Tuesday, 15 April 2008

31. the week after chemo [last bit]

Monday 14th to Tuesday 15th April

Monday was the day I had been dreading. You’ll remember that I made an appointment for a lunchtime haircut with Exeter Hair and Beauty last week. So, I spent all morning on Monday trying to think of good and sound reasons why I couldn’t possibly go. I felt sick. I had work to do. I might need to be here to do an urgent translation for Patricia. Isabelle might need the presentation right now. Oh blah.

Eventually I managed to force myself into a shower, into clothes, into makeup, then of course I rang the taxi so late that they couldn’t get here in time. [Bus? NO!! costs nearly as much as a taxi, and never arrives!] I had to ring and warn Tanya [my hairdresser] that I’d be 15 minutes late – ooo, so pathetic! Really, really wanted my friend Isabelle to appear on the horizon to go with me. Impossible of course, as the silly woman is in Portugal. Very inconvenient!! I can’t imagine why she doesn’t have a holiday apartment here, in order to be at my beck and call. Right, off to the hair chopping session, sans Isa. Bummer. I am such a coward. But then I have always equated the hairdressers with the dentists – and I have to be sedated to have even a small filling!

Tanya, the girl who cut my hair [no, that’s not old age – she really is a youngster], was brilliant. She was totally and utterly cool. Chopped off my hair in no time, leaving the front nice and long, and the back very short. She asked me about what was going on, chatted away, didn’t patronise me, and didn’t upset me by being all sympathetic. I am eternally grateful to her, as I’d expected to get upset [yes, blasted menopause again – doesn’t allow you to think past ‘I might start crying at that’] and because she was so pragmatic. Great! Thank you! Left the hairdressers feeling much better, as that was one more thing I needed to get behind me. As the Yanks say, that was quite ‘empowering’!

After work I went to see the wig ladies. Luckily for me the woman who’d been away on holiday had returned, and the choice was simple, as she is quite decisive, and didn’t keep BRUSHING the wig [I don’t ‘do’ brushed hair]. Got one paid for by the NHS and another that I bought myself. Both short. Less transition time once my hair starts to grow back. [so surreal – still can’t imagine myself with no hair actually]. Also bought an amusing French leopard skin style bandana/turban affair for round the house. Really soft inside and quite demented. Need some blingy earrings to go with it. Sorry Jacket, but needs must darling! I KNOW leopard skin is très boring, but it feels great!

I don’t care what Andrew says, I am totally NOT going to allow him to see me with no hair. Ha!! In his dreams [or his nightmares – can’t decide] whatever, it’s never going to happen! Bald is one thing...having your husband see you bald? That’s another. Yuck! Anyway, the wig woman [Jeanine?] said it’s better to sleep with something on your head, as you get cold – all the heat flies out of the top of you. As she has been doing this for years, I will take her advice. I’ve had a ton of hair all this time, so I am sure a light weight skull cap type affair isn’t going to be a problem. Have to glue it on maybe?

Tootled off to Nandos afterwards to wait for Jones to pick me up – had a fabulous glass of Portuguese red wine – at £4.50 for a glass I would hope so. I swear you can buy the whole bottle for that price in Portugal. But it was nice anyway, and sat in the sun too, a bonus. So, a good day all told – hair cut, wigs bought and - I forgot to mention!! A wonderful woman at Dingles Clarins counter!!

Bah. I am tired of typing now, but must mention this. I popped into the Clarins counter at Dingles to see if I could find a better foundation for when I have no hair. Their facial products are the only ones I am not allergic to, so thought it a good idea. Well, it was a brilliant idea! The woman at the counter was great – she used to work with ‘Look Good, Feel Better’ in Bristol. Now she has moved down from London to Exeter, and is hoping to work with them here too. So she was completely at home with advice for chemo patients and gave me loads of good tips plus a lot of free samples to try at home. Whoo hoo – excellent! I am now the proud owner of false tanner, foundation, stuff to make your face look more glowy etc etc. All these silly little things make such a difference. I am hoping I will see her at the ‘Look Good, Feel Better’ session at Force – she was so kind. Another result!

So, it’s now Tuesday. No painkillers, no nausea tablets. I had a good day, spent lunch time outside as we actually had some sun for a change. Chatted to my Brazilian friend in Portugal – she is the only person left that if I talk to her, I start crying! It’s her voice – she is so simpatico, it breaks my heart. Tried to do a bit of gardening, and managed, but not a lot. Will try to do a teeny bit every day, and build up to it now. More fabulous photos from my youngest brother, and lovely scandalous emails from my other brother [always good – keeps you occupied!]. One of my more demented friends fell down a ski slope and got a black eye and a sprained wrist – had me in stitches! So grateful that I have so many friends – they are all so bloody entertaining! Off to the fireside!

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