I am not a particularly vain person. I am a casual dresser (although I’ve been known to buy a nice suit here and there), I think botox and plastic surgery are signs of the apocalypse, and I know that my nose sits somewhere on the schnoz-scale between Cyrano De Bergerac and Jimmy Durante. Having lost a few pounds from puking last week, my proboscis is looking especially large these last few days.
But I have to admit that the thing I have found most repugnant about chemotherapy, even worse than the vomiting and neutropenic fevers, is the fact that I am going to be as bald as a baby’s bottom by this time next week. I know, I know, it all grows back. Thicker they say. And maybe even of a different texture. But at 38 I still have a great head of hair, and watching the remnants of my mane take the long, circular march down the drain each morning, and knowing that I am just days away from looking like Kojak on a bad day, stinks. I know it’s all for the ever-important cause of de-lymphomatization, but still. Couldn’t the makers of chemotherapy have come up with a different side effect? Like instant six-pack abs, X-ray vision, or the ability to travel back in time to set right what once went wrong (insert George Bush joke here).
On Monday night at dinner my scalp started feeling tingly, and by the time I got home, my temporary membership in the “Hair Club For Men” was already active. Just a simple tug at the follicles, and out would come a small clump. After a visit to Jacqui’s OB/GYN the next morning, where we listened to our baby’s beautiful heartbeat, we headed off to the barber. When our baby is born in just 2 1/2 months, he or she will have more hair than me.
Teri, my barber, gave me my chemo-cut on the house. Just another example of the wonderful acts of generosity and kindness that, despite the discomfort of chemo, have made the last few weeks extraordinary. I can’t wait to pay for a haircut again in 6 months or so. That will be a good day.
Ah, the unibeard. A good look if it was 1994!