The Good the Bad & the Ugly
My hair's coming back.
I mentioned it last week and now, two weeks and a day after my last wet shave, I have a proper suede head. My eyelashes are growing (albeit a little bit patchily) and my eyebrows promise to come back every bit as thickly and fully (although so far not anything like as darkly) as they were before I became hairless. In fact, the very first proper eyebrow hair to return was slap bang in the middle, between my eyes... Great.
So with the return of my good, head hair comes the return of the hair I'd rather not have back. And while I've really missed going to the hairdressers (love having my hair washed, cut and styled!) I have not missed shaving my armpits, epilating my legs or waxing the old bikini line. I now totally get the rage for going hairless 'down below' but am not sure if I can put myself through the pain of maintaining it (if you know what I mean?! If you don't, look up 'Hollywood waxing'...). I'm also now sporting a quite impressive halo of downy face fluff which was definitely not there before. Just one of the many side effects of the Tamoxifen I believe (of this more later).
And with the return of all my hair (the good, the bad and the ugly) comes the return of all the mixed blessings which living a life brings. I have been one of the lucky ones. And I am determined not to let the last year slip away without it changing my remaining life for the better.
But I'm taking tamoxifen so it's harder than it might be.
Tamoxifen is a selective oestrogen-receptor modulator drug. It blocks the particular type of cancer tumour I had from using oestrogen to grow. But it has side effects (of course - don't they all?!) the culmination of which make me feel premenstrual ALL THE TIME!
Even if you've never had PMT (fellas and very lucky women amongst you) you will almost definitely have experienced it second hand. Moody, over-emotional (alright, sensitive) carb & chocolate craving, clumsy, bloated dull, low to medium level tummy ache, back ache and headache - all these symptoms and more are making 'getting on with it' a little bit tricky. But at least I'm getting less hot flushes than I was which is an unexpected benefit as they're one of the side effects under the heading 'common' on the information sheet.
Potentially I'm going to be taking tamoxifen for five to ten years. So I need to come up with a way of dealing with these side effects or get Dr Lowdell (my oncologist) to try me on something else... This time next week I'll have seen him so we'll see how that pans out.
One of the good things I am managing to do is keep up the training for the 100 mile challenge walk I'm doing at the end of May and the marathon length Moonwalk the weekend before. Good because walking definitely helps my symptoms but also because I'm raising money for Walk the Walk- a grant giving charity specifically for breast cancer causes. I'll add the link to my fundraising page at the end of this blog - any donations, great or small very gratefully received.
Today, as well as finally completing a whole week at work, I managed a 10 mile walk into work and I don't feel too bad on it.
Next week I'm having some new photos done by the wonderful Jennie Scott. It's about time I started getting on with the search for acting work. (I'm loathe to label said search ugly, but it's tempting...)
Oh, and work continues slowly but surely on the show...
Here's that link to the fundraising page: https://moonwalklondon2015.everydayhero.com/uk/annabel-1