Thoughts on hair from cancer treatment

After the chemo & radiation ended, I shaved away my mohawk since its primary purpose was to give the finger to the radiation machine it no longer had to see. It takes a lot longer than I expected to have your hair grow back, though. I’m still largely bald where the radiation was hitting and have lost a little more hair since the end of treatment. I’ve tried a ton of different bandannas with different folds, staying bald, or just letting my hair grow naturally, but it seems no matter which way I go, I catch people rubber necking. At first I was like “I don’t care,” but now I feel like saying “@$%^&* $#$% @^#*%!” Here’s how some of the options play out if you’ve got some weird-ass hair.

  • Bandannas (“cancer fold”) – With certain folds you look more like a cancer patient. The looks you get are more out of pity.
  • Bandannas (“thug fold”) – A good portion of folds will pretty much have most elderly people look at you with angry and disproving eyes…that is actually pretty funny but it happens to be such an annoying look.
  • Bandannas (“Biker fold”) – If you return a look while having a biker style bandanna + fold, the other person at least quickly gets their eyes straight.
  • Shaved head – This is probably the safest look to have. Maybe some person or another will think you’re a skinhead but at least for me I wasn’t catching eyes that much.
  • Natural – Well there you go, since you have all these weird spots, people tend to look at you longer as if your head is a Pollock piece, or maybe out of concern that you have cooties.
  • Modded Natural – Let your hair grow out naturally, but cut and shave parts to make your hair your own again. It’ll probably draw attention, but cause let’s face it, it may look a little crazy.
  • Hats – Cowboy hat maybe? I dislike hats. Never understood why it’s disrespectful to wear them indoors or when singing to your country of preference. Too complicated.
  • Wigs – I just may get some 80s hair metal wigs eventually.

After trying most these I’m going with a modded natural cut. I basically have played connect the dots between my bald regions. At first I used straight lines to connect them but I was looking at it and thinking, “hmm if I saw that out in public I’d walk in the opposite direction as that person seems to have a baaaaad symbol from WW2 on their head.” So I got things curved out.

new-hair-3-2

Hey Alex, just a reminder of 80s hair metal and a request I put in for you:

The Beach, Belmont’s Surgery, the Job, and New Chemo

Wow, that’s a long title for this. That’s what I get for not posting recently. 1st and most importantly is a track to listen to while you’re reading (some summer synthwave). Not that it has anything to do with anything I’m writing.

The Beach


Last week we were able to finally push aside the things that were keeping us from getting out of town for a bit. We went on a family beach vacation down to New Smyrna. The condo that we stayed in was dog friendly, which meant the whole family was able to come along ^_^.  The only problem we had is that Volusia county doesn’t allow dogs on the beaches. You have to find a state park that allows dogs on the beach, which for us was New Smyrna Dunes. Seeing the dogs play in the water was my favorite part of vacation. Belmont got better at balancing on a boogie board. On our attempts to let her catch small waves, she was wagging. Wicket finally braved up and did some swimming around…I think he was trying to impress the other dogs on the beach.

 

Belmont learning how to balance so she can ride some waves next time.

Belmont learning how to balance so she can ride some waves next time.

 

Wicket swimming out to Alex. Much braver than his first time at the beach last year where he wouldn't swim at all.

Wicket swimming out to Alex. Much braver than his first time at the beach last year where he wouldn’t swim at all.

 

Belmont’s Surgery


Not too long ago, Alex noticed that Belmont had a lump on her side, and we recently had the vet look at her. It is a mast cell tumor and isn’t really anything to worry about too greatly. A few years ago she had one on her noggin, which we had surgically removed (the tumor, not her noggin). Her little mohawk remained intact. Tomorrow she goes in for surgery for this one. The doc already did blood work on her, gave her a good inspection, and said she was healthy enough for the anesthesia and surgery. I’m more nervous about the anesthesia than the surgery.

The Job


Since all this started with my health I have felt very strange about work. As soon as I got out of the hospital I was thinking about how I was slowing down things at work and how that was affecting my colleagues. I only stopped worrying  after family members told me that I needed to focus on working through my health issues. I followed their advice but have continued to have a sense of guilt about leaving the people at work, many of whom came to feel like family. I was never quite sure how things were going to pan out for me, and I wasn’t sure who at work expected me to come back and who expected me not to. It all felt very strange, especially when I was on pain killers. It was nice that the company held my position open to me, but my health issues (and frankly the amount of time I may have left) led us to decide I shouldn’t return to work. I’m hoping they find a great new employee that will help them out, and wish all my friends at work the best.

New Chemo


So I finished my radiation and chemo about a month ago. It took a couple of weeks to recover from the wave of symptoms that hits patients after their treatment stops. I met with my medical oncologist this week to go over my blood work and to talk about the next, and ongoing, course of treatment, which is monthly chemo. For five days a month I’ll be doing double dosage, and I just started this new wave last night. My biggest concern is that the monthly chemo will have a similar wave effect and cause me to feel bad for an additional week, or two, or three. The bottom line is that I hate this chemo shit but I’d absolutely love it to work and slow down the advance of the cancer.