Why, oh why Every darn commercial, TV talk show, etc. is talking about the return of cancer… well you don't have my permission dude! Am I better after triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma? Yes I am. Spiritually it has been a shakeup, but I am returning to love. Mentally…oh my goddess, how lovely my friends and family have been! Did I just live in a bubble and not realize how wonderful my life and business were? Thankfully, they have survived my meltdown and treatments. I truly am in awe of the goodness around me.
Am I better? Yes, because I see and feel more love. I thought if I gave it, I wouldn't need anything back so I stopped expecting any…Once I needed it, boy, was I showered in everything one person needs to survive, thrive, and beat it!
Still can't say the C-word...I actually named it Bob. Now, on to radiation and healing. By July, the stories will be about travel, teamwork, love, friendships, and my 1949 pickup! With updates from team members, I hope!
Stay tuned for fundraising at Garbo for hairtostay.org. This next part below will only be useful to hairdressers- it's the instructions for my after the cold cap care.
Frequently Asked Hair Care Questions:
Q. How long do I continue with the limited washing?
A. At least two days afterwards, then keep it to a minimum, and use below
body temperature water on your scalp for as long as your hair is still shedding. It can be 1-2 months after chemo depending on the condition of your hair.
Q. How long until I can blow dry?
A. You can blow dry your hair with cold air but not with heat mode on.
Except, if you have long hair you can use heat on the long lengths, but NO
heat direct to the scalp for a few months after chemo.
Q. How long until I can color?
A. At least 6 months after your last chemo. If you want to color sooner you can color your hair using vegetable coloring with NO Peroxide or Ammonia based coloring kits 3 months after your last chemo. It takes 6 months after your last chemo for your hair follicles to Fully recover from chemo.
Q. How long until I can get it trimmed or cut?
A. You can trim your hair a little at a time - so no great chunks of hair
off - surprisingly the roots do not like this! 3 months after the last treatment for a good haircut otherwise a trim is fine.
Q. How long does the follicle continue to be fragile after all of the
treatment is complete?
A. At least six months
Q. When can I go back to using my normal deodorant/ antiperspirant.
A. It is not recommended that you use deodorant with Aluminium as an
ingredient. But if you are going to use such a product it is best to wait
until after six months. The reason for this is, aluminium is a binding agent
and is transferred all over the body, including the scalp.
Q. Can I get my hair wet in the shower? Can I stand under a rain shower
faucet in my shower?
A. Heat is the thing to avoid. So If you are washing your hair, keep the
water cooler than body temperature. So to answer the question it will be
best to use a wall shower head where the water is not falling direct on your
scalp whilst its hot water - unless you like cool showers??
Q. Can I wear it in a ponytail?
A. Yes, just be careful not to pull on the roots - it takes six months
before the hair follicles fully recover.
Q. What about clips to keep it out of my face or put it up?
A. Yes, again avoid putting too much strain on an individual patch of hair.
A note on hair shedding:
Hair shedding is normal; Cold Cap Therapy works by protecting the young to medium hair follicle bulbs against the chemotherapeutic drugs. The chemotherapeutic drugs accelerate old hair follicles to shed early, thus hair shedding (plus natural hair shedding occurs). Please also remember everybody's metabolism is different, so hair shedding can happen at different times. It can be heavy or light and start and stop for over a month after chemo, so stay on the same hair care regimen and follow the after-chemo hair care recommendations that were emailed to you.
I never really understood pregnancy brain, so at my age chemo brain is new and scary. Younger people discount my age and wisdom too quickly, so vying for position is an interesting dance. They will win this round as I can recognize that I’m experiencing a little malfunction. But trust me, it's not as much as the tech addicted millennial, little old lady in the shoe, or the ever growing earbud-wearing rudies of all generations.
But... it's daunting. The brain we learn to rely on. The mind /brain lies to us about everything. The heart is my only truth… good thing it’s Valentines week. Love is real.
Meditation is seeping back in and offering a much needed rest from my mind. I am contemplating offering a new meditation class in May - email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
I am having my hair done on Tuesdays by Ava - she offered doing my COLD CAP CHEMO hair with old school sponge rollers. She is 18, but she knows how to use them! You must be gentle, gentle on the hair. Our stylist Liz Lamb says to treat it like fine lace – a good way to put it. I also continue to have facials mostly for hydration and relaxation.
Happy love bunny month, lovebirds.
Love, Garbo A Salon
Best Of Award winning
Open 7 days a week in 78757
Namaste, Marsha Power
I had my first chemotherapy treatment last week, and the chemo itself wasn’t too bad. The treatment lasted 2.5 hours, complete with a sassy nurse who administered the drug.
My chemo experience was dwarfed by THE COLD CAP - a contraption that will allow me to keep my hair. The cold cap process was a seven-hour ordeal, after my precious friend Carol Augusto sought out 60 pounds of dry ice and prepared my four freezing caps to -32° F. With an ice chest, a pair of gloves, and a lot of stamina, Carol followed the 21 page instruction manual to a T. She put on the first cap like a pro! The caps have to be changed quickly, every 20 minutes, so it was a lot of work for my dear friend. I was a little whiney, so she firmly told me "don't be a p***y." Well, that made me laugh and realize it was no picnic for either one of us.
My BFF Brenda helped too, and took me home for two more hours of the cold cap treatment. She loves me dearly and started nervously patting my (heavy, frozen, painful) head, but she did at least try to stop when she realized that it was more painful than reassuring for me!
All in all, it took two days for my head to feel unfrozen!
These cold caps have been used commonly in Europe 20 years, they have up to a 90% success rate, and they are fairly affordable. Most women learn about these caps too late, because you need to start them with your first treatment. I was blessed to know about them immediately through my connection with Debra Neill, who owns our Aveda distributorship. She and Carol Augusto, Executive Director of Serious Business (the most amazing Salon Conference in the Nation), are my SHEroes!
I certainly will pay all of this goodwill forward.
Even though the only real side effect I felt on the first day was my frozen head, I have to say the after effects of chemo ain't no picnic. The second day was the worst – I had nausea, a migraine, chills, and neuropathy. All of this is still going on today, 7 days later, but is getting better. I do love my job, but I came back too early so I will probably pull back a bit more. I will see the doctor today to check in and figure out my new limits. My goal is for my body to renew by August (the doctor says it’ll take a year), and then I can resume my normal schedule.
In the meantime, I feel like I’m finally turning into the princess I was meant to be! All of these sweet people are doing so many things for me. I am used to being the helper, not the one being helped, so I am enjoying this new role and learning some great lessons from my friends and my Garbo tribe.
At Garbo, we are in the throes of our ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL with $33 deals - check them out! Along with the regular facials I’m receiving to combat my newly dry skin, my new can't-live-without Aveda product is the Tulasara Oleation Oil. It’s really a face product, but it’s great on your hands too. I want to bathe in it!
Our company is built on love, education, kindness, respect, customer service, and teamwork. If you visit Garbo and you have any issues - good or not - email me at email@example.com.
Love and Peace,
In another week, I will post about my experience after my first chemotherapy treatment, but I’m currently fretting that my guest list is limited to two. How am I going to get my Penguin Cold Cap representative (this saves your hair, ladies!), two personal friends, and myself all situated for this new experience? I think chocolate for the nurses will help!
Stay tuned for more about the Cold Cap. I am shocked to find out that health care systems in many countries around the world provide these caps for women undergoing cancer treatment free of charge or at greatly reduced costs, but we don’t in the US. I believe that’s because we need more education about these caps and what they can do, and that is something I intend to change. These caps have a high success rate – up to 90% of women who use them keep most of their hair during chemo. I am excited to have the opportunity to use the Penguin Cold Cap during my treatment!
Everyone is telling me I need to learn how to relax, which is pretty hard for a Type A person. What do people do to relax? Retail therapy maybe?
With that in mind, I found myself at Stein Mart and successfully found more black pants to add to the 40+ pair I already have. From there I went to the purse department to find a new purse, wallet, and an evening clutch for the Human Rights Campaign’s gala this weekend. Suddenly, I heard a familiar voice from behind me saying “That sure is an ugly blouse.” Mr. Milton himself emerged from the racks to upset the purse cart and re-evaluate all of my already made purchase decisions. I held my ground as he questioned my picks, and allowed him to adjust my everyday purse choice to another bag that I really did like. But when it came to my evening clutch, let’s just say my taste and Mr. Milton’s did not mesh well. The final purse tally was Milton: 1 purse, and Marsha: 2 purses, which seems fair to me. From there, he ushered me to the shoe department. I left with two new pairs of shoes, all ready for Spring, handpicked by Mr. Milton. I’m wondering if this retail therapy thing is working out for me!
If it wasn’t clear, I really did enjoy running into Mr. Milton – he sure did make the experience much more interesting!
Ali the alligator recently joined our team from New Orleans. Four Garbonians picked her up at a gift shop to bring home to me to cheer me up. She’s already taking on a life of her own!
Ali is taking her job seriously – she’s already learned how to shampoo, she’s growing out her beautiful hair, and she’s making product recommendations… We know that our skin dries out in wintertime with indoor heaters and drier air, so to add moisture I’ve always personally loved Aveda’s Beautifying Composition Oil. Well, Ali’s favorite is Hand Relief, and I can’t help but agree with her – it’s great for keeping our skin soft and supple.
Ali is also serious about her status as a new Texan, and is begging us to take her on a trip to the Capitol, which she thinks is a pretty big deal! Keep an eye out for Ali on Garbo’s social media, in the salon, and anytime you’re out and about in Austin. She’s excited to make Austin, and Garbo A Salon, her new home!