Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hair Diaries and Boring Cancer News

Sorry for the delayed post.  I really am determined to document my hair growth in a timely manner!  This week I turned the corner from being fuzzy-headed to actually looking like I have an intentional hair style.  I can comb my hair.  The other night at dinner Aaron remarked "you're hair is sticking out on the side."  I had taken a nap earlier and it had gotten messed up.  I HAD BED HEAD!   After months of no hair, I have to retrain myself to check things over in the mirror before leaving the house.  I have not done anything to style my hair, but now when I'm out in public instead of the stares and "oh, I wonder if she has cancer" looks, I'm getting compliments.  "I love your hair."  "I love your hair color."  I get a kick out of saying "Thanks!  It's natural!"  People have no idea I'm excited to have hair of any color.  See for yourself:
It's still coming in very blond and surprisingly straight.  I mentioned in a previous post that most people's hair grows back curly after chemo, at least at first.  I hadn't given a thought to the texture of my hair until a cancer friend (the unflattering term I give to wonderful people whom I never would have met were it not for cancer)  recently commented how straight it's coming in.  No Taylor Swift locks in the immediate future, but that's okay.
In boring cancer news, I had my CT "planning" session with the nice radiation people, and we are all set for a start date of May 9.  The planning session consisted of me laying in a CT machine, arms behind my head (This made the nurse comment "You have good arm movement!"  Those physical therapy sessions are paying off!), while my body is scanned for ten minutes or so.  The scan produces a 3D image that doc studies, and then the lab people come in to put black X's all over my chest with a Sharpie and cover the marks with clear tape to mark where I'll have radiation.  The tape is supposed to stay put for 7 weeks.  For real.  The marks show exactly where I need radiation, so the nurses reminded me about 10 times that the tape needs to stay on.  (In the past, they tattooed these marks to ensure they stayed on the body for the duration of radiation.  I guess now they just have faith in their patients to not mess with the tape.)
At the end of the appointment they handed me an "education booklet" with lots of contradictory information about how to care for irradiated skin:  "A lukewarm bath is very soothing after radiation."  "Avoid soaking irradiated area of the skin."  Regarding the marks and tape:  "Avoid direct water contact."  Call me crazy, but I shower every day.  That's a whole lot of direct water contact.  Luckily, the tape is holding up really well so far.  Thanks, "Beekley Pointguards!"  Yes, the company name is printed on each piece of the tape, along with the company's 1-800 number.  Seriously.  I wish I were joking.  My chest is covered in tiny advertisements.
On a brighter note, Mom-in-law and Dad-in-law will be here this weekend to celebrate Mother's Day.  I hope all the moms out there celebrate the best way they know how:  by sending the guys off to the golf course while the ladies drink bloody marys on the porch.  :)