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[cancer] Rocking the bald, a/k/a, whining about how I miss my hair - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-01-10 04:57
Subject: [cancer] Rocking the bald, a/k/a, whining about how I miss my hair
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, personal
Well, I'm 3+ weeks off chemo, and my hair has still not gotten the hint. I suppose at some point it will start to come back. I miss it, a lot.

People tell me I look good bald. I'll accept that, but it's not my preferred look. I liked my waist length blonde hair. It was a terrific way for me to express my moods, flirt, be sensual, be casual, whatever. I liked the way it looked and the message it sent.

Because, see, bald is the wrong cultural messaging for me. I'm not a biker, I'm not a skinhead, I'm not a hipster. I'm a guy who is happy to show off his non-receding hairline and lack of male pattern baldness. I'm a guy who likes having his hair stroked and played with. Hard to do that with no hair.

And I was very much reminded of this as I traveled yesterday. I mean, these days I look like a plastic Jesus left on the dashboard to melt. I'm still thinner-than-looks-right in the face from the chemo weight loss. I have a wispy white beard that would embarrass a corpse, because all the blonde and brown and gray fell out, but the white stuck around. And I am bowling ball bald still. I can't smile and do the hair flip. I suspect I just look creepy when I try.

I want my hair back.

(This whiny-ass rant brought to you by a day of travel and self-reflection.)

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fledgist
User: fledgist
Date: 2012-01-10 13:07 (UTC)
Subject: Think of it as being prematurely
venerable. That's the ticket.
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fjm
User: fjm
Date: 2012-01-10 13:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I like your hair.I'll look forward to seeing it back. Any comfort that this is how I think of you even tho I know it's gone?
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Jay Lake: jay-bald_2
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-01-10 22:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:jay-bald_2
Yes and thank you. ;)
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Swan Tower
User: swan_tower
Date: 2012-01-11 02:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Then chalk up another mental image that shows you still with the long hair.

And while I don't know what it's like to lose it, I do know what it's like to have one's self-image bound up partly in really long hair. My sympathies for your feelings about it being gone.
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Autopope
User: autopope
Date: 2012-01-10 13:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Serious question: have you considered a wig?
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adelheid_p
User: adelheid_p
Date: 2012-01-10 13:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
How does one affix a wig to a bald head? Would on use somethign like spirit gum or prosthetic glue?
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Autopope
User: autopope
Date: 2012-01-10 14:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I would assume something like that.

(I'm curious. Hair is one of those body-image things that can be addressed that way, after all, and I believe wigs are worn by quite a few women who have to undergo chemotherapy.)
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adelheid_p
User: adelheid_p
Date: 2012-01-11 13:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes, that's true and I do happen to know someone who did both (chemotherapy and wore a wig to work). If I have the chance to ask her, I will. I do seem to remember that she did not lose all of her hair and was able to pin/clip the wig it to the remaining wisps which were cut short. Some women choose not to wear a wig and instead cover their heads with scarves.

I'm not sure what I would do (being female with long hair at the moment). I have worn a wig for a theater performance and I suspect that if I did not have hair between the wig and my scalp, I would find it uncomfortable to put the wig on my bald head. I'm sure there are caps one can wear between them, though.
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a_cubed
User: a_cubed
Date: 2012-01-11 14:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Wigs for bald heads and wigs for covering existing hair have different foundations (if they're serious wigs and not just party-wear).
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Jay Lake: jay-laughing
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-01-10 22:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:jay-laughing
Wigs kind of squick me out, truth be told. Plus the whole sense/sensory thing would be missing in a wig. :(
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it's a great life, if you don't weaken
User: matociquala
Date: 2012-01-10 14:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hey.

You get five minutes of rant any time you need it and I'm in the room.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-01-10 22:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
<3<3<3
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joycemocha
User: joycemocha
Date: 2012-01-10 14:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hmm. So is the white hair thicker and more wiry than the other hair? That's what I've noticed about it, especially when it pops up in the brow...and it's not just a short white brow hair that pops in, it's a white brow hair that GROWS TWO INCHES OVERNIGHT.

(This may be TMI).
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Jay Lake: jay-cranky_old_man
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-01-10 22:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:jay-cranky_old_man
I'm told the difference is white hairs grow much more slowly than pigmented hairs (even gray), and so their follicles aren't as affected by the chemo.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2012-01-10 14:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You are absolutely allowed to whine about this as much as you want to. Hair matters. And yours was, and will be, lovely.
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Twilight
User: twilight2000
Date: 2012-01-10 14:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ranting is a good way to get it out of your system - no sense letting whatever's bugging you fester! And another thing - it's the first time (in print) you've felt good enough in a while to even talk about the smile with the hair flip - that's a positive!
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jetse
User: jetse
Date: 2012-01-10 17:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Here's to the return of your hair!

(And I would feel like shit too, if I lost my hair. Please don't get me wrong: talking *only* about the hair. I'd be totally devastated if I had cancer.)
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mlerules: hedgehead
User: mlerules
Date: 2012-01-10 18:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:hedgehead
Cue DEVO's Whip It, but sub Wig ;-P
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scarlettina: DrWho: Too sexy
User: scarlettina
Date: 2012-01-10 18:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:DrWho: Too sexy
Please feel free with the hair whining. The hair, as we have seen before, will return. And as I have asserted before, you look pretty damn adorable with it short the way it was last seen. Really. But I know you want it long. Just sayin'. ;-)
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shelly_rae
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2012-01-10 19:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The first growth might be thin and oddly textured but after that it should grow in well. Mine won't grown long anymore. Three chemos, well, I'm here and I have hair so yay.
Maybe take a weekly portrait and watch it grown? You could put the pics together in a time lapse.
Anon
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rekre8: Underwater
User: rekre8
Date: 2012-01-10 20:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Underwater
i like this project and would love to see it. Particularly since we know we'd also get a different aloha shirt of the day
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-01-10 22:57 (UTC)
Subject:
Psst, I'm planning to get back to Science Pub Real Soon Now. Probably next week.
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rekre8
User: rekre8
Date: 2012-01-10 23:11 (UTC)
Subject: Re:

Monday, January 9 SE PDX I Dig Bones: Adventures in Forensic Anthropology

Tuesday, January 17 NW PDX Urban Landslides: A Slippery Challenge for the Forensic Geologist

Monday, January 30 Hillsboro The Science and Art of Permaculture

Monday, February 20 Hillsboro Promiscuous DNA: The Invasion, Spread, and Impact of Mobile Genes

Wednesday, February 22 NW PDX Scientific and Humanitarian Lessons from the Haiti and Japan Earthquakes

Monday, March 5 SE PDX Food Fray: Inside the Controversy over Genetically Modified Food

Tuesday, March 20 NW PDX The Science and Art of Permaculture
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a_cubed
User: a_cubed
Date: 2012-01-11 14:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I second that. Time lapse is tough to do because to really work it needs very precise matching of the placement of the subject. But even without the time lapse a hair re-growth picture series would be great! We could run a pool on how long it will get to and how fast it will get there! Here's best wishes for Jay being here long enough that his hair can reach his ankles!
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curious Eve: badgers
User: curiouseve
Date: 2012-01-10 23:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:badgers
I love your hair, too -- I like the way it looks in the pictures. I can relate to both the 'statement' purpose and the sensual purpose, I have similar love of my own hair.

But you do look good bald, and I'm glad for that for you.
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Sheila
User: cat_collector
Date: 2012-01-11 14:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I lost all of my hair when I had chemo years ago. I wore a wig just to avoid stares and stupid comments from random strangers. I didn't mind my friends and co-workers knowing about it---they had been so supportive during my surgery and treatments I didn't mind sharing what was what with them; but I didn't have the energy to yak about it to just anyone.

In my case, the chemo treatments (just a few) ended right before Thanksgiving and I had enough hair to feel comfortable about going wigless by the next April. My "first" hair was very curly but by the time I had any length on it, it had gone back to slightly wavy.
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dionysus1999
User: dionysus1999
Date: 2012-01-12 19:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hair. It's political!
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