Then I began my second phase of chemo (which I was unaware of at the time--was a very potent chemo) according to my nurse, this chemo intimidates even a veteran cancer patient who undergoes continuous chemo treatments. Now this set of chemo had one that ran for 48hrs straight and another which I received at 10am for two days straight. It was a pretty immediate effect for me. Not long after they ran I began to feel extremely fatigued and beat up as though I was "run over by a bus" is how one nurse put it. I could barely keep up with what was going on around me or do my normal activities such as go for walks and do my day to day stuff that was important to building up my strength and maintaining my spirits so that the whole process doesn't take hold of me and keep me down. At this point my spirits did begin to go down and it was harder than ever to even get out of bed let alone think of going for a walk or going to the game room to keep my spirits up. One of the nurse technicians did pull me aside and gave me a sort of pep talk, reminding me that each time I pull myself out of bed and do something--anything that pushes my recovery closer and closer and builds my spirits up more and more will make it easier to then get out of bed. She reminded me that though it is normal & exactly what all Bone MArrow Transplant (BMT) patients go through I can't give in and dwell in that hole that is ever so tempting to stay in. Not long after this needed pep talk even though I felt like road-kill I decided to pick to my feet and go for a needed walk. Though it was difficult pushing myself, it was rewarding because I did feel a bit stronger and lighter in spirit.
Around this same time was when my scalp became very sensitive to touch and even as I rested my head on a pillow my head would ache. Then I noticed my hair was beginning to thin and soon noticed more and more hair coming out on my comb. The eye opening experience was when I was washing my hair and all I could feel was all this scratchy thing around my neck and ears only to look down at the drain to see all of my hair caked all around me. At this point I was using a face towel to was my hair instead of vigorously washing with my hands and nails because of how sensitive my scalp had become. Though I knew my hair would fall out, experiencing it and seeing all my hair on the floor and all over my face towel is another thing. I found myself getting a bit emotional seeing the final product in the mirror where minutes before I had the normal me with a full head of normal hair no longer there. Now all that remains are fuzzy hair patches throughout my head. Over the next couple of days those fuzzy patches were more balding than fuzzy patches.
The next thing for me to do is to get a wig. My mother was going to purchase one for me but the bone marrow unit's social worker shared that they will purchase the wig for me. She provided me with a catalog to look through and choose from. It's hard picking a wig because I have never worn a wig before so its a weird thing for me to do but many woman wear wigs so it should be fine. I think my trepidation comes from fear of looking like I have a dead carcass on my head. I want the wig to look like I have my normal hear. I don't want to look fake in any way but there are good options in the catalog I have and I can only hope to choose the right one that will fit me and look great on me. Until the wig comes in I've just been wearing a hat and using scarves to keep from getting chills because my scalp has been getting allot of breeze lately, lol. Once I get the wig you'll see my new but hopefully natural look where you'll hopefully question whether or not I even have a wig on. Until then I'm left thinking of that song that INdia Arie sang named I Am Not My Hair which is so true in its lyrics. This is only a temporary occurrence and in about 6 months all my hair will grow back. Nurses have shared that many patients have different hair grow back in and most times the hair that grows in is better. So prayerfully I get an even more beautiful head of hair in the upcoming months.