As I stood in the swimming pool changing cubicle this morning, drying myself, I noticed that it wasn't just water coming away with my towel.
I checked the hair on my head, and whilst it wasn't handfuls, it was definitely very easy to pull out the strands. It's bizarre, the accuracy with which this can be predicted. Two to three weeks, they said. This is day 16. My daughter has been pulling my hair occasionally, just to check (and so, between you and me, have I). Yesterday, it was all very firmly attached.
Coming home and demonstrating the free and easy Brazilian, my husband observed how alarming it is that, despite me looking and feeling fine, there is clearly an unseen poisonous war raging inside. He is right. My energy levels have miraculously returned. I am back to my usual 50 lengths in the pool, cooking dinner and hanging out the laundry. I was beginning to think that my body had conquered the chemotherapy. Perhaps my hair might not fall out at all (see above, firmly attached etc).
There should have been a clue in my blood results, which showed that the day before yesterday, my white blood cells were still few and far between (meaning that I am still highly prone to picking up infections, as those cells are needed for their germ busting properties). I can't feel their absence either.
Having established that hair loss is no laughing matter, the only way to cope, really, is by laughing.
And laugh I did, right there in the privacy of the changing cubicle. This was thanks to my stylish and sensitive friend, who agreed with me that Wigs Clinic is a ghastly name for a place that should make women feel better about themselves.
"Have you noticed," she pondered, "how hairdressers often use a pun for their salon name? Perhaps we could re-name the Wigs Clinic. How about Hair Today (as in Gone Tomorrow)?"
Ah, yes. Fighting misery with words: that I can do. We were on a roll. How about...
The Hairy Situation
Keep Your Hair On
Hair You Go
I'm Out Of Hair
The Hair Raising Clinic
Neither Hair Nor There
Or, my personal favorite: Wish You Were Hair...
That's why I stood there in the swimming pool, grinning like an idiot. Because the Wig Appointment is this afternoon, and with my hair coming away in my hands, a visit to Hair Today could not be better timed.