Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Ray Of Hope?

"I see growth!"  That was the dermatologist's first statement to me after inspecting my scalp.  I felt relief, I felt tears of joy, I felt hopeful.  "But (and there always has to be a but, right?) it's not as much growth as I was hoping for."  Still, I had the "growth" statement ringing in my ears so I wasn't as concerned with the rest.  The doctor made the decision to switch my steroid scalp treatment to an even stronger steroid treatment in the hopes she would see more hair growth in the next 2 months or we will be forced to search for new options-options with more risks and options I'm not sure I'm ready for just yet...It has been 1 week since I've started the new steroid treatment and, unfortunately, I'm seeing more hair loss instead of hair gain.  This new steroid, thankfully, isn't peeling my scalp the way the other one did, but it also isn't doing squat (that I'm able to notice).  Yesterday I felt myself falling apart as I was pulling hair off of my shoulders and arms-and counting them-by the dozens.  My hopefulness and happiness was downgraded to angry and helpless.  I forced myself to put on my happy face, pretend like nothing was wrong and enjoy some time out with my girlfriends.  I'm trying to cherish these times out with friends because I don't know if I'll have the courage to continue time out with friends once the truth is revealed.  I can't help but wonder how much time I have left to look normal, to feel somewhat pretty and to feel good about myself?  How much more time do I have to pull this 'lie' off without others noticing before I'm forced to hide away and never be seen or heard from again?  I feel my time running out and I feel the panic inside me.  It's not actual life or death, but it feels like the death of the REAL me is coming faster than I can prepare myself.  To add insult to injury, my blood pressure has hit an ultimate low out of nowhere (which means the Spiro option may be off the table-still unsure) and my OB is now also convinced something is seriously wrong with my hormones.  I won't go into detail, but I will be going into the OB office to have a bunch of tests done in the next week...the good news is these tests could possibly reveal some reason for my hair loss that hasn't yet been detected, but a ray of hope isn't worth much to me at this point.      

Monday, March 4, 2013


     I have put on my best 'being patient and brave' face for the past month.  I was even downright optimistic for a while.  The shedding continued, but then something crazy happened-while my hair was on a "break" from the steroids I made another hair appointment with a new stylist, who also happens to be my cousin who owns her own Salon.   I explained to her my situation (so she is now the 3rd person who knows) and explained to her that my dermatologist encouraged I continued to have my hair colored as a way to make me feel good about myself still.  For the first time in my life I hated having my hair done because I was fearful the entire time.  Even though Cousin K knew of the situation I wasn't sure if she had informed the others working in the salon and what their reaction would be at the girl with the shedding head of hair.  However, I left feeling good about myself and for a week my shedding stopped completely-I even forgot about it.  I thought, 'this is what I've been waiting for...this is why I had to be patient'.  But with the restart of the steroids, after 2 days, the shed continued.  Not only did the shed continue, but this round of treatments my scalp begun to shed as well.  I was picking off pieces of dead scalp!!  I had a little dandruffish issue after my first round of steroids and, after talking to the doctor, was told to ask my stylist, Cousin K, for some anti-dandruff shampoo that wouldn't strip my haircolor.  I was using the shampoo, but my hair and scalp were not cooperating!  At this point, 11 days into my second round of steroid treatment, I stopped the treatment (without consulting the doctor since I'm a little angry with her at the recent turn of events).  I expected the hair to stop falling, like last time, but this time around has been nothing but DRAMA!  My floors, my hairbrushes, the shower floor, the hair on my clothes- I'm having a very low moment.  The miracle cream that was going to save my hair seems to be drying it out and killing it more-or maybe that's my imagination?  I'm not even sure anymore.  I know for a fact that the hair is still falling and I know for a fact that new hair growth is not in the cards with this steroid stuff.  
Miracle Cream that isn't so miraculous

This is just a few days after cleaning out my brush- I didn't even know I had this much hair on my head
And the dreaded floor I'm forced to look at after each hair drying session.   The dermatologist told me NEVER to look at the floor after drying my hair but how can I avoid this disaster surrounding my feet?

I still try to believe that someday I will be able to face this without fear or tears, but this month has been a downer and I'm trying to embrace the fact that any beauty I possessed has slipped away, to the bathroom floor, with my hair.