15. It didn’t take long for me to get blase about
my synthetic headgear, and I would come in the
house and toss it over the back of a chair ...
16. ... or a doorknob ...
17. ... or even the vacuum cleaner. One day in
Oncology I found a sheet of helpful hints that
someone had compiled about how to deal with hair
loss during chemotherapy. One of the suggestions
was to vacuum your head to get rid of loose hair - that
way there would be less cleanup. The first thing I
saw when I got home that day was my very large, very
heavy, upright vacuum cleaner, and I could not
imagine how I could ever use it to vacuum my head
without ripping off my ear in the process. I assume
the person making the suggestion had in mind a
vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment - or maybe a
Dust-Buster - but I’m not sure I would have tried
18. When I received this ad in the mail, I
thought Dolly Parton's signature looked very
familiar, so I took off the wig and looked at
the label. Sure enough, it was the same.
Like she says, the wig lets me change my
look in seconds.
19. No matter the condition of the rest of my
head, I always made sure I wore lipstick in
20. I met Margaret Thatcher when she spoke at
Tufts University and couldn't help but think that while I
doubted I was tougher than she, she was certainly
having a better hair day than me.
21. Underneath it all, of course, was my bald head,
which proved to be very confusing to my three year-old
nephew Aidan when he came to visit. My constantly
changing appearance - hair one minute, bald the next,
then wearing a scarf, then a hat - made him think there
were at least 4 different aunts who lived in my house.
22. Sometimes, when cancer patients lose their hair
during chemotherapy, friends shave their own heads as
a gesture of support. I didn’t have to ask that since
there were already plenty of balding men around the
Tufts campus to provide all sorts of inspiration, as well
as bald jokes, referrals to barbers who charged by the
square inch, and reminders that my hair would grow
back, while their polished pates would stay.
23. Hair does grow back after chemotherapy,
and soon Cindy and I were no longer
25. Brother Rory came to help and napped too
24. It's great that your family can come to help
when you are having chemo,” said a friend.
“Yes, Mom’s here napping on the couch while I
wash the dishes,” I told her
26. Brother-in-law Nobu came to visit and joined
Rory in a some dual-napping
27. My nephew Aidan came to visit and quickly figured
out the routine. I called the visitors my caregivers and