Saturday, August 2, 2008


I've spent about 15 minutes this evening plucking my moustache and my eyebrows. It feels a bit weird to be pulling out hairs when, in the next couple months, I'll be completely (and not perfectly happily) bald, but the fact is I don't want to be a 35-year-old woman with a handlebar on my lip (that's really what it looked like I was going for when I got out of the hospital and was looking at myself in the vanity mirror in the car), and I like the manicured shape of my eyebrows when I put some care into them. So out the tweezers came, and out the hair came.

I'm at an unusual place right now with the hair loss/gain, after five weeks of chemo and then almost five weeks off. Things that are going to disappear have recently started to come back. First of all, my head hair fell out because of the radiation, not the chemo. It happened way too fast to be chemo-related, and my scalp hurt in a different way (an itchy, microwaved way instead of a hair-is-too-much-for-these-follicles-to-take way). My head hair is showing no signs of returning anytime soon, although my scalp does ache a little, so maybe that is a first sign.

My leg hair wasn't falling out, but it had stopped growing very fast, and some of it wasn't growing at all, until the tail end of my hospital stay. When I came home there were several extra long hairs on my legs, about as long as you'd expect from the last time I shaved them more than three weeks before, and then there were tons of very short ones. They're all growing about like normal now.

My moustache was still growing, but my lip wasn't holding the hairs very strongly, and I could pluck them, even the ones right under my nose that always make my eyes water, with minimal effort and no pain. But they're back to normal, too. It has not been pleasant (although it's been very satisfying) to pull the moustache hairs out lately.

My eyebrows were kind of like my leg hair—not really falling out, but not held in too tight, and not growing in as rapidly as usual. This changed about two days ago. For the last couple days, I've noticed that the space between my brows and my eyes, near the bridge of my nose, has looked dirty. Sure enough, not dirt—hundreds of short, unwanted brow hairs. It's been satisfying to pull them out, too.

My pubic hair has fallen out almost completely, and is showing no signs of coming back. I don't know.

Anyway, I start up chemo again on Monday, and that means the hair loss cycle is going to start again too. And I'll be happy about the legs and the moustache, and sad when the last brows and lashes give up the ghost completely.


Ian said...

When you said you were inspired to write on the blog at 11:30 p.m., I was assuming you'd be writing about the glorious day you spent driving the boat around Lake Washington, watching the Blue Angels. But no, instead it was "plucking." Show's what I know.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Ian, not what I expected...but then life is like that, isn't it? By the by, waxing is MUCH less painful on mustache hair than plucking. Just thinking about it made my eyes water.

KateMV said...

I'm a bleach person myself, but either way, both plucking and boat driving sound like wonderfully satisfying activities for someone recently out of the hospital. So glad to hear about them both!

Chiara said...

I had a brow wax the other day and am NEVER DOING THAT AGAIN, thanks very much. I can't believe you pluck your do you have the courage?

Boat sounds cool though!

Andrienne said...

Calin, fabulous! Just wait until you are old enough that your eyes start to go, and you don't notice the handlebar until you are looking in a magnifying mirror! Then you will know the true horror of not having plucked in time! See what you have to look forward to?