Post-Chemo Hair

14462846_10207564052075945_8098908718771189890_nWell, my post-chemo hair is slowly coming in. (At the amazing rate of about 1/4 inch per month … sheesh.)

It’s a little distressing how slow it’s growing.

And, of course, how grey it is. (I mean, I knew it was a little grey under my usual color, but c’mon!!)

But then I became so happy that I had hair at all — and that I didn’t have to wear hats on hot days — that I just kind of shrugged my shoulders and went with it. I figure it’s probably just as well to have easy-peasy hair when you’re still racing around to doctor’s appointments and have to constantly be changing clothes in doctor’s offices or lying down on tables. And now I’m quite liking the ridiculous ease of it all. (Basically wash, run a towel through, and you’re good to go.)

When a friend of mine called it “silver” the other day instead of “grey,” I even started to come to peace with the color.

I’ll still probably color it and grow it out eventually. (I mean, I did just turn 50. I’m already sensitive.) But for now it’s so easy and convenient that I’m going to leave it while I finish my treatments.

And I do have a bit to go.

I’ve been lying low since my surgery in July, but for whatever reason my incisions just didn’t heal. So I haven’t even started radiation. Instead, I’ve been doing wound care, daily home nurses, antibiotics, a variety of vitamins — and, meanwhile, doing physical therapy for lymphedema and to gain some stretch back where my lymph nodes were removed. I’m trying to eat plenty of protein, keep my circulation going, keep my mood up, wear my compression sleeve every day, do my exercises, take my vitamins, and keep my eyes on the horizon.

I’ll get there!

It is weird, though, to be coming upon my one-year anniversary of being diagnosed. (Oct 19.) The coming of October affected me more than I thought it would. I’ve been caught off guard by a certain smell in the air (some kind of fall pollen), a certain glance at something seasonal (a vision of pumpkin patch lights up at night), a certain annual visual (the tent going up for the annual October “Cavalia” Odysseo show off the freeway) — and instantly fear rushes at me and seizes me for a second. I’m immediately taken back to October 2015, when fear pretty much racked my days.

But I realize these bad feelings probably won’t last much past this month — the fear didn’t last the whole time, after all. Once November set in last year, I pretty much had a plan, a treatment, a medical team behind me, and was ready to go, with fear and panic pushed behind me.

So I just have to wade through this particular month carefully. And I’m determined to make new, happier memories as I go this year.

Already on the horizon: some birthday fun with Nate, some new pumpkin dishes to try, a trip to Montana to see Rene and enjoy some fall leaves, and some relaxing weekends with my hubby.

October, I still love you. Let’s do this …


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14 thoughts on “Post-Chemo Hair

  1. Damn. You’re just such a wonderful writer, Laurie. Know it’s been years since we’ve seen each other, but I’m rooting for you from afar. Admire your strength a ton, and I love your positivity. Also, you’re seriously rocking the pixie cut! 🙂

  2. A beautiful badge of honor, glorious crown of God’s healing power! It’s a beautiful colo! I’ve had mine colored to that color! It’s called chrome! Now have some un with it…get a streak of pink to show you are beating this!

    I can’t believe I it’s been a year. I’m so happy things are going well.

  3. Thank you, Amanda! I miss seeing you every day. (And I’m still so proud of you for going after new career dreams!!!)

    Thanks Jayme and Debi on the encouragement of the silver. 🙂

    And thank you Dona, too. Chrome, huh? I’ve never heard that. The streak of pink is a genius idea, though. 🙂

  4. Congratulations on your one year anniversary of beating cancer. The first time I went outside without a hat and felt the wind over my scalp through my 1/2 inch long hair, I knew I beat this. You have survived your first year, it will only get better. Keep fighting, stay positive, and keep writing and do what you love most. I am rooting for you my fellow traveler.

  5. Thanks for the update, Laurie. Your hair looks great and the ease of it sounds nice.

    I can understand why October is a trigger for you. Hopefully, this year, you are able to make some new – good – memories that will replace the bad ones from last year (and, with your upcoming travel and plans, it sounds like you will). I have a feeling that by the time next October comes around, you’ll be smiling and remembering fondly your trip to Montana, Nate’s birthday, and fun Fall evenings with Chris from this year.
    Carrie Chambers´s last blog post ..Baptizing Baby #2

  6. (Looks like my response got lost, ha! Try#2) You look fantastic! Thanks for letting us in on your thoughts and feelings as you make this journey, Laurie. I am thinking of a handful of special women this October…

  7. Laurie,
    I was with Julianne at a Starbucks the other day and I think she spotted me checking out a teenage girl in front of us, and Julianne said, “mom, silver hair is a new in color”. I didn’t even say a word, but was surprised Jules knew what I was thinking.
    You look great! It was so nice seeing you this summer.

  8. Thank you, Marlene! You’re SO RIGHT about that feeling of the wind blowing through 1/2-inch hair! I remember first feeling that, too, and how exciting it felt. Best wishes to you, too, fellow traveler! 😉

  9. Georgianne, that is so funny! I just saw two early 20-somethings recently (one a guy, one a gal — not together) who each had dyed their hair silver. So weird! Maybe my timing is just right and I’m accidentally cool. … 🙂

  10. Lauren,
    I just found you and your wonderful books and were so hoping you were more prolific and then I found this.
    I’m so sorry for what you’re going thru. My sister-in-law is going thru it now as well. I, too am a cancer survivor and things definitely do get better. Love your hair!
    Get well and be well! Can’t wait to read all of the wonderful books you are going to write for us!

  11. Thank you, Pam! It’s so wonderful to hear from cancer survivors (and especially to hear “things definitely do get better”!). I’m in the survivor category too, now — just two years out — and I agree that things definitely do get better. 🙂 Every day, I feel I’m getting better and stronger and regaining my old self. (But it *is* a long process, right?) Anyway, thank you so much for reading my books! And thank you so much your comment — it really lifted my spirits today AND it inspired me to get back on this ol’ blog of mine and start updating! I needed you today!

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