Gotta keep on keepin' on.......

Cancer again...that's 3 times in 2 years. This time it’s not breast cancer, but a new one called squamous cell carcinoma. New cancer, same old fighting spirit! My blog is still named for one of many songs that kept me going the first time around. Driving home from an upsetting appointment, I turned on the radio just as this line from Steve Miller Band's Jet Airliner was playing: "I've got to keep on keepin' on" I did just that. And I'll do it again.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ever wash your hair in the sink? It's pretty weird

Delores, my ponytail wig, got a hair-washing the other day. Emma helped me. (She was so excited when I asked her!) The hair wasn't dirty, but the mesh cap that holds it together seemed like it needed a cleaning. It didn't look dirty or smell bad, but the thought of it sitting on my almost bare scalp every day seemed a little gross to me. I thought it was time.

Emma and I filled up the sink with cool water, squirted in the shampoo (Frizz-Ease Smooth Start, as recommended by the Hip Hats With Hair people), and gently swished Delores around. Rinsed and conditioned, then squeezed out the excess water and hung her on the wig stand to dry.

It was weird. The whole process took about 3 minutes, and it wasn't difficult. It was just weird. I never imagined I'd be washing my hair in a sink!

Wearing wigs can be a big time-saver. I read in the newspaper a few months ago that women spend an average of 41 minutes on their hair every day. Except for my high school days (my amateur Farrah 'do and that awful punk Carol Brady number that I can't believe I let my hairdresser try) I don't think I ever spent that much time on my hair. In recent years, I've pretty much had a nothing hairdo, probably spent more time complaining about my hair than styling it.

Anyway, 41 minutes a day comes out to about 2 years in a lifetime. That's a lot of time with your hair!

I do save a lot of time by having no hair. I still wash and condition, but I use a lot less product and it doesn't take as long to rinse. I still have some hedgehog-like hairs on my scalp, by the way, so I'm not actually a "cue ball" at the moment. The girls say I look like Bleakley, the alien in Lilo and Stitch. (In case you're not familiar with the cartoon, it's not a compliment. The girls mean it in the nicest possible way, though. And for the record, I don't totally resemble him: Bleakley has only one eye.)

I don't have to bother with a hair dryer anymore, which saves electricity. Just after I lost my hair, by the way, my hair dryer broke. My husband bought me a beautiful red hair dryer. I love to take it out and look at it. I do use my curling iron, to style Delores, and I wear her to curl her....almost like having hair again. I tried curling her once while she hung on the wig stand, but the stand kept falling over. It was funny, in an I-want-to-hurl-this-thing-across-the-room sort of way. I got John to steady it for me, but I was afraid I'd burn his hands with the curling iron. Wearing Delores was the safest solution.

While I might take a little time adjusting my wig, maybe primp a little more when I pass by a mirror, I really don't pay that much attention to my hair or lack of hair anymore. Around the house, I mostly wear a plain baseball cap with no wig. The girls and baby have gotten used to that look. Every now and then, Frances will tell me "Mommy you need to put your wig on". And sometimes Emma and Leah will ask to feel my bristly hairs. They think it's neat. Sometimes, Leah tells me she misses my hair. I kind of do, too. It was shiny and warm and it hid my crooked eyebrows. But what can you do. At least Delores washed very nicely. And my hair, as I tell Leah, will grow back very soon. Maybe I'll even spend 41 minutes on it every day, just because I can.


  • At 11/27/06, 9:07 PM, Blogger Robin said…

    My cousin, Heather K, gave me your link back in October when she found out I was diagnosed with BC, just before I started chemo. It has been nice reading your blog and getting your perspective on chemo. I had my second treatment last week, T/C, and am doing well. My hair started falling out in earnest last week and have about 1/3 of my own left, but plan on cutting it off as soon as I meet with "The Wig Lady" tomorrow. I want her to see my natural color before I chop it off. (finding it all over the house is getting to me)

    Like you, I hang out with the postive people at chemo. No sense in getting down, it only makes matters worse. If you stay up, you feel better, at least that is what I find is true with me.

    I am very lucky that my cancer was found very, very early. It was only 0.8cm and no lymph node involvement. I thank heaven every day for that miracle! I started out with a plan for 6 treatments, but my oncologist may cut me down to 4, as new stats are coming in saying that may be all I need. Then I start 33 treatments of radiation. When I am done, I will have only an 8% of recurrence. (which is why I am doing the chemo along with radiation)

    I wish you the best. Your attitude is one of the most important things. Don't let anyone get you down!

    Should you like to email me, just ask Heather K for her cousin Robin's email!

    be well!


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