigs, just so I could look different every day :) People would be double-taking all the time haha.

getyourselfconnected said...

"If I'm ever on the run from the police I can hide out in the melons at the grocery store."

I spit out my soda laughing at that one! I need a new keyboard now.

Mary Harvest Kitchen said...

The hair thing is such a drag. But I'm sure it will come back--probably just being delayed because of all the crazy treatments.
I also used rogaine for a while! So funny! When I was diagnosed with diabetes, my hair started falling out AFTER I was "better"--I mean, after I was taking insulin and all. It was so frustrating--I totally hadn't accepted that I had been sick enough to make my hair fall out and I had waist-length hair and didn't want to see it go. Rogaine was a last ditch attempt against the inevitable. Of course, not ALL of my hair fell out, but it did get a lot thinner and I wound up cutting it short. In the end I was fine with it--it wasn't a big deal, but ask my friends from the time, it freaked me out. It seemed so hard that something like that would happen AFTER i was feeling better and my life was back to normal!
Obviously, your situation is so much harder and more dramatic, but I thought I'd share my story. I think what made me stop using the Rogaine (besides the fact that I realized it wouldn't stop the falling out process) was all the warnings on the bottle not to let it touch your face or you'd grow a beard. Wouldn't that be terrible!

au soleil levant said...

Andromeda - you know me, probably because I went nuts in the freezer section and stole all the ice cream!

Monique - glad you like the commercial too! Thanks for sharing the story of your hair loss. I am thinking about finally getting a wig, actually, just because I'm ready for a new look. Maybe I'll go blonde, lol

GYSC - I take no responsibility for ruined keyboards. I can't actually take credit for that joke though, that's one of my dad's!

Mary - I don't think I knew that your hair thinned from the diabetes. Sounds like you had the same realization as I did - when my hair started falling out the first time, that was when I really realized that I was very sick. Funny how hair does that. I'm being very careful with the Rogaine because I definitely do not want any facial hair! Wouldn't that be funny though, if it didn't work on my head but worked on my face?!

Zhu said...

Oh I can understand it's another unpleasant crap to deal with! I don't care much about my hair compared to some women yet I like to have hair (mostly for practical reasons, i.e. winter in Canada).

Alright, doigts-crossed for quick cheveux growth then.

au soleil levant said...

You never realize how insulating hair is until it's gone! Winter is really cold without long hair! Thanks for the crossed doigts.