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My Last Hair Cut

It was about four weeks ago, about week after my initial diagnosis and another week from the start of my treatment for the cancer that had invaded my body. Back when I was in the Philly area in June I had stopped by my old barber to get my hair cut. I always tend to do that. When I left Cleveland I returned on several occasions for various more acceptable reasons like looking in on the house that I was delusional about selling. But every time, I made sure to visit my barber there. That and the Vietnamese place, Tay Do. So it made sense to visit the old guys in Delaware to catch up on the Wilmington gossip. I loved it. George always remembers that I am a Pirates fan instead of those dreaded Phillies. Like a trusted mechanic there is nothing like a good barber.

Before that I had already found a barber in Lebanon. A nice guy that had helped me find something just as valuable, local restaurants. On top of that he gave a good haircut.

Back to the story at hand. It was just a week before my treatment. Just a week before I received the poison that was destined to destroy my beautiful black locks. I could not take it. The hair was rubbing on my ears and driving me knuts. I thought I could wait. It would be a savings and I would just let the chemo do the secondary job of killing the stuff I wanted to keep like the lining of my intestines, white blood cells, and hair.

I was really upset, as well as the Psycho, about losing my hair. Especially, my arm hair which is really pretty. It always points in just the right direction and flows in a manly way. On a good note I was going to lose my back hair. That would be awesome. But my head was the concern. So I went to the barber on the Lebanon town square. We were talking and I informed him that this would be it for a while before I was back and I told them why. I did tell them that I would be back. That may have been a lie.

So it was two and a half weeks ago and I was poisoned. I had read up on the side effects and was assured that it would happen after about a week. Every morning in the shower I would look down at my hands to see if anything had fallen out in the daily shampooing. Nothing. The second week was going on with no apparent loss. I was worried. I should have been relieved. Perhaps, I would be one of those that did not go “Mr. Clean.” Instead, I was worried.

I have had a history of rejecting foreign materials in my system. I got a tatoo and my body spit out a boat load of the ink. During the inking the artist was digging in at the end just to get the ink to stay. I came out of my anesthesia during the second bronchoscopy. Pain meds really don’t work that well. So why not reject the chemo therapy. I was worried that my body took that shit and just vomit and peed it out. What would happen then. This cancer was going to die but if the chemo was not going to work then what was next.

Then it happened. Just this past Saturday I looked down at my wet hands and there they were. Folicles of falling. I rubbed head again there were more. What a relief. Then came a saddness. Then acceptance. I think there was some sort of grief stages going on here. I knew what I had to do. I had to shave it off. I did not want it to come out in patches. Go bald with a bang and a buzz. I decided to wait one more day. I would do it after my trail run on Sunday.

Oh yeah, I went on a trail run on Sunday. What a joy. My lungs still burned and it was slow. It was technical with root snakes and rock monsters. I even saw a turtle and a frog. An effing trail run in my new trail shoes. More on that later.

So it happened. I went road warrior animal and shaved right down the middle. I almost broke myshears as they started to bog down. I had bought shears for this occasion and an electric razor for finishing and daily use. It a just fell into the sink and I gave myself my last hair cut.

I miss my hair a little but I kind of like being bald. I had been bald before and when I have kicked this cancers ass, I will have to make a decision. Perhaps, I will stay this way.



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