Cycle 2 & Hair Loss

Cycle 2 started off good. I had a haircut Monday that transformed my asymmetrical style into a pixie (Thank you Davian!!) . I’m really sad I didn’t get more time to play with this length!

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My blood counts came back up and I was able to have treatment as scheduled. That was a relief. We ran into issues with my port acting as just a one way so they couldn’t draw blood from it. I felt like a circus show doing all these tricks to try to get it working (draw in a deep breath and cough hard, lean over and hang my arms between my legs, lay on my side, get up and walk around) – they also gave me a medicine that usually clears up whatever is causing the blockage (not a clot but a fibrous sheath? a little membrane) and did a rapid infusion of IV liquids to try to get it moved.

Anyways nothing was working so after 2.5 hours of this they finally re-accessed it and it worked on the first try. Because of the toxicity of one of my drugs, it is really super important that we can use the port and that it’s always working properly.

First day of chemo and the day after were better than round 1. But there were a few differences. We had one of my medications infused over 45 minutes rather than 30, and I think that really helped. I also came home and went to bed at like 8pm to try and stave off some of the nausea.  Instead of going in the next day for my shot, I came home with an on-body injector on my stomach (ouch!! I will not be doing it on my stomach again)

Neck: Tack from port insertion – you can see the catheter under the skin if you look close.

Chest: Port insertion scar + Port itself (the round part you can see a scab on from access)

Stomach: on body injector for my immunity booster

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I felt pretty darn crappy Friday – body aches from my shot and so so tired. I laid in bed basically all day – too exhausted to even listen to music, read a book, or watch television.

The hardest part started this weekend though when my hair started falling out. It came by the handfuls. Emotionally, this was definitely one of the harder parts since finding out I had cancer – especially in the last month. I cried the day my chemo got scheduled, but this weekend I cried on alllllll the days.

I would lay in bed and run my hands through my hair and come away with this…

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I would shower and feel like I couldn’t get all the hair off my body…

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I started getting a receding hairline and bald spots on my scalp… I felt like a mangy old dog with some disease.

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We went to my cousin’s Sunday night and I wore a headwrap out because my hair looked so bad. I had to excuse myself part way through the night and go shake and rub my head off into their shower and get off hair that was itchy – before putting my cap back on and scooping up all the hair to put in the garbage.

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Finally, Monday night came and we shaved it. I knew I wanted it documented – so we did. And you’ll have to wait to see the final product after I get those photos back 🙂

I didn’t realize how much hair I had until it was all falling out. It’s really amazing how much our self-esteem and how we view ourselves has to do with our hair. It given me a new perspective on how hard it is for others who struggle with hair loss – my own husband started losing his hair at age 16. I joked with him, “Hey babe, we’ll have the same hairline!” and he told me, “no, I’ll still *have* a hairline” – toupe babe, I mean, touche.

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5 thoughts on “Cycle 2 & Hair Loss

  1. Candace Ball says:

    oh boo 😦 what an emotionally tough day! We love you and hope you know how beautiful and wonderful you are, hairline or no (lol about your “toupe” comment!) You and Ryan are my favorite baldies. ❤

    Like

  2. Laura says:

    You are so amazing to share this journey with us. I cannot imagine how you felt with that much of your own hair in your hands.
    I love you & the way you are trying to help others who will have this same experience have a place to come & feel with you!
    Know that you are loved, prayed for and hoped for!

    Like

  3. Millie Henrikson says:

    You looked like one of those cute trolls with your hair pink and spiked up! Need a jewel in your belly button! I love you Janelle girl! I am proud of you and your courage and example! You got this! I am excited to see your beautiful bald head!!!

    Like

  4. Kelsey Dennis says:

    Janelle, I just found out about your cancer. I don’t have any words. I started reading your posts and just had tears in my eyes. What a strong woman you are! Thank you for sharing your journey (including all the rants!) My family will keep you in our prayers.

    Like

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