So when you see your hair falling out in clumps, you could choose to celebrate it as an indicator that the cancer-killing chemicals, like assassins are hitting their targets, so chalk up the loss of mane as collateral damage. I didn’t need a blood test or an x-ray to tell me that cells–– the good, the bad, and the ugly ones–– were being gunned down by the new sheriff in town. The evildoers were being brought to justice and getting what they deserved. Unfortunately, the sheriff shoots with a scattergun, which kills more than bad guys. Nevertheless, when I felt, to put it mildly, bad, it boosted my morale to know that something good was happening at the same time.
As a bonus, the assault on my hair-producing cells uncovered a pleasant surprise on my noggin— a birthmark I didn’t know I had. After all, I’d never seen my scalp before. As long as I can remember, it’s been covered with hair–– once black, then grey. I guess I was bald as a baby, but I don’t remember and wasn’t accustomed to looking in the mirror until about Junior High.
Upon careful inspection, my daughter in law, Tori, said it resembled a heart. God must’ve kissed me when I was entering this sometimes-heartless world! I liked to think that God stood there in the delivery room, awaiting his opportunity to gently and affectionately brand me on the crown of my head as one belonging to him with a kiss.
– Originally published in The Other End of the Dark: A Memoir About Divorce, Cancer, and Things God Does Anyway (the profits of which go to Freedom House).