Monday, September 22, 2008

Bad Hair Day

Two weeks ago some fabulous bastard in Russia somehow or another managed to use an ATM to take all my money in my bank account. Since then I've realized I'm a bit on the poor side right now... and certain things, I just can't afford anymore and I need to figure out what I can live without... This leads to the question of whether I can live without my hair.

Its not that drastic of a leap. It starts off that i have naturally super curly hair, afro curly hair. Its so big, and fluffy and well just looks weird on me. So, last summer I got it straightened... permanently... well not entirely permanent... as I have to redo it every so often... and in here lies the rub... in the US, this costs a little over $400... poor people do not do well with things that cost over $400... so then you need to start looking for alternatives... in my case i can cut it all off, start over, regrow it curly starting short, donate my hair to cancer kids. Or i can perm it, and hope it doesn't look weird as the curl comes in. And so i sit and i pull my fingers through my hair, something i could never do curly.

Then with each stroke, and ruffle there's another reminder of why neither of these might really be an option. Its falling out. A lot of it is falling out. It has been since the last round of radiation, but its gotten a lot worse in the last month. We aren't talking a few strands... we're talking i have to unclog my tub after every single shower. I comb my hair and a handful of *wet* hair comes out... a handful of wet hair is a lot of hair. So then as I sat on the couch and hair just falls around me. I can't get it to stop. i just ran my hand through one more time, casually, 4 strand come out. i have a lot of hair, its not like I'm going bald... but i can see where its getting thinner... and I can't help but wonder how long it can keep falling out. straight or curly, long or short... I'm known for my hair... its sort of my identity. If this stupid cancer takes it away from me... its a change i don't have control over, its a change in my identity that i don't control. Metaphor for my life? Quite possibly.

So what causes the hair to fall out? the side effects of radioactive iodine are worse 2-3 months after dosing. Its been 4 months. Hypothyroidism makes hair fall out. So that would imply that my meds are off. Which is what i think... and almost hope for. It would explain the tiredness, the depression, the mental slowdown, the writers block, the inability to focus and read, to get the thoughts from my brain to my mouth, the weight gain etc. etc. etc.

And other alternatives... the other what ifs... i'm still waiting... waiting for my blood work to come in, waiting for the news of the cancer still being there. Then what, electronic beam therapy? Chemo? Well doesn't that just leave my hair shit out of luck, eh?

Its my one true vanity. Maybe in that sense it needs to be taken away from me. Truly humble me. Right... b/c I wasn't ready to give up all my material aspirations to go join the peace corps for life 4 years ago... oh wait, no, that's right, it was Americorps first... I was clearly so self centered in my need to devote myself to helping others that taking away everything in a few steps is exactly the best way to crush that sort of spirit. Sorry. I'm teetering into another topic plaguing my brain. Guess for now I'll just watch my hair fall out and sit and wait just that much longer for whatever it is that's coming next.

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