Tag Archives: hair

Going Boldly Back to Waxing

Today I learned one of those little things nobody tells you about life after chemo…


You know all that money and time and pain-management you have invested over the years in a little beauty ritual known as waxing your legs?  You know how after many years of such investment, the hair started thinning a bit, growing back a little more sparsely, the roots weakened and eventually (say after about 12 years) these little torture sessions became more tolerable?  Well our friend chemo resets the clock on all this.  When your hair grows back – right after you have celebrated the fact that you actually have hair to wax again after months without – you will find that those little roots are as deep and tough and determined as praire grass. Just like they were way back in the beginning of your first foray in to the world of waxing.


In a word: YEOUCH!


Still, I’m not complaining.  Well I am, obviously, but I’m grateful to have hair at all and what’s the pain of a leg wax compared to the myriad evil side-effects of chemo?


To those of you who are hairless: go baldly and bravely onward, knowing you will one day have hair again. 


To those who have hair again: go boldly and bravely back to your esthetician knowing you’ve been warned. 



Filed under Living with Breast Cancer

Grey Hairs and Cockroaches

So my hair is coming back with a vengeance.  Everywhere, if you catch my drift.  Loss of body hair was one of those rare things, The Cancer Perk. (Actually I can’t think of any others, except the kindness of strangers and maybe the disabled parking pass you can get for the duration of treatment.*) 


When all my hair disappeared I was too busy feeling like crap to fully appreciate not having to shave/wax/pluck/laser… And anyway, I don’t think the chemo-zilian ever really compensated for going bowling-ball bald up top.  Not that I’m complaining – I am absolutely thrilled that my hair is growing and especially that my eyelashes are back. I just forgot how much work it is clear-cutting forests and keeping stray eyebrows away from the chin area.


And while being not bald is in itself truly fantastic, I do kind of feel like I’m wearing someone else’s haircut now. Someone with dark, really short hair. Someone with a few GREY hairs.  


I don’t know if the grey has materialized due to the stress of having cancer or just because I’m no longer 22, but it is not welcome. The effrontery!  Like I haven’t endured enough.  In retaliation I’ve dyed my hair and when those pesky little greys reappear, I’ll pluck ‘em out one by one and show ‘em not the slightest mercy. 


And yes, I have been warned (repeatedly) that “if you pluck one grey hair out, six more show up in its place,” but I refuse to buy in.  I gave up believing in myths like that after a lifetime of blindly accepting my mother’s famous Cockroach Theory, which goes like this: Even if you separate its disgusting little body into several pieces, a cockroach has the ability to regenerate, or somehow drag itself back into one piece.  I truly believed this, and as a result lived in more-than-average fear of roaches, thinking them not just gross but supernaturally evil.  That is, until one day in a quite nasty Moroccan hotel, when my then-boyfriend and I could not succeed in whacking to death a particularly terrifying cockroach.  The thing was almost as big as the shoe we were trying to use as the murder weapon. We would stun it, assume it was dead and stare at it in horror and disgust, deliberating about how to dispose of the body – when suddenly it would begin to twitch again. Before we knew it, la cucaracha was straightening out its crunched up little legs and speeding across the floor again, with then-boyfriend and shoe in hot pursuit. Obviously we had no choice: we had to hack it up.  Suffice to say the memory haunts me still, but at least once hacked up the thing stayed hacked up, and my mom’s famous Cockroach Theory was forever debunked.


And so it shall be with the grey hairs: I’ll get them out and they will not be instantly replaced with six grieving relatives. No mercy!  I mean business, just ask the Moroccan cockroaches.


*How to get the Parking Permit:  You go pick up the temporary disability permit forms at your local vehicle licensing office.  Your doctor signs them, and a temporary permit is issued immediately.  You will no longer have to pay for metered parking every single time you go to the hospital.  You will save a fortune. This tip came from Erella Ganon – and if it helps you, please join me in saying a little prayer for her every time you park for free. She has a tumour in her brain.



Filed under Living with Breast Cancer