Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Life Laundry

I apologise in advance if this post is a bit meh, but it comes after 4.5 hours of staring at a duvet.

Post chemo is a very unproductive time. If you could call watching Hollyoaks productive, I would be happy to account for that, but nope, my body and brain doesn't even want to occupy itself to that level.

I have been trying to explain it to my mum, who has been watching me shuffle from bed to sofa to bed to sofa with a book in my hands, never opening or engaging in said book. The most I can manage is an adolescent 'I'm BORED', to which her lively suggestions of a game of cards or a video rental (the language we still use in Claygate) are met with 'mmmnno'. I suppose it's a bit like when you're having trouble concentrating on a book, and you keep reading the same line over and over again. But applied to everything. And permanently.

So I sincerely apologise, but when I can't even be bothered to snooze, a thought-provoking and practical post on my current beauty handling is somewhat unlikely. Also, I have been wearing the same t shirt for 6 days so 'beauty' doesn't really come into it.

When not duvet gazing I tend to compose things in my head -sign of madness? From a half arsed I'm All Better party speech (I didn't plan on making one, and the fragmented imaginary thing I just came up with made me well up, so I think It's safe to say I won't), to an impending text message, to future blog posts. I imagine them word for word, like a loon, till I have about 5 in my chemo brain memory bank. Which is about as reliable as Northern Rock, so really, what is the point of that? Trust me, they would have won me awards though. Promise...

What I have managed to do this week is a grow a little more head fluff, allocated a notebook to my party planning (so far I have written *yawn* in it) and washed my ginger wig, in preparation for my post chemo re-emergence into the real world. I'm thinking this will be a more full time occupation now, this living of life business. I'm taking it slowly, since I still feel wobbly to say the least, but a fresh head of not-my-hair seems like a good place to start.

By the way fellow wig wearers. It's not the easiest thing in the world to wash a wig. Ok your triceps don't ache from reaching over your own head, but there are other muscles involved as well as brain function that doesn't come so naturally. Not least the weirdness of dealing with a heavy, wet, dead-looking thing. Lucky for me I am a horror movie fan, but the sight of this on your bathroom floor (you need places to rest it while you squeeze out shampoo - that doesn't happen with your own hair) is not so happy for DadJokes.

Since most mums didn't teach us wig washing during the normal pubescent run down of lady-stuff-for-later-life, here is a quick tutorial:

*Use wig appropriate products. American Dream have their own range, which I didn't have to hand, so I used a colour protecting gentle shampoo from Aveda.

*If you're like me, and a bit reluctant to do this regularly, (I know, I know), there will be more product and dirt to wash out, but you don't need to worry about scalp or grease or dandruff or any other delightful real hair issues. Result! I tend to focus on smelling nice.

*Don't over rub. It'll take longer to get the whole thing soapy (so much dirt!) so start at the crown and keep rinsing (I dunk, it's easier) and re-soaping till the whole thing is covered. Then sort of knead it like dough instead of vigorously scrubbing. The head is a useful foundation for scrubbing. You'll find lack of head will lead you to scrub difficulties.

*Condition how you like, you don't need to worry about lank roots, so you can go root to tip for very shiny hair. I still stick to ends only though, it's the best way to get good texture in the roots for easier styling.

*Rinse it to death, comb through with a brush (you can be quite brutal if you have a good wig. Just grip the hair in a fist above a knot, so you're not yanking at the roots while you yank at the knot.

*Dry inside out. Preferably over something head shaped. I used a colander on top of a hairdryer stand. No styling products, just a blast with the dryer and a phone call to Katie or Claire to come round. I propose a cuppa and catch up. I prepare my curling tongs and surf spray. Poor fools.

I'm hoping I won't have to do this too many more times since every morning I have a slightly darker fluffier halo going on in my backlit bedroom mirror. The effect, with no lashes or brows, is quite spooky but it's promising. Which is all I need for now.

Now, where was I? Ah yes, not watching Hollyoaks or writing a text. Must get back...

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