The first time my head started tingling I thought my kids brought me a gift from school, if you know what I mean....
How unfair to have cancer *and* creepy crawlies! I mean, come on!
But when I combed my hair, I did not find any unpleasant surprises (thank God!)
A few days later, I had a different, but no less unpleasant, surprise. My hair started falling out.
So far, I have never lost all of my hair. Over time, especially this year, my hair has thinned dramatically. However, I still have enough hair sticking out of my headscarves (which I wear for religious reasons, having nothing to do with cancer) to give the illusion that I have not lost my hair.
Also, because I am fair skinned, and fair haired, even when I lost most of the hairs on my eyebrows, there were some people who did not notice, though most did (I think).
Recently, I noticed that my hair was growing back. It made me feel good.
Then, about a week and a half into radiation, my head started tingling again. The doctors and the nurses warned me that the radiation could make my hair fall out. They also told me that for some people, the hair loss is permanent. I, of course, did not really believe that my hair would fall out... until I felt the tingling.
During the past few days, the tingling became more intense and more frequent. I knew what was coming.
I first noticed the hair coming out on Friday. By Shabbat, the loss accelerated.
I feel like a puppy. I am shedding.
I am not freaking out, but it does make me sad.
I am wondering if I should just shave it all off, to save the mess.
I wonder if that would be allowed during the three weeks (from the 17th of Tamuz through the 9th of Av, when Jews traditionally refrain from cutting their hair as a sign of mourning the destruction of the Temple).
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Interesting Psak: the Selfie
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