Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving has come and gone. As you'd imagine, I sort of have a lot to be thankful for this year. Chiefly, I'd like to thank the world Jimmy John's. It ain't for everybody, but it sure is for me. Oh, and thank God that I'm done with treatments. Man, did that get old, amiright?

Radiation was actually pretty reasonable comparatively. Yes, I only did it for about 3 weeks and some people go much, much longer (insert stamina/ prowess jokes), but the side effects were minimal and my energy didn't drop like it did for chemo. The worst of it was near the end where it hurt to swallow food, specifically bread. Think I'm kidding about Jimmy John's? Try giving it up for a few weeks. See that? No joke just dangles here.

The plan henceforth is thus: in about three weeks I'll visit my radiologists again for a check up. He's a roundish, bearded gentleman that kind of reminds me of that good scientist that helps you against that evil scientist (you know that guy, right?). He even has a mousy side-kick fellowship doctor to do his dirty work (not that I know what that is). I feel I'm in pretty good hands, even though I'll be out of them pretty soon. After all of that, I return to the taller, slender, Britisher doctor that is steering this ship for follow-ups and the Final Scans.

Then we're gonna party. More on that later.

So let's talk about my coif. Yes, I finally shaved my head about a month before chemo ended. I really didn't lose that much hair until more than half-way through, and by the time it was all coming to a close I was yanking out entire clumps when I would wake up in the morning. I'm not so in love with my hair, but this is a little bruising to the ego; I really thought that my particular cancer comic book would be subversive to the usual mass consumer trite. Turns out we all sell out sometime. Oh, well.

The plus side is that it is, in fact, coming in thicker than what it was before, but I'm resigned to keep it at a short, buzzed length from now on. Combine this with the copious stubble that I prefer to wear on my brick-like chin, I now resemble a more American Jason Statham (or Jason Statham resembles ME. Whatever flips your lid). But something much, much more mysterious has happened.

My immediate family is cursed, you see. Having a father and two older brothers, I can tell you this with downright scientific accuracy that the Learned men cannot reliably grow a mustache. My father, the reigning champion of the 'stached men of my family, had one when I was very young, but shaved it around tenish years ago. He finally let slip a year or two ago that it took him more than six months to grow it. To my brothers and I, whom have struggled since needing to shave in the first place to grow a flavor saver, this was like finding out that Santa existed, but he was just the foreman for the elves whom did all of the heavy lifting anyway.

Now don't get me wrong, I am in no way interested in being primarily be-stachioed. Nor am I interested in the current hipster-stache trend that follows pretentious college kids. But I likes me my beard. It's kind of punk rock lumberjack, after a fashion. But if it ain't right on the upper lip, I look more like emancipating rather than river-hogging.

Cancer, though, has somehow broken through my gene pool and mutated me in ways that nobody expected. Ladies and gentlemen, I leave you with this:


Lee Van Cleef

Har Mar

The guy on the Pringles container


Halloween next year is going to really kick ass.