I feel a definite afterglow after the mini-symposium and my birthday and the headache has gone. But slowly preparations are made for the second of the four rounds of chemotherapy. Today a blood sample was taken, tomorrow I’ll have a preliminary talk with the case manager and if the blood values are okay, I’ll have another chemotherapy on Friday. The effect of the second chemo (and the following ones) seems to be like the first one. This means that I’ll have to keep to my bed for a few days from Sunday onwards. At the end of next week, possibly sooner it will feel as if the tight band around my head will be loosened. In the second week I hope to be able to do nice things and specially to catch up on sleep. In short: bad weeks and good weeks will alternate.
New in the second round will be that I might start losing my hair and that my eyebrows will get thinner. In my case this will be quite a striking effect. A well-known method to restrict the loss of hair is the wearing of a so-called cold cap (a strongly cooled cap) during the application of chemotherapy. The case manager showed me a website where it was shown in diagrams what was the probability of keeping one’s hair when using a cold cap. This seems to depend on the type of chemo. I love diagrams, so I saw immediately that with the combined chemotherapy I will be getting, this probability will be anything between 2 and 20%. I could try it this first time of course, but I was also given information on wigs and all sorts of cloth caps. The first 15 minutes of the cold cap are supposed to be hardest as during this time it freezes the scalp. Those first 15 minutes I could easily cope with: I am the sort of person that gets on her bike with wet hair in the cold and rinses her head with cold water after the shower every day. But I am not particularly looking forward to sitting still for hours wearing a bathing cap which is attached to a cable so that you can hardly move. It made me dizzy. I don’t like anything that is tight on my head, be it a cap, hairband or even these smart headphones. The second round I’ll try again though, but I may opt out in a later stage. If I do it will save time as well, for the cooling down and the after cooling of the scalp will take much longer than the chemotherapy itself.
Once when I was a child, I proudly left my long hair with the hairdresser, knowing that a wigmaker could do a wonderful job with it… What craftmanship it is, making such beautiful wigs! I have a wonderful job myself, but certainly wigmakers have as well. They help getting lots of people through a difficult time.
Still, I know a wig is not for me. For fifty years my body has shown how I feel and where I stand in life. Each of my scars has its own story. I never wanted to dye my greying hair. My body is like a dear travelling bag, weathered by adventures. I’m going to get myself a collection of cheerful (soft and smooth) cloth caps, matching my favourite outfits.