My husband and I were on our way to my Sandostatin injection (the injection I get every 14 days for my Neuroendocrine cancer) at the hospital when we started talking about my hair & the fact I had been growing it out. I told him how much better I liked my hair long, but that it was so much work that it takes twice as much time & energy to do something with it. However, I have kept it short for the past 6 years or so purely for the wash & go factor. He posed a question to me that I had never really thought about. He asked me if I wished, at times, that the chemo would make my hair fall out. Hmm….
I have never really thought about it but in a lot of ways, yes, I do. To be clear, I am grateful that I am lucky enough to have kept my hair & that I “Look healthy”. I say it like that because it really is a double-edged sword. The types of cancer drug I get don’t cause you to lose your hair, or if it does happen it is very rare. When I go into the oncologist’s office I don’t get the same treatment as some other people who are being treated for cancer because I don’t look like I am, so therefore it must not be that bad.
Typically cancer patients would get a form they filled out to rate their symptoms they have with their treatment, such as how tired they are, if they have nausea, or vomiting, and other side effects. I don’t get this form to fill out, even though I have many of the the same side effects as traditional chemotherapy patients, minus the hair loss. The exclusion me feel as though my cancer doesn’t count and that my side effects are less important than everyone else’s.
The double edge sword is that sometimes people don’t get it. They see me for how I look on the outside and they have a hard time understanding I have cancer. That even though I look good on the outside it doesn’t mean I feel good. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, but just once I don’t want my illness to be questioned: “You look so good… You can’t be that sick.”
So yes some days I do wish my hair would fall out.