Yesterday was my first meeting with an oncologist and I am PISSED OFF major. I woke at 5.30am then eventually launched myself out of bed at 6.15 to stop the churning. Churning mainly about all the stupid things you’re going to say to try and make me feel better about some shitty news from yesterday. I know. There you were just lying in bed somewhere fast asleep and I was already angry at you for all things you haven’t even said yet. So look, here’s the deal. I’m going to unleash my rage at you, then tell you what to say, and then everything will be OK. Got it?
My Oncologist broke it to me yesterday that I am going to lose my hair.
DON’T say, “It’s OK, it’ll grow back” because this is me right now.
I know I prepped for this meeting. Yesterday’s blog was all about me being OK with the chemo, but through all that mental and emotional prep, there was just this little itty-bitty blind spot.
I just thought I’d cold cap my way through this one. I was going to do cancer, sure, but I was going to do quick and easy cancer. Cancer for softies. Y’know, with nice tolerable, gentle chemo where I get to keep all my hair, and click my heels through summer like a smug cancer twat endlessly celebrating my not-terminal diagnosis and maybe just having a wee bit of time off work, to you know, convalesce with style, but otherwise winning.
I don’t do crying at these Big Cancer Meetings. But yesterday it all fell out of me.
“I’m so sorry”, I sobbed to the consultant after she’d broken the news, “I know it’s only hair”. She put her hands over mine across the desk (is it just me, or did she mist up a bit..?) .
“No.”, she said, “I understand. You have great hair” . (And how much do we love the Oncologist right now?).
And before you’ve even had time to scream “shut the fucking fuckity-fuck-fuck FUUCK OOFF” into the abyss, I was signing consent forms for this kind of chemo and that kind of chemo and weeping again and saying, “it’s just.. I’m 42 and I’ve only just worked out how to do my hair”.
And once more Fleabag, just to drive it home.
So. I am in pre-emptive mourning for my hair. Don’t console me. Don’t try and make me feel better about it.
Any “but it WILL grow ba…” will get a “ZIP IT”.
Don’t begin any sentence with “well at least…”.
But you can do this;
“Shit Shiv, not the hair! You have amazing hair. I’m gutted for you”
“Babes, I love you and I love your hair. I’m crying too right now”.
Celebrate my hair mournfully with me. Respectfully, for about 15 seconds, hands clasped, one eye on the clock.
And then let’s all start looking at interim comedy chemo cuts. I am not letting cancer take my hair. We’ve got to get there first.