I get that question regularly and this morning realized I’ve not posted an update about her. But apply the “no news is good news” rule here and you’ve got a simple summary.
It’s been four months since treatment was completed. She has returned each month for regular blood labs, which show normal numbers. She feels good, looks good and is carrying on a normal life once again. We are in no way, out of the woods, but at this point in the game the doctor says it looks about as good as it can get.
Similar to how I felt about my dad’s recovery when he was near death; the days following were a gift and I tried receiving them as such. It made for nice Thanksgivings and meaningful Christmases. Setting the mind on what we have now, at this moment, is more settling than being fraught with worry about whether or not the cancer will come back. If it does, it does. I can’t change that fact. Instead, I can reach out, grasp the gift and enjoy it for as many or as few days that I have it.
There has been one burden to bear in the aftermath of treatment and that is the dilemma of hair and what to do with it. I know it doesn’t say this in the text of Scripture explicitly, but it must be implied somewhere that part of the curse handed down to woman in the Garden of Eden after the fall from grace was that she would hate her hair for the rest of her days. Maybe it’s just unique to my household and I don’t have a broad sampling of data, but in twenty years of marriage, my wife has never returned from the hairstylist liking her hairdo.
Being without hair for six months can be a blessing, at least that’s how I look at it. I’ve gone without for 15 years now. Even Karen noted that getting ready in the morning seems a breeze without having to deal with hair. But at the first sign of regrowth, Karen turned back for Egypt and set her sights on the gray follicles that were already causing a problem. Phasers were set to kill. An appointment was made, and the week-long debacle that follows wasn’t pretty.
As I’ve explained before, I would rather be happy than right, but the initial coloring job was a failure, to say the least. I had to speak up and deliver my verdict; what God was putting back in the scalp was a whole lot better than Loreal.
To make a long story short, there were three more attempts to alter the color, each to which I spoke my mind and would have rather had to deal with the repercussions of a cyst removal; at least I would have been administered pain meds. But I’m a man, I’m bald, what do I know?
Well, I know how to shave a scalp down to the nubs, and that’s what I did for Karen at the end of the week. The bad, fake color is gone and the nice, short salt and pepper look is returning. So if you see her, for my sake, please tell her the gray looks sophisticated, natural, and maybe even sexy. I don’t want another repeat of this story any time soon.