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This is one of several essays from my private cancer journal. It is not intended as anything than a record of my states of mind as I struggled with the disease and the effects of the treatment.

Yup, I did it!

man getting a haircut 9/06/02

I got my hair cut.

Normally that would be one word, as in, I got a haircut.

But not in this case.

I got my hair cut.

It's not as drastic as one might imagine. Even Caren agreed. I didn't go the buzz cut route. There's maybe an inch left on the top. I told him I wanted enough for it to lie down but not enough to comb. We hit a good compromise.

But there is skin that hasn't felt air for 55 years.

Strange feeling.

I realized it was a personal rite of passage, of sorts. Or at least preparing for one.

Afterwards, I bought some decent scotch to celebrate and plopped down on the couch, through for the day, to watch some TV. That was enough, I figured.

So what do I catch on HBO?

The movie Wit, with Emma Thompson, brilliantly directed by Mike Nichols. Based on the 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Margaret Edson, it is the story of an English professor (played by Thompson) who teaches the poetry of John Donne with her own biting (and bitter) wit. And then she is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The movie traces her journey as she (completely bald from the chemotherapy) narrates to the screen, until her death.

It is not a movie for the faint of heart but it is brilliant.

I had seen it before and it tore me apart, as one might imagine.

This time I could watch it with some grace. It is more a movie that should be seen by doctors, rather than patients. Like The Doctor (1991) with William Hurt, the story of a flippant surgeon who is diagnosed with a throat cancer and finds what it is like to be a patient. It doesn't have the gut-wrenching grit of Wit, but it will do. And it might talk to those training to poke and prode and keep their distance from the real person.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if such movies were part of their education?

Well, back to the haircut.

After 24 hours, I'm liking it. It is cooler (as in temperature, not the slang) and simpler and I'm glad I did it.

Now I wait for the new drugs. They are being mailed to me and should be here Monday. I also spoke to my oncologist, clarifying a few points. I guess that is what allowed the hair cut.

I is ready, Teddy.



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This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not replace or amend professional medical advice. Unless otherwise stated and credited, the content of Phoenix5 (P5) is by and the opinion of and copyright © 2000 Robert Vaughn Young. All Rights Reserved. P5 is at <>. P5's policy regarding privacy and right to reprint are at <>.