The Look

331763_2550774780103_855001823_oYou can’t write about the cancer without writing about The Hair.

I’ve always LOATHED loose hair around the house, hair in the drain, so the day it began falling out – it started while I was at work, covering my chair, filling my underpants, I asked to leave  early. I went to a salon and got my head shaved. In the picture: Melissa, long  red hair – me, barely holding my shit together. She couldn’t go all the way down to the skin: due to my lowered immunity from chemo – I couldn’t risk any nicks or cuts. She didn’t charge me for the shave.

I was exhausted, and numb, barely coherent and so upset I couldn’t think. I tried to be gracious, thanking Melissa – but I wanted out of there so bad. I needed to be by myself.

It was COLD COLD COLD COLD when I stepped into the early December darkness. My head was so cold without hair! I was holding myself together so hard that my body was convulsing. In the car I couldn’t stop shaking, shivering.Finally, blessedly, alone at last, I cried.

Actually I howled.

I drove, screaming, down the freeway.  I screamed as hard as I could. I pulled over and screamed.

“Why is this happening to me? HOW CAN THIS BE HAPPENING TO ME? HOW could this be happening?” I moaned, throat raw, snot running down my chin, shaking,  I pounded my steering wheel. I knew that when I walked in the door to the house, I had to be done with it. Each of our three animals had been to the vet in the weeks after my diagnosis, with infections and other stress related problems; I couldn’t bring the screaming and crying into the house.

My friends exclaimed, “What a great head you have! You can totally rock that look!”

As if I were making some kind of fashion statement. It’s not a FUCKING “look.”

HERE’S The Look:



2 thoughts on “The Look

    • I really truly had a Posse of the MOST supportive friends – but unless you’ve been through it, people just don’t understand that crowing about how “great you look” while your life is submerged by a tsunami – just isn’t…. helpful.


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