At nearly the end of my sixth month of chemotherapy, I fear I am steadily reaching the apex of hairlessness. I have exactly seven lower eyelashes remaining, all under my left eye. I have a patch of right eyebrow missing and the rest have dwindled down to a mid-90s minimum. Though something resembling lint has grown in random clumps all over my head over the two months I was getting only Taxol -- kinky and colorless like dust bunnies -- I'd be willing to guess that it will fall out after next Tuesday's Avastin/Taxol combo platter.
Four years ago, I rocked that Naked Ape look driving up and down Lake Shore Drive five days a week for radiation at Northwestern. I was bitter and pressed for time, trying to balance the increased workload springtime brings with not being late for my appointment so I wasn't late for letting the nanny go at the end of the day. At the same time, just as fast as it all completely disappeared, because I was no longer on any chemotherapy, I could begin to see the pale sketch of eyebrows returning. I had short, bristly lashes that would hold mascara, too. Last and most gloriously, I enjoyed my new gamine pixie of dark blonde curls. Curls! And blonde, too! That was a fun parting gift, perfectly timed for summer.
Now, what do I do? I'm hanging on to the last of what makes me appear mammalian, and it's starting to look really tragic. This wig looks butchered beyond repair and the only way to balance out the fakeness is by working my stage makeup skills. Add control garments to encase my growing girth and artfully tied scarves to hide my healing port scars, and I feel like a transvestite.
Hopefully the results of my next scan will make being hideous for a little bit longer worthwhile, but unless my Fairy Godmother comes soon bringing me free Zeltiq treatments and a three-week vacation on a tropical island inhabited only by blind people, I had better figure out a way to be comfortable with my appearance.