Leslie's Diary: Thursday, Dec. 14

My Hair's Falling Out

SAN ANTONIO - Two weeks to the day after my first chemo treatment, and my hair is falling out!

My alarm went off as usual this morning at the awful hour of 3 a.m., and I didn't see a chunk of hair on my pillow and didn't have a tingly feeling on my head. I didn't notice anything unusual. That is until I got into the shower.

I lathered up with shampoo, and as I started rinsing, handfuls of hair washed away with the soap. At first, I was in disbelief. I started running my hands through my hair and sure enough dozens of strands stuck between my fingers.

I just stood there, water running, looking at it and pulling more of it out. You'd think I would stop pulling it and try to save what's left, but I didn't.

I knew this day was coming, but I certainly wasn't prepared for it. I don't think there's any way to prepare for it. Now, I'm going to look sick. Everybody will know I'm a baldy and I have cancer.

Well, if I'm going to be bald, I've decided to do it on my terms. I refuse to watch every strand fall out -- patches of baldness, thinning hair and a desperate attempt to keep it as long as possible. NO WAY!

Tonight, I'm having a hair shaving party at my house. Family and my closest friends will be there, along with a KSAT 12 photographer so I can share it with you later. We will each take a turn shaving my head and will each keep a lock for memories.

Then, tomorrow it's back to Hagood's for the final wig fitting. Then on to Becky's for the final cut and shape.

Monday morning, I'll have store-bought hair. But I will know -- and so will you -- that I'm really bald as a newborn baby.

Can I handle this emotionally? Probably not, but I'm going to give it one heck of a try. I'll write more Monday and let you know how it all "shakes out."

Wish me luck!


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