'I can't believe it happened… it's really gone': Cancer-stricken MTV star's heart-breaking video diary documents her hair loss after chemotherapy treatment
00:06 GMT, 19 October 2012
Reality TV star Diem Brown has uploaded a powerful video documenting her hair loss after chemotherapy sessions.
The 30-year-old, who is fighting ovarian cancer for the second time, explained that she wanted to provide a resource for other young women losing their hair – something she felt was lacking when she initially did her own online research.
She wrote on her People.com blog: 'I was curious about the hair-loss process. I wanted to see how the
hair falling out actually happened.
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Sharing her story: MTV star Diem Brown, 30, who is being treated for ovarian cancer for the second time in six years, has published a video documenting her hair loss
Emotionally-charged: One instance in the video documents her shock when, unexpectedly, a larger chunk of hair than usual starts coming away with the brush
'Like, how fast did it happen What
does it feel like when it comes out What does it look like while it's
'At my two-and-a-half week mark after my carbo/taxol chemo
infusion treatment, I started recording my bi-nightly brushing of my
hair ritual in order to show others what really goes on behind closed
Survivor: Diem pictured in July, with her long, thick blonde locks, before her latest round of chemo
Having gone through the process once
before, Diem knew what to expect. But as the video reveals, it is no
less difficult to see so much hair falling out at once.
She says in the video: 'It's not the freaking hair sometimes, all the time… damn [examines the
tangle of strands on her brush] …so much as it's more and more
realisation that you're sick.'
One instance, towards the end of the film, is particularly emotionally-charged. She seems to be handling the hair-loss relatively well, commenting, 'I'm such a nerd because I'm completely fascinated…' until, unexpectedly, a larger chunk than usual starts coming away.
Her shock and initial panic are clear to see as she repeats, 'Oh no. Oh no. Oh
no. Oh no, no… I didn't mean that one… I didn't mean that one…'
As she lets the huge piece fall from her brush to the floor, she continues: 'I
can't believe that just happened. It's really gone.'
Though she sounds on the verge of tears, Diem doesn't cry – a fact she is proud of.
'I really can't believe that happened,' she says. 'But I'm not crying. It's just a
little shocking seeing all of it go.
'I'm actually pretty proud. I think
I'm growing,' she adds with a grin.
Raw and honest: Having gone through the process once before, Diem knew what to expect. But as the video reveals, it is no less difficult to see so much hair falling out at once
Proud: Diem manages not to cry after losing a large section of hair, and even manages a smile in recognition
Diem first found fame on Real
World/Road Rules Challenge in 2006, while she was completing her
treatment for ovarian cancer.
She had one ovary removed at the
time, but after five years of remission, learned this year that she had
cancer in the second ovary too, and has been forced to harvest her eggs
before it too is removed, putting her through early menopause.
She explains in the video that the first time around she hid from the hair-loss.
Gently does it: The first clip shows Diem carefully brushing her hair to remove tangles. She holds the brush up to the camera to show the strands attached to it
Shock factor: The speed at which Diem's hair falls out comes as a surprise to her. In the second clip, her hair is significantly shorter and thinner
'I just put my hair in a ponytail, like
right off the bat,' she says. 'That normally [holds up clump of hair]
would have scared me… Look at that monster.'
The speed at which her hair falls out
also comes as a surprise. In the second clip, her hair is significantly
shorter and thinner.
'This is only a couple of days after my first little video – it's
amazing how fast it works,' she says. 'I wanted to videotape this to show what
exactly happens, and why this part is so emotional, especially if you
don't shave it.'
Changing look: In a third clip she wears a bandanna over what she likens to pigtails. It is actually what remains of her hair, she reveals, when she pulls it off
She says she chose this week to publish her video because she had been 'really quite ill and haven't been able to think straight through
the medication haze to write a coherent blog.'
She also wanted to lift the lid on the reality of a young woman losing her hair after chemo, so that other women in her position have some idea of what to expect.
'It's raw, real, no
make-up or care at all about what I look like,' she blogs. 'I just wanted to make my
Google search contribution, so that future patients Googling hair loss
during chemo can see exactly what happens when you don't shave it off.'
Diem Brown is founder of MedGift, a gift registry that functions as an online listing of a patient’s needs, wants and wishes during treatment and recovery.