Saturday, September 29, 2012

Swim caps

Yesterday at the pool I was afraid my hair was going to remain in my swim cap when I pulled it off.  I was not sure how I was going to handle it, since I had not prepared in any way for this possiblity.  It didn't happen, though my hair feels attached to me by very little, and every time I touch it a bunch comes right out in my hand.  Swim caps have a lot of "grab" to them and even when I am not having chemotherapy there is a fair amount of pulling.

I keep on thinking that today, or tomorrow, will be the day my hair is gone.  And I keep on keeping it for one more day.  Frankly, I am dreading the baldness.  Not for its own sake, but for its power to identify my illness to every person I see.  Up until now (thanks Daily Astorian) I simply have "health complications."

I also think that being bald will offer me some kind of grotesque milestone.  When I'm bald, this will be real, I will clearly be a cancer patient having chemo, and somehow, even though at this moment I am totally in it, at the point of baldness my in-it-ness will be somehow more fully confirmed.  Am I making too much of it?  Hard to say.  I have never been particularly vain about my hair or what I look like, but still I feel pretty challenged by this.

Actually what I think is I just need to get it over with, pass the milestone, and move on.  For today, I think I will bring a hat in my swim bag, in case I have to leave my hair in the trash can.

I had coffee with a friend/Knappa neighbor who heard I have breast cancer and reached out ( it turns out she dealt with breast cancer through last winter).  She pointed out that I have always hated and complained about my hair and when I get it back it will likely be somehow different.  I guess that will be interesting to see...  Enough about my stupid, ridiculous hair.

The Bridge Run is tomorrow and I am not running it.   I am thinking about dragging Tim to a local 5k
in a couple of weeks, depending on how I feel.  I'm glad there seem to be so many local events like this, so I can do last minute deciding, which is the only deciding I do now.  The rest of the fam is going to our last Timbers game tonight.  Matias will take my ticket.  I don't think there is any last minute scenario whereby I am attracted to standing for two or three hours and in line for general admission beforehand, at night after my witching hour of done-ness which seems to happen about four in the afternoon.  My plan is to take the long list of movies I have been wanting to see and see what I can get at the video store.  Very exciting, I know.

Wednesday, and another treatment, cannot come soon enough.  This weekend will go by slowly.


  1. Hi. Hang in there.


  2. Laura,
    It is a sacred day here in Hood River - Hops Fest. If the Hood had an official holiday, this would be it. I have noticed that people who schedule other events today are somewhat pitied or chastised. I don't even drink beer, due to my gluten-freeness, but I only have a few minutes to write because, well, it's Hops Fest!
    So thanks for the updates. Even after you recover from cancer, I hope you keep up the blog because I love your writing and hearing about life in my alter universe - Astoria!
    Un beso,

  3. Laura, in my humble opinion, nope, you're definitely not making too much of it. You articulated beautifully the very tough feelings that come with knowing that your hair will soon be gone. As I waited for my hair loss after beginning Taxol treatment, I was just sick over it. (I hope that this won't be too tough for your other blog visitors to read, but here's an honesty alert! ;-) In my case, it happened gradually and then more quickly over the course of a few days. One morning when I was getting into the shower, I knew my hair would be completely gone when I came out. I was completely freaked out and very upset: but I was right. And I was scared to death to see myself in the mirror for the first time. But you know what, Laura? When I finally got up the nerve to look in the mirror, I was ... completely, utterly, sheerly relieved! Not sad, no longer upset ... just relieved. Because I had SO dreaded this. I'd put so much of my fear and worry about breast cancer and my treatment into my impending hair loss. But I'd done it: my hair was gone, I'd survived it, and the person in the mirror was still me. I found myself saying, "See that? You survived THIS, the worst part: the rest will be a piece of cake." Well, of course "the rest" wasn't a piece of cake--but from that point on, I truly felt much stronger emotionally and even more prepared to fully take on that Cancer Bitch by the throat. Nothing that you're feeling is making too much of it. Everything that you're feeling is just what you need to feel at that moment. Know that I'm sending my warmest wishes and a big hug to you, Laura.


  4. Laura,
    I have a wicked cold and tried to stay clear of your table at Himani's (sp.?) on Friday. Great to see you out and about though! I'll start swimming again after next weekend (or at least as soon as the weather turns to crap, whichever comes first) and will hopefully see you there. Making tamales tomorrow and will bring them as soon as I don't feel so contagious. Good luck for your next cancer-poisoning session.

  5. Snydley, Bald is something I think about a lot. I'm not sure why, but I guess it's because I assume that at some point we all will have cancer and part of curing it involves baldness. I see men who are bald by choice - some of them have heads that look great bald and others have lumps and scars that look not so good. I always worry that I'll have lumps and scars and stuff. I used to think that I looked like a man (when I was young), but I don't think that anymore, so I know that if I were bald my womanliness would still be obvious (you just cannot deny my hips as being female). It's the lumps and scars I worry about.
    Snydley, I know that you will deal with everything that faces you because, well, it's your only option. And face it, you did always fuss about your hair a bit. Now you get a do-over. Love, Buzza