Saturday, February 28, 2009

Splitting hairs

Feral cats have been tripping the alarm sensors in the parking lot at my workplace at night, and our facilities manager is trying to find a good home for them so she can get a good night's sleep.

My officemates may suspect that the feral cats have moved on from the parking lot and now are prowling the suite that we share.

Three weeks of radiation therapy under my belt, and I am now experiencing the Full Monty of its side effects. I'm shedding hair from my scalp even faster than Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bobby Jindal are losing allies in the GOP.

Anyone stepping into my office and looking at the floor around my chair might think that they entered a Supercuts by mistake.

I was warned about hair loss before I gave my cancer docs the green light to hunt down my malignant cells with ionizing rays. And right there on Page 12 of "Your Guide to Radiation Therapy," it says "If your head is being treated you may suffer from a temporary loss of some or all of your hair (called alopecia)."

Only my head is being treated with radiation, so seeing more of my forehead when I look in the mirror is not a surprise to me.

The radiation therapy guide offers reassuring words –"your hair will usually start growing back after you have finished your treatments"– even as it raises the specter of doom. The book tells me that on rare occasions, the hair loss can be permanent.

The way I see it, that's alarmist rhetoric straight from Karl Rove's playbook.

No one should ever suffer permanent hair loss. I can preclude that outcome just by scooping up the individual strands after they fall and preserving them in a large plastic tub.

My hair loss will be permanent only if I forget what I did with the tub. And eventually I'll have enough of a hair crop to weave a nice sweater.

As for the bald patches left on my scalp, somewhere in my closet I have a Chia Pet kit with unused chia seeds. I know that tactic has the whiff of desperation, but it's worth a shot.

And even if chia seeds fail to stimulate hair growth, I still can spare myself from Uncle Festerhood in my autumn years.

My radiation therapy guide says that if I lose hair "a hat, turban, scarf or wig may help you feel better." It goes on to state that "these items are usually considered tax-deductible medical expenses."

I'm more of a fez guy, so maybe I should visit Little Turkey and stock up on some in bright spring colors.

Even if a fez doesn't make me feel better, seeing a fez deduction on my 2009 tax return might give Timothy Geither a good laugh.

1 comment:

  1. I believe that is not just any Chia Pet, but a SerChia Pet. I guess it will finally earn its name.