Monday, December 09, 2013

day fourteen

The nurse at the chemo lounge said it. On day fourteen your hair will fall out. She said it like she knew, like she had some insky with the cancer gods. I didn't believe her then, but today is day-fourteen and my hair is falling out around me like snow.

I don't know if this will make sense, but in 1972ish I rode with some guy down to Santa something -- Rosa, Barbara, Clara -- some big city in California. I'd never been to a real city before. I'd never done much. We went to visit some people who lived in a huge apartment complex. I'd never seen an apartment complex before. The carpets were futuristic white, the ceilings solid panels of light. In the middle of the grassy hills of the common yardspace was a fake pond and in the fake pond was a fake sunken ship. I was a little hippie chick back then, categorically opposed to anything unnatural. The entire place filled me with a sickening awe, such a contrast to my au-natural life in a tree on the Applegate river.

Oh, and I forgot a pretty important part: we were smoking PCP. 

So... As we left the apartment, high as kites, the manager said, "Be careful where you step. The frogs come out at seven."

Way back then I remember thinking, much the same as I did when the nurse said, "Your hair will come out on day fourteen," I thought, "Bullshit. How can you know what time a frog will do anything?" But sure enough, at precisely seven, a b'zillion frogs began careening over the grassy hills toward the fake pond and the fake sunken ship, leapfrogging over one another in their daily seven o'clock frenzy. Big frogs, little frogs. I remember collapsing in a puddle of forlorn hippie chick tears, certain that the whole of civilization would become one of timed frogs and ceilings of pure light in honeycombs of mass humanity.

And as much as I'm sure the PCP had something to do with my moodiness, I scurried back to my cabin in the woods and stayed there.

For awhile. Until Portland.

I cut all my hair off this afternoon. Like many women, I couldn't tolerate the waiting, the knowing that the chemo would take it, a chunk at a time. I drove to town, bought three beautiful scarves, learned how to tie them so it looks like a ponytail, and whacked off my hair. When Kurt got home from work, he took the clippers and evened it up and told me I'm beautiful. We left a little to keep out the cold.


DoctorLes said...

I'm curious, which part does one leave to keep out the cold?

someone said...

the top. and it didn't work. it fell out too.

nina said...

Science, predictability, the sun setting but then rising, you getting better: all on schedule, all as it should be.

greg|regan said...

They told me the same thing... and it didn't. It fell out on Day 16.

someone said...

regan: that makes me so happy!