So it’s goodbye and good riddance to scalp cooling and hello to wigs, baseball caps, Buffs and headscarves.
The moulting began on Thursday evening, the day after my second chemo session, and has continued apace ever since. You wouldn’t believe how much hair is on a human head. And since I haven’t had it coloured since early July, much of mine is gray. “I really think that’s only news to you,” quips husband.
The wig passed its maiden outing with flying colours, according to the friend with whom I had coffee on Friday while wearing it out for the first time (you know who you are… thanks). I did have a bit of a meltdown getting ready to go round to a friend’s for dinner on Saturday evening and then again when we got back. Regardless of how the wig looks – I’ll leave it to you to guess who said it was the “best hairstyle you’ve had in years” – the very fact I’m having to wear it is for me still a big deal. Wearing it for the first time in company where not everyone knew (or did they?) was hard. Still, I feel I’ve passed an important milestone.
So at least I won’t have to suffer another session of brain freezing/scalp cooling/cool capping at my next chemo session. Did it work at all? Impossible to tell. With the combination of chemo drugs I’m on, hair loss usually happens after the first or second cycle, so I guess at most it might have bought me a week or so.
I’m doing ok, though, after that second session. No headaches this time and the mouth ulcers are still at bay. Slight sore throat this morning, so will have to keep an eye on that. Energy levels still ok, although when I woke up on Friday and felt springier than I had in days, I realised that perhaps I hadn’t in fact been up to par the previous few days. Maybe that’s how it works at first, you don’t really realise you’re tired until you come out the other side. (To the lovely ladies who’ve played tennis with me this past week, thank you so much. Again, you know who you are.)
There is one other substantial side effect; the chemo is affecting my taste buds. I’ve got a constant thick metallic taste in my mouth that no amount of brushing or gargling with mouth wash can get rid of. And I can tell you from this morning’s breakfast alone that while poached egg and hot buttered toast still taste great and strawberries still taste of strawberries… grapes, sadly, taste of cardboard. I really shouldn’t have bothered with that glass of white wine on Saturday evening. My first taste of alcohol for over a month, and it tasted just like the grapes this morning! Now that’s what I call a disappointment.