Monday, November 30, 2009

Only Mostly Bald

If there's anything more disturbing than seeing your reflection with a mostly-bald head for the first time--it's having it combined with puffy, red eyes.

On the upside, my hairfall of last Wednesday stopped by the next day, leaving me with only slightly-thinned hair. Which meant I was able to spend Thanksgiving Day hatless and normal. Made me really glad I hadn't shaved.

It started again on Saturday night. Mostly just on top. The fam assured me it was fine, so I refrained from wearing a hat at dinner. Brandon graciously told me it wasn't that bad. That I just looked like a hairy coyote. He was trying to be nice.

It was before going to bed that I got a good look at the partially-bald head, surrounding eyes that were the result of crying off and on all day. I guess something like this, at least in a ten-year-old's eyes:

But the serious shedding didn't start till Sunday morning. I got in the shower, thinking I could just get it over with. After several minutes of scrubbing I was covered with hair from head to toe, bawling, and determined I'd just need to shave the rest. Except it turned out there wasn't all that much missing. There's way too much scalp showing on top to get by without a hat in public (at least without feeling self-conscious), but the sides and back are still full and normal. Again happy I was too big of a wimp to just shave. Both the shedding and the tears have (mostly) stopped, for now. And I look pretty normal in a hat.

The doc assures me the rest will come out next time around, at least by Christmas. But for now I'm counting my blessings.

And for the morbidly curious, here's me, as current as pictures can get, in my second round of chemo, both with a hat and without. Don't ask me what's possessing me to post these. I guess all that journalistic training. But I'm thinking I better push the post button before I totally chicken out.


Libby said...

I wrote and told James what was up...and he wrote right back with wishes of love and prayers. I think you look great! I love your eyes!

Suzanne Reese said...

Thanks Libby! I forgot to ask about James when I saw you last, thought about it soon after. Where is he? Tell him thanks - I always appreciate prayers.

Kimi said...

I like how you stay true to the "before/after" formula by having a bigger smile in your hat picture. "Before hat: eh, okay. After hat: look how happy I am!"

You look great both ways. I also agree you look cute in a hat! Oh, well you said, "I look pretty normal" but I'm going with, "way cute."

I'm sorry about your trauma. I was telling Tanner about your ordeal the other day and how I didn't realize it would be so sad, but I keep crying when I think of your hair falling out and how scary that must be. And then he told me he was sorry that my Aunt's chemo-related hair loss was so hard on me.

Touche Tanner. Touche.

Suzanne Reese said...

Yeah - the pictures were taken by webcam so I could see the image, and the expression was pretty true to form. I decided not to edit.

I'm sorry also about the misery you feel. They keep telling me that cancer is a family disease, not an individual disease. Watching the effect on my family is probably the hardest part for me too. But aren't you glad I didn't ask you all to shave in support? It's been mentioned several times, but I always say I would just see more victims, not supporters. Supporters pray for me and find little ways to show they care. That's all I need! Not a family full of bald heads! =)

Laurie said...

Suzanne, you are as beautiful as you have always been, and you will always be. You are so much stronger than I imagine I would be. Please know that you continue to be in my prayers and my thoughts.