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Jun 08

The S-words of Cancer

Cancer starts with C, but it should start with S, because everything else to do with cancer seems to start with S: Scabs, Scars, Stubble.  And I seem to deal with these in the shower, which also starts with S.

I just took a shower. It’s a horrifying experience every time. I know what I’m going to see, but it doesn’t make it easier. Today, for the first time since my mastectomy, I have no scabs. 87 days. That is how long it took for the last little bit of scab to fall off. 87 days. That is a long-ass time.

Now I am left with only Scars. With a capital-S. But the scabs are replaced by Stubble. I am bald, I know this. Some of the hair-cells didn’t seem to get the message though and they are trying to grow back. So my head is a patchy mess of smooth and stubble. I was foolish enough to think I might let it grow back. <insert maniacal laughter here>. Whenever I touch my head, the stubble falls off, like crazy brown dander.

So I, a 42 year-old woman,  have to shave my head in the shower. Using one of my husband’s 22-blade razors. Because trust me when I tell you, pretty lady-razors do not work on head-shaving. Take my word for it, do not try this at home.

So showering is now a big kick in the face: scabs, scars, stubble, shaving.

You all know my favorite word is the F-word. But I’m starting to like the S-word too. Shit.

(and as uncomfortable as this discussion is, be thankful I didn’t publish the one I wrote about actual S**t and prunes. Enough said)