In which my Barnet* gets an outing

The day before yesterday I noticed that my scalp had started to ache and was feeling gritty. Shortly afterwards hairs began coming away. This was a Significant Moment. I knew it was coming but it was still a shock. Next morning after my shower the shower tray was littered with more evidence. My head still looks much the same, but the hair is noticeably thinner although not actually showing bald patches. Nevertheless, I decided to give my wig an outing, partly because it was so cold yesterday, and partly because I wanted to stop loose hairs from falling onto my clothimg while I was out at an event in Worthing. At the event I saw several people I knew and none of them commented that I looked particularly different, just that I looked well. That was the idea! I didn’t want a wig that drastically changed my appearance, though I was tempted to go long and blonde at one point. I tried that once in my twenties, and it was a major disaster.

On the cosmetic front I’ve booked a pamper day at the end of the month. This is run once a month by the McMillan nurses at Worthing Breast clinic, and they give you a massage, and show you makeup techniques to cope with a lack of eyebrows and so on.

At the event I attended yesterday I purchased some oil for the skin. It’s made of frankincense, sandalwood and myrrh (the maker calls it Magi oil, though there’s no sign of any gold in it!) which is supposed to have excellent cancer healing properties. The lady who sold it to me is a holistic therapist. (Or snake-oil salesperson if you are a cynic!). But I believed what she said about research into the way frankincense attacks cancer cells – and only cancer cells (unlike chemo).

Last evening I rubbed some Argan oil (purchased in Morocco some years ago) into my scalp to ease the discomfort I am experiencing. It’s good for the rest of the skin too. It makes my hair oily but it has eased the sore scalp.

As far as my general wellbeing is concerned, last week I visited the CU Fitter gym. I was late for my appointment because it’s a bit hidden away. But I found it eventually! A cancer-trained fitness adviser gave me a thorough assessment and booked me into a post-chemo exercise class (to follow my next session, due next Friday) to help the drugs work better, and a Pilates class for this week.

Despite all my preparations and avoidance of germs, I’ve developed cold symptoms and had a little nap yesterday afternoon. I don’t usually take a nap so I guess I really was feeling a little under the weather.  I need to get over it by Friday or I risk not being able to have my chemo session. Since Stephen is coming over on Thursday, I really don’t want a delay in my treatment. I ended my evening with a bath in Epsom Salts (great for aching muscles) and early bed.

*Barnet: A person’s hair. Mid 19th century: from rhyming slang barnet fair, the name of a famous horse fair held at Barnet, Herts.



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