I'd forgotten how much my scalp hurts as my hair starts to go. I'll scratch my head only to come away with several strands under my nails. And I'm reluctant to wash it because so much hair ends up entangled in my fingers. My pillowcase in the mornings is covered in evidence that the chemo is taking effect.
Please, God, let it be killing the cancer as effectively.
In the last couple of weeks, Quinn's language has really taken off. For starters, after months of calling both of us "Dada," he finally, finally said "Mama" last week. I love it, eat it up, ask him to repeat it at least ten times a day. He would rather say airplane, which he pronounces "up-pane," as he points his chubby little finger to the sky. Along with his new vocabulary, he's also really proud of his ability to locate his (and my) ears, nose, mouth, toes, belly and - you guessed it - hair. What will he think when my hair goes "bye-bye"?
Chris took a lint roller to the shirt I was wearing the other day to clean off some stray hairs; a few minutes later we found Quinn rolling the sticky tape over his own clothes, the little monkey. One of my biggest concerns this time around is how he's going to react to his mama being bald. Last fall, he was only six months old and oblivious to my lack of hair. So I asked around, and am reminded again of the fierceness and warmth and beauty of the women who've been through this. The general consensus seems to be that it's easier on kids if they're involved in the process somehow; many women said they let their toddlers draw on their bald heads with washable markers or made the shaving a family event to take some of the scariness away. They reminded me that no matter what I'll still be his Mom.
So instead of hitting the salon again, I've asked Chris to do the honors and shave my head this weekend. Though I'm not sure I'm ready to let Q wield an electric razor, I figure he can watch me get my haircut and hope that will be easier on him than mysteriously waking up to my baldness.
All of this to say I've been pretty emotional this week about losing my hair, in large part because I'd really hoped to be done with this disease before Q started to form any lasting memories. To be clear: I mean I want to be HEALTHY for my son, that kind of "done with this disease," not gone before he has a chance to know me. And how twisted is it that I feel the need to un-jinx myself here, just in case the universe has some cruel shit up its sleeve? This is why I need Ativan, because some tiny part of me wonders if the cancer can actually hear me and has a mind of its own.
I have my second dose of chemo tomorrow morning. God, I hope this is working.