In lieu of flowers, please send eye drops...

Ok, I suppose this will come full circle here, so be patient. First the good, then the 'meh' then back to the good. I'll get there... really.

Round 10 went off without a hitch. One vein, great bloodwork, Dr. C's observation that the masses were indeed still shrinking, and the Red Sox won Game 1 of the ALDS.

And then, there were there dumb hairs...
It was time. I looked in the mirror and no matter which direction I turned, it didn't look any better. It was just thin. Too thin for its own good, for my own good, and the hairballs in the sink weren't getting any smaller. I told myself that when it was time, it was time.
And, it was time.

Wig in hand, we headed off to see Adam Pink, knowing that with the wig haircut would also come the shave. I sat and looked at my scraggly hair in the mirror, haircut cape wrapped around me, and knew it was time. Adam offered us a beer and staying with the Boston theme, we each chose a Samuel Adams. We toasted farewell to the flight of the dumb hairs, watched them all fall to the floor for the last time, and looked toward the future of it coming back in stronger and thicker, all the while realizing that it was a necessary step in the process to healing. By the time he finished cutting the wig, I was a bit amazed at how good it looked. Well, for the most part. I'm not sure if it's because I know it's a wig, or because the part is to the other side than I had been wearing my hair, but it still looks like a wig to me. Probably only to me, though. Or so I'd like to think.

So, devil be gone. The trusty flat iron and hair dryer went into hibernation for the winter, and I resigned myself to get used to this new, bird-like head. The thing is, it's ok . In the big picture, it's really ok.

But that didn't stop the tears from coming. Even now. The worst part is that the twitching and tearing I mentioned? It's worse. This damn side effect is driving me insane. The tearing is making the eyes puffy. The puffy eyes are making me feel swollen. The swollen feeling is making me feel really freakin' unattractive. So please, send eye drops. And cucumbers. Or whatever the hell will make me look normal again.

Now, here's the challenge with feeling that I don't look normal. It affects the confidence. That, that part is getting to me most of all, because I can feel it. And I hate it. I have been able to go on for the past 10 weeks strong, confident, feeling like I look and feel great - mostly because I do. Now? I feel like I'm looking down all the time because I don't want to meet people's eyes. I don't want them to see my puffy eyes, and the hair that is just a little too big. I think most of all I'm afraid to see the look in people's eyes that betrays their words when they say "wow, you look great", when I know they don't think that at all. Because I don't think that at all. It's ironic - I feel more comfortable when I come home at night and put the hair-hat in its box and walk around with my bird-head. I don't know, it feels more free. Less like a facade. Yet, I'm not sure I'm ready to take off the facade for the rest of the world.

The worst part? Greg says I'm not looking at him as much either. Enter more tears. It's a vicious cycle. The puffy eyes make me look down. I realize I look down. Then I cry. The eyes are more puffy. WTF?? I've gotten 8 weeks more of hair than I thought, I've still got the energy that I had before, I haven't had any nausea, no mouth discomfort. Isn't it ironic that I'm beating the crap out of this life threatening disease and the bullshit thing that has gotten me down is this damn hair and how I look in the mirror?

This too shall pass. I just wish it would pass a bit more quickly. I can see it in the distance, that elusive confidence that I've had all the while. It's there, somewhere, I just need to find it. Meanwhile, I wish the tears (taxotere-induced or real) would just STOP already. It's enough, OK?

Do you think anyone would be alarmed if they walked past my office and my hair was sitting on my desk?

Ok, that made me laugh out loud.

I put the hair on the dog this morning. Both of them.

Still laughing.

Wait, what is that feeling...

Ha. I knew I'd get there. He told me I would... I hope it stays...


    you are so very brave my friend. And it is ok to mourn the dumb hair.... and even better to find your laughter..... and in time, you will find, that you can look everyone in the eye and just be.

    see you tomorrow. I love you.

    i'm totally thinking sunglasses all the time so people will immediately think ROCK STAR.

    : )

    Once again I am in awe of you vivo. And besides that.. what can I say except "I know"

    On October 5, 2007 at 6:23 PM Anonymous said...

    You look beautiful in BOTH pics...Kinda reminds me of Demi Moore when she shaved her head for G.I Jane, she looked like a knockout, and she had no hair, either...Loving the hair on the dogs!...You are still the same Jen, the pics of the hair on the dogs proves it...Everytime I think that I can't possibly admire and respect you more-you prove me wrong...Much love to you...

    On October 6, 2007 at 6:15 AM Nighty said...

    WOW! Look at you!!! You look GREAT!!!!

    I love the bald head and I love the wig...and from what I can see, the wig doesn't even look like a wig!

    You are a ROCK STAR my dear, so grab some really great shades and STRUT. :)

    On looks - Set lower goals. We can't all look like me! :)

    On confidence - The affect you have on my own self-confidence is immeasurable. I find myself thinking that if Jen can do what she is doing in the manner she is doing it, I can handle my life's issues that come at me every day.

    I continue to be in awe of you and if you can't sense it, I want you to know I'm looking you square in the eyes as I say this.

    I think you are the most beautiful bald person ever!