Last night, our friend Jenn visited and she and Irene took turns cutting, shaping, and finally shaving the hair that remained on my head. For all of the anxious anticipation, the actual loss of my hair was relatively easy. It helped having two phenomenal women to down a shot of bourbon and laugh with during the process, but also to find a bit of playful joy in being the model of multiple varying hairdos (to include a mullet and a mohawk). Now I look in the mirror, and despite the wacky shape of my sparce hair and the funny lines of my sideburns, I feel refreshingly beautiful. This is me- stripped down to the bare bones with little to hide behind. This is who I am right now, and it doesn’t actually feel as bad as I thought. It feels real and ripe for potential. I will use scarves and hats to dress up my naked head, but nothing can hide the fact that my world has been ripped to the core, and I am only wiser and more radiant because of it.
This weekend, I walked in the park in the early morning, soaking in the foggy mist that penetrates the trees. I luxuriated in the crunching of the multicolored leaves, and stood beneath a tree occupied by a resident owl. I love these reminders of the cycle of life and the fact that everything is integral and yet at the same time just one part of the whole. This cancer is just one part of my story- it’s the now. It’s my multicolored leaves in the fall, with the promise of rich soil to foster the budding of flowers in the spring.