For our friends in treatment right now one of the things you might have to look forward to is losing your hair. I used to think this was a shallow thing to be concerned about but you guys, this is a very literal thing and usually the only symptom of being a cancer patient that we as humans can wrap our heads around since it’s so literal. It matters.
Not all chemo drugs will make you lose your hair and if it does it doesn’t happen right away. For me I started shedding after the 6th dose of my Abraxane. I cut my hair short with my long-time stylist and friend Renee at Sanctuary because I was sick of cleaning up hair all over my house and when it was time to be fitted for wigs at 808 Salon they actually just shave your whole head (which yes is kind of shocking I hated mine for a few days) (Honolulu friends make sure you reach out 808 Salon if you are in treatment Henry is amazing).
It definitely doesn’t look so amazing to have no eyelashes or eyebrows especially if you’re a woman, but you don’t have to suffer. Well, actually if you can suffer through the tattoo you can get permanent makeup before you start chemo. Jenn Kim at Beauty Mark will actually be donating the eyebrow tattoo to two cancer patients a month so make sure if you are in treatment to reach out to her at The Lash Boutique to get on that waiting list. You can also call fellow survivor sister (and president of ACP) Leanne at Lux as I know she will donate for women in cancer treatment as well. I got my first ones done by Ana at Top Nail in Kaimuki (Mar’s auntie!) and yes… it hurts. They put numbing cream on but it might as well have been chapstick, lol. It’s pretty damn worth it though. I felt like I could go out in public and not scare people.
It really mattered when I had to go in the hospital for those four days in July/August because my port got infected. I still had just enough lashes to get extensions so I did and with the eyebrow tattoos I just felt so much more presentable.
If you just can’t bear the tattoo on your face thing there are places you can order the stick-on eyebrows that are just as good. Try this place and if you are in treatment you can apply for support this week through our ACP website. We will be donating some to our first applicants! Stay tuned for that. If you are worried about the costs remember how much money you spent on crap before you got sick. Some things are worth it.
Just remember this is only a temporary thing and you won’t look like this forever. Embrace it and accentuate it! Get some cute stylish glasses and big earrings. I felt a lot more confidant when I had to go out in public if I wasn’t trying to hide it. People are pretty damn impressed with people in treatment it’s a very difficult thing to do so just let it happen. At this point in your treatment you are probably also learning that what other people think should have about zero percent of your energy. There are much much better things to appreciate in life, like your own amazing self! You are so strong! You can do this! I hope you are doing ok. Drink lots of water! Always drink so much water!