Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Uncool chemo

Before you start chemo, you go to an information session at the hospital where they list all the ways you might get ill (in case you missed it, a sore throat can be an "emergency", "life threatening" and "fatal"). So you think the defining feature of chemo is illness. In my experience, this is incorrect! As well as illness, there's another defining feature which is finding yourself in a variety of weird and / or embarrassing situations. Here's a few of my own examples. (If you would like to make a film about me then you are welcome to include these but I want my character to be made generally more cool and glamorous and be played by Jennifer Connelly.)

Tidying up my bedroom. Unable to remember what I put in that box, opening it up and finding a bag of my own hair from the early days.

Realising I needed to shave under my arms and being absolutely over the moon about it (because when you are on chemo, hairy armpits are a sign of hope for the future).

Going to meet my MP to discuss the serious issue of the sexualisation of breast cancer awareness, and blurting out that I am jealous of her hair. (She does have amazing hair though.)

Leaving my wig on the bed in the spare room because I was too lazy to put it on its stand in my bedroom. Waking up the next day, excited to be going to spend the day with a friend. Going in to the spare bedroom and finding the wig in a mess on the floor and the dog asleep and snoring on the bed in its place. (Mini heart attack and nearly throttled the dog but thankfully no actual harm done.)

Dancing and strutting around the kitchen singing along to Divinyls "I touch myself" with a headscarf on and bits of toilet paper plugging my nose to stop the continuous streaming of Chemo Nose Dribble.

Having conversations with friends that get given hashtags like #bumprobs, involve comparing tongues to see whose is the most disgusting, or include statements like "Well, my vajayjay is currently a blank canvas."

Being invited to a friend's house for dinner and asking if I can bring anything. The response: "Yes, bring Bonnie and bring your polystyrene head".

For a joke, going through with a friend's suggestion of taking the opportunity to try out some different eyebrow styles. And then getting the following feedback on Twitter on my makeup work of art from a complete stranger: "For me the lip liner is fine but the eyebrows is too long, n for me it quite little bit strange."

Kneeling on the floor in front of my friend while she inspects my ginormous bald patch for new hair growth.

Sitting in my appraisal at work, getting an itch and scratching it.... and then realising I have no idea if my right eyebrow will still be there when I next look in a mirror.

Having a panic that I have somehow grown another cancer tumour (on my good side), going to my GP, finding out it is not cancer but probably an infected hair follicle, and being teased mercilessly for obviously being a hairy beast.

(Image credit: @ALilEarthquake !)

Having written this I realise most of the above are related to hair loss of one kind or another. It really is the shittiest chemo side effect of them all! Oh well. Ni modo.  

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