Hair products

I created a page to link all the hair products I used when my hair was growing out.

As I was creating it, I surprised myself with remembering how much effort I had to put into my locks those days.  Not like I was living in the ’80s type of effort, but for what I was used to before, it was quite a bit.

Now, I’m back to my pre-chemo routine, where I wash, condition, comb and go.  That’s it. But I’m glad to finally go back and consolidate all I did in one link.

Check it out here!

Enjoy!

Jan 24, 2020

January 24th would not be complete without an annual anniversary photo.  Here I am, exactly three years after my last chemo treatment.  How perfect was it that right after I took this selfie, I got in the car, and heard these wonderful lyrics from Incubus,

“Whatever tomorrow brings
I’ll be there with open arms and open eyes
Whatever tomorrow brings
I’ll be there, I’ll be there”
Yes, yes.  I will be there.

Jan24-2020

And a look back at the past year’s anniversary photos….

 

Happy anniversary to me!

Fcancer!!

Wrangles & Tangles

As a kid, I remember sitting, wincing in pain as my mom tried to rip the hair straight out of my scalp. “OW!!! STOP! THAT HURTS!”  Every.  Single. Day.  She said she was brushing the tangles out of my hair.  Brushing tangles, medieval torture, let’s not debate the semantics.  It was life as I knew it.

As an adult, I’ve sat and watched my sister-in-law work out the ‘wrangles’ on both her daughters.  They never complain as loudly as I used to, but the wince is there.  I can see it.

I always figured those wrangles and tangles came from doing what kids do, playing hard, having fun, not really worrying about life.

Now, here I am, 2 1/2 years after my hair started growing back, it’s gotten fairly long again, and I’m plagued by the Wrangle-Tangle Monster!  And I have no fun what-so-ever to blame it on.  I sit at my desk at work, and the wrangle-tangles just happen.  It doesn’t matter what type of shirt I wear, hoodie, not hoodie, collar, not collar, cotton, poly-blend, they happen every single day.

I got home the other day, and went to brush the underside of my hair, “OW” I hollered to no one in particular.  That hurt.  Stupid wrangle-tangles.  I again wondered what causes them.  I did not have to deal with them at all my entire adult life, and even though I can’t really recall, I do feel like the teenage years were also wrangle-tangle free.

Does hair need to get to a certain age for the wrangle-tangles to be worked out?  Perhaps it’s age, not length, that does it?  Did chemo take away some sort of protective barrier that my hair had produced to save me from scalp-ripping pain at every brushing event?  If that is the case, how long will it take for that protective barrier to come back and rid me of the Wrangle-Tangle Monster?

Check back in a couple years, I’ll let you know if I have the answer.  😉

 

Do you ever think about your hairbrush-hair?

Not a typical topic of conversation, right?!

It may have been the first time since losing my hair, I’m pretty sure it was, the other day, I had to clean the hair from my hairbrush.

I’ve never really given the act much thought before, just grabbed hold of whatever the brush had collected over time, yanked it out and tossed it into the trash can.  Not this time though.

I remembered when I stopped using the cold caps, and the hair came out in massive clumps.  I remember that I had wondered then if I could donate those clumps like that.  I remembered balling it up, using both hands, and putting all that hair into the trashcan.

I looked at what I had now, a small clump of brown hair that easily fit in the palm of my hand, the individual strands swirled around each other.  I wondered what someone would discover, if they took some old strands and did a side-by-side analysis against the new strands, would they find any changes?  Would someone be able to identify pre-chemo and post-chemo strands?  The thought intrigues me, not enough to research it, not enough to take it any further than this post, but, it does spark my curiosity.

I did the same thing with this small clump of hair that I had one with that massive one…only this time it didn’t fill my trashcan.  This time, I don’t think anyone even noticed.  This time, I didn’t have to dump the trashcan to make room for something else.  I’m pretty sure that the next day, I didn’t even notice it being there.

 

 

 

 

 

Who is that Person?

“Look at that hair.  Who is that person?”

My immediate response was to cringe, there it goes, yet another hair comment.  His comment wasn’t intrusive though.  He was a coworker that, while not close with me, had always been friendly, and I knew his comment was kindhearted.  He wasn’t going to follow it up with any annoying questions, or ask personal facts that one is not inclined to share with those they aren’t close with.

I could write a book about how many inappropriate comments I’ve heard over the past few years.  Oh, wait…I am writing a book…there may be a chapter about something like this.  OK, you got me…there is.  But, this comment was not offensive.  It was said it with a smile, completely supportive, nothing negative to be construed from it.  I did marvel, for the umpteenth time, at how often people whom I’m not close with think my hair an appropriate conversation item.  Deep down, I knew this person meant well.  I smiled back, “it’s getting longer, isn’t it?”

That comment carried with me, in the recesses of my mind, fading in and out of my subconscious, until the evening, when I happened to glance at myself in the mirror at the same time as I absentmindedly reached both hands on either side of my face to pull my hair back.  I caught sight of the way some of the shorter layers of my hair fell onto the longer layers, the visible end points, slightly more lightened in color from the sun, reflecting back at me.  Are those split ends, that maybe I see?  Been a while since I’ve had to even think about that.  

The earlier question echoed in my brain.

“Who is this person?”

The same, but not the same person is of course the answer.  A flood of memories came back, me during my treatment, me…bald…my mind’s eye remembered the me that stared back from this same mirror just a couple of years ago.

A scalp, void of hair.

A face, void of eyebrows, but some indication of a brow bone, beneath my forehead’s surface, that once marked the arch where my caterpillars used to perch.

A pair of grayish-blue eyes, completely void of their lovely rows of protective eyelashes, nothing left to keep the dirt and dust out, completing the picture of vulnerability of one in the midst of treatment.

I remember that me like yesterday, and at the same time, it feels like a lifetime ago.  It seems surreal, almost as if it were a story I’d heard about somebody else.

I’m healthier now.  My hair has grown back, much the same as before.  My skin, wonderfully sun-kissed from a weekend beach trip, once again shows the wrinkles that chemo tried to take away from me.

I may not be back to my old normal, but I certainly have a new normal.

Who is that person?

Who indeed?

Ah, braids

Wow, it’s been a while, a really LONG while since I’ve done this.

It came out pretty well, if I do say so myself.

811 days post chemo, I successfully braided my hair.  The hair runs out much quicker than it used to, but I think I can say that I’m ready for summer!

 

braid

 

 

I still have the caps

The caps were such a big part of my wardrobe when I was undergoing treatment.  I had ditched the itchy, horribly uncomfortable wig, and moved on to the super soft and comfy caps.

Once my hair started growing back, and my sensitive head could tolerate the wind and outside temperature, I ditched the caps and just went au natural.

I continued to use the caps though…around the house, on weekends and evenings, when my head was cold, once my hair started getting longer, I would wear them while exercising, or cleaning, or just randomly sitting around to keep the annoying short bang hairs out off of my forehead.

Tonight, while in a writing mood, and the eye-stye driving me crazy, I plopped one of my old familiar friends back on my head, to keep all the random stray hairs out of my eyes.  When I went up to say good-night to Nick, I briefly wondered if he would comment about the fact that I’d thrown a cap back on my head, him likely knowing that I was not in the middle of exercising, or cleaning or anything exciting.  He did not.  I found that mildly-interesting and hugely comforting.  The sight of the cap did not give him any worries or fears.  It was just something on my head.

 

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F*Cancer.