After quite a long chat to Anna on the telephone, I am still trying to visualise her carrying a 6 foot silver Christmas tree out to a taxi, fitting it in and then taking it upstairs to her flat! Our discussion mainly centred on Christmas. I tried to get on with my Christmas shopping this morning and I’ve already bought quite a few items for my mother to give as presents as she can’t get out and about. However, I must admit it is good when I can do it on line.
I am trying to solve a problem which to any male readers will seem trivial – my hair. When I had my first lot of chemo, CHOP-R, it all fell out but grew back well, i.e. almost as thickly as before, in a good shape and vitally important, the right colour. Doctors are very blasé about the effects of hair loss. It mostly does grow back but often the growth is patchy or the hair is a different colour and sometimes curly. One of the transplant patients at the Marsden on Monday showed us her hair which had changed from dark black to grey.
None of the chemos in 2009 made me lose all my hair although the treatments affected its thickness. However, the high dose chemo in February had a profound effect. It has grown back much more slowly, it is thin and the wrong colour. When I developed Graft versus Host Disease I lost my eyebrows and the hair round my hairline, back and front. The latter is growing back very slowly so I am still wearing a hat or indoors a hair band.
The thinner hair means I really do need a hat and I can understand the women in times gone by, when the heating of homes was poor, wore lace caps and other headgear. The colour of my new hair is too dark and I don’t look like me at all. I am glad to have my eyebrows return. They are sparse but it is great to have them as I look less deathlike.
I know some people will think I should just be grateful I am here and should not worry about my altered appearance but appearance boosts morale, so next week I think I shall go out and see if I can find a really good wig. If I am to fight this fight I really need to feel as good as possible.