I know what you want to say. What we've all been trained to say. But I don't feel beautiful, and more than anything else beauty is a feeling, don't you agree?
Now before you get all eye-roll-y on me, know that I am grateful I underwent treatment. Know that I know that this is temporary, that there are things far more important than how I look. Then tuck your hair back behind your ears and keep reading...
This is who people said I looked like before treatment: Winnie Cooper, Ashley Judd (back when she had a rounder face), Jeanne Tripplehorn, a Gremlin, Selma Ward, Debra Messing (and no, I do not approve of all of these comparisons). I was not beautiful, didn't turn heads for the right or the wrong reasons which was fine by me, but I did have fabulous hair.
This is who people say I look like now: Caillou, GI Jane, Sinead O'Conner, a Little People toy with the hair snapped off, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Powder, a walking penis. Okay, no one said I look like a walking penis, but I think I do, i.e. beauty being a feeling and all that. So fine, I feel like a walking penis.
What is consistent with the after is that all of them are bald. Because that's what people see when they look at me now. Not woman, not normal, certainly not beautiful, but bald. And probably cancer, if they don't know my story. People look at me and see sick. It's hard to walk around a billboard for sick because like any billboard I get attention. People look, kids stare, and it's fine, really it is. Except it also kind of isn't.
far I've only seen family, one good friend, and I ran into the mom of
an old friend in Target. But soon I'm going to have to get over it and
myself, see more people, all of my friends. And if this heat wave keeps
up, I'm going to have to do it without wearing a beanie, because holy
sweat balls running down my big bald head, people! The struggle is
how I wish I didn't care. That I didn't feel self-conscious and don't
look at me, but I do. It's part of the process, I guess, a phrase that
makes me hate the process even more. See also: it is what it is, baby
steps, inch by inch, although my hair won't start growing for a few months because of the chemo, and the average rate of hair
growth is 0.5 inches/month, or 6 inches/year, so it's more like 0.5inch
by 0.5 inch, not quite as catchy. By autumn I should be rocking a mean Rachel Maddow. So there's that.
But there is also this. At night I like to bend my head down
so Ozzy can pet me, his hands sticky on my scalp or my scalp sticky on
his hands, not sure which, it is that intimate. He thinks it's funny, and maybe it is. It probably is. It is.