Today, for the first time since my diagnosis, I didn't get any mail. I almost accosted the postie on her way past the flat and demanded to double-check her bag, so convinced was I that she'd grown sick of stuffing parcels through my letterbox and instead decided to pocket today's delivery of get-well cards and exciting pressies. Spoiled brat or what? Just call me Veruca Salt. Apparently I've been getting far too used to this constant, celeb-like supply of goodies, so I fear this was a lesson I needed to learn. But not for long, mind – as great gifts go, I was about to get the Golden Ticket.
So – Chemo Cut day. And, by heck, was I a grumpy bitch on the run-up to it. Yesterday morning was okay as I had my CT scan to keep me occupied, and actually it was far more entertaining than it probably should have been. Lying on a moving bed in a futuristic white room while a tunnel-like machine scanned my body made me feel like Kanye West in the Stronger video (but wearing a nasty NHS gown instead of white boxer shorts). I had to stop myself rapping 'n-n-now th-that don't kill me can only make me stronger' when the nurse requested that I hold my breath in order for the scan to work. (Hang on – that had nothing to do with the scan, did it? Damn. First my hen do, now this – just what is it about my rapping that people can't handle? The crapness, probably.) Even the injection during the scan was a giggle, thanks to its unusual consequences: since when has feeling like you've pissed yourself been an acceptable side effect? It was the strangest thing, and pretty bloody embarrassing to boot. Whoever created the drugs for that injection is a bit of a piss-taker if you ask me – or piss-maker, if the sensation between my legs was anything to go by. (Just to clarify, I didn't actually piss myself. It just felt like I had. I'd like to be able to tell you that I've never pissed myself, but there was that little accident I once had in my salopettes, thanks to my snail-paced snowplough.)
Sticking to my guns of taking The Bullshit day by day, once I'd got the scan out of the way, the next thing to worry about was the haircut. So I made like a nine-year-old and did my best to throw strops wherever possible in order to make sure everyone knew just how pissed off I was at having to cut my hair short. First a waiter got it in the neck for putting tomato in my salad (and not the easy-to-pick-out kind, either – the really dribbly, pips-all-over-your-lettuce stuff), then P got a grilling for deliberating over a Cornish pasty. And then, after having to drink the water allowance of a small country as part of my CT scan, I fought my way through M&S shoppers to find that the only loo in Chelsea was about to be held hostage by a woman who – knowing what she was about to do – should really have done the decent thing and let me go first. (I mean really, what can she have possibly laid in there that required 16 flushes, the use of all the loo roll and paper towels, and the necessity to keep the tap and hand-dryer running throughout?) Poor P took even more of the brunt later on for committing the cardinal sin of channel-hopping. And then when I forced him to settle on a station, on came that mind-numbingly stupid DFS advert – the one with that fucking annoying Nickelback song. Breast cancer I can handle, but Rockstar? Pass the pistol.
Anyway, back to the barnet. I've bored you before with tales of how I've always had long hair, and just how important my lengthy locks were to me. I even cried while straightening my hair this morning (and not just because I caught an earlobe in the irons). On the cab ride into town (this wasn't a day for public transport) I studied every passing woman's haircut – just as I did with their boobs before the mastectomy – to see who could carry off what style, and judge whether it was the long-haired or short-haired women who got the most male attention. (Neither, as it goes – but apparently hotpants can do a lot to help.) The rest of this sentence is hardly going to do me any good in the smart stakes (I'm really living up to the long-blonde stereotype here), but I actually had to remind myself that not all short-haired women have cancer. Really! It's true! It's actually a choice for some people! (Duhh. Breast cancer is doubtless my payback for being so fucking stupid.)
Tills, my super-supportive friend (even for the seemingly ridiculous hair stuff) had planned the perfect Chemo Cut day: an antioxidant-filled lunch, shopping and the haircut. I may have allowed my short-hair fears to ruin the first part of the day, though, with my repeated exclaiming of 'oh shit!' between mouthfuls of beetroot. It's a good job the walk to the hairdressers wasn't far, either (actually I suspect that was no coincidence; nice one Tills). It was only thanks to my can't-walk-far wedges that I didn't ditch her right there on the street and head for the hills. Or Topshop.
The lure of a good brew and a glass of champagne (sorry Curly Professor) got me over the threshold, however, and when it became clear that super-stylist Mathew instinctively knew what would suit me (and recognised that I was as nervous as Pete Doherty in a customs bust), the whole experience became damn good fun. My best-ever hairdressers experience, in fact (not that there was much to beat after the undercutting episode, but you get my point). To save me from full-on scary shortness, Mathew recommended a graduated bob (my new-found lingo doesn't just stop at cancer terminology, you know) that's short and funky yet feminine and, frankly, fabulous. (It wasn't until just now when Googling Mathew, by the way, that I realised just how super a stylist he is. Lordy, how did Tills swing that appointment? Seems I owe her an A-list crop. Either that or the Botox we're toying with treating ourselves to.)
And the reaction? Well, I'll be putting my new do to the Mates Jury in the pub tomorrow night, but right now I'm getting the distinct impression that I should stop blogging and instead pay some attention to my husband. He's been staring at me more than the cricket highlights and that's got to be a good thing, right?