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.