Well, folks…. the time has come for Britney Spears and I to share more in common than previously thought. If I could get my hands on a green umbrella and a few paparazzi then my Halloween costume will be complete! Tonight´s the night when I´m buzzing it; taking it to the dome so to speak.
I must say that losing my hair has been the most disgusting physical thing to ever happen to me. What this means is, that health wise, I have been a pretty lucky girl. Up until my diagnosis I had never stayed in a hospital, had any kind of surgery, or really had any serious health problems of any kind. My body has stood up to the chemo pretty well and mostly I have felt like myself. My mom and I have been touring Santiago, I´ve been able to eat pretty much everything I used to eat before and have occasionally allowed myself a glass of wine. My energy level has been high and my immune system is holding up well. Thanks to Hollywood, I had envisioned puking my brains out over a toilet day in and day out. Luckily, so far this has not been the case.
In fact, I looked so normal and felt so normal that I almost forgot that something was wrong. When I finally made my appearance at school last week, I could hear my students whispering, ¨The Miss looks the same.¨ That was until three days ago when my hair started to go. It held strong for a few weeks, but my doctor told me at my last appointment that this would be the week. Apparently, the hair loss comes like clockwork for all chemo patients. So in a way, I was prepared, but not entirely ready to watch it happen. There is absolutely nothing more disgusting then running a brush through your hair and watching it fall out in clumps in your hands. Last night my pony tail holder got stuck in all my dead hair and eventually Jon and I just gave up untangling it and decided to chop off the pony tail instead with a pair of kitchen shears. In the shower this morning I tried to be as gentle as possible, but I still ended up with a half a head of hair down the drain. It´s kind of like that recurring dream I have where my teeth crumble and fall out, but instead of it being a dream, it is actually happening. (Ive been told the dream represents having a lack of control, which seems pretty appropriate given the circumstances. Do you guys have this dream, or is it just me?)
Anyway, I had already decided that as soon as the hair starts to go I was going to buzz it. I didn´t want to grieve every time more follicles fell. Some of the ladies at school were nice enough to donate money towards the purchase of a wig. At first I was excited about the prospect of a wig because I often like to change my hair length and the color of my hair. My friends and I had a fun Saturday afternoon roaming the streets of Santiago visiting various peluquerias. We even found this great store in El Golf owned by a fascinating character named Alejandro. I really really wanted to buy a wig from him as he knows my Chilean friend, Paulita, whom I taught with in China. What a small world!
The girls wanted me to go darker to bring out my eyes so we tried on wigs in various shades of brown. Most of them, however, came with obnoxious chasquillas (bangs) that certainly did not resemble my normal look in the slightest. After trying on a variety of wigs I felt very sad that I looked so different. After all this change, I just wanted to look like myself, you know? Yesterday my mom and I went to a wig store recommended by Clinica Alemana. The woman was very nice and knowledgeable and made me feel at ease because she had several wigs with honey colored shades of blonde and brown. The wigs were gorgeous: long luscious hair down to the middle of my back, but I looked ridiculous in all that hair. And guess how much???? I almost fell out of the chair. 1800 dollars!!!!!!!! NO WAY! plus I would be chopping off most of the hair anyway. So we tried on some shorter wigs and found one that most closely resembled my natural look. With a few darker highlights and a more layered look I definitely think it´s the one. And now… for your viewing pleasure: me in a dark wig and me in the blonde wig. What do you think?
Me as a blonde
Me as Morticia: